- 2 years ago
It was certainly a different end of the day than we had foreseen when the day started.
Even with only 24 hours to spare, the adventures you can have in the Westfjords of Iceland are pretty great. With such a short time frame it’s important to minimize transit time and maximize fun time. Adventure is a state of mind; it can be had at any time and any place.
We’ve followed what Alastair Humphreys has in recent years been actively promoting: the concept of microadventures. His recipe for a microadventure is to do “something different, something exciting but cheap, simple, short, on your doorstep. Grab a map, close your eyes, point, go.”
And that’s what we did one day. Weather was good and the aurora forecast looked promising. At noon, we came up with the idea to take sea kayaks and go camping – three hours later we had driven half an hour out of our town Isafjordur and were on the water. We had kayaks, camping and camera gear, instant noodles, cookies and chocolate. Everything to survive the night and return home the next day.
We didn’t paddle far, a mere 6km. But it was a good distance to take it easy and enjoy the paddle and reach camp before sunset. Seals and numerous birds accompanied us along the way and upon approaching the camp, we saw an arctic fox running on the beach.
We found a 5 star beachfront camp ground with stunning views.
There are very few trees in the Westfjords so making a bonfire can be a challenging task. Luckily, we found a few pieces of driftwood along the beach. We were both so deeply focused on the fire-making that we didn’t even notice when the auroras started to form on the sky. All of a sudden we looked up and the whole sky was glowing.
We spent the evening whoa-ing and wohoo-ing under the aurora display. The excitement level was so high we didn’t even notice the freezing cold. The bonfire also helped keep us warm.
The northern lights continued throughout the night and there was no sign of them stopping. We were tired and happy, satisfied with what we had seen and experienced that day. It was certainly a different end of the day than we had foreseen when the day started.
After a good night sleep it was time to head back home. The water was calm and the sun was shining. When we turned into the fjord, we discovered there was a thin layer of ice covering the surface. Our kayaks turned into Russian icebreakers and the way back took much longer than the way out. We managed to get home at 3 o’clock, exactly 24 hours after our departure.
Living in the Westfjords of Iceland does give a certain advantage to easily access stunning nature. But adventures can be had nearly anywhere near your home, whether you live in Bildudalur, Berlin or Baihrain. Go somewhere you’ve never been. Go on an adventure that is close to home, that’s cheap, simple, short and effective. That’s what we did – and it was fun.