Living the Dream - Through Iceland
Pia Thommes LRPS
When I was a child one of my friends owned two Icelandic horses, smaller than your standard horse with a thick mane and lively behaviour. Since then I had been dreaming of visiting the island with volcanoes under ice and riding those horses in their original environment. Forty years later my friend Andrea and I decided to make this dream come true and cross Iceland on horseback following the so called Kjölur trail, an ancient trail that runs from the hot spring area around Geysir through the mountains and desert in the centre to the north coast.
We met up in Reykjavik and spent a day sightseeing in this live- ly and colourful city, from the cathedral with its wonderful panoramic view, to the harbour. Then we met the team of riders that would be our companions for the ride, eight people from a wide age range and different parts of the world, united by their interest in the countryside and the horses. The next day we set off in a coach towards the farm from where we started the ride. On the way we stopped at Thingvellir, the ancient site of the annual parliament meetings, and at the original Geysir from which all erupting hot springs got their name. Then we finally got a first glimpse of the horses we were going to ride for the next six days; in a paddock at Kjóastaðir Farm was a herd of Icelandic horses in all colours and shades imaginable, patiently moving about or playing with each other. But before we could start interacting with them we had to go through a briefing meeting and get kitted out. Each rider needed a hard hat, water proof trousers and jackets, a sleep- ing bag, a saddle and a nose band. Here we also met the team that would be supporting the horses and us during the ride, a group of Icelanders who mostly belonged to the same family and did a fantastic job looking after us and the horses welfare ...
This article is an extract from an article first published on Page 15 in Travel Log Issue 62. Pia is a member of the North West Region of the RPS.