The Highlands of Iceland - The Famous Kjölur Road (2:2)
Description: SEEDS volunteers will support this project for the tenth year in a row, we started cooperation in 2009 and the results have been very positive. The hosts are a group of locals developing the area with alternative tourism services, including running a series of huts in this isolated area in the highlands and offering services to visitors and hikers. In this camp SEEDS volunteers will work on diverse environmental outdoor tasks, including repairing of walking paths and making steps in steep parts of the trails, landscaping around the huts in the area. Volunteers will also help with the revegetation in some areas around, clearing litter on the walking paths, and general preparations within the area before summer.
Type of Work: As the landscape is raw, the work can be physically demanding and might require a good physical condition. No previous experience is needed. As it is outdoors work, volunteers shall be ready to adapt and be flexible with the working and free-time schedule, as depending on the -changeable- weather, we may not be able to perform some of the tasks or activities planned. Volunteers need to be prepared for working and walking in a wild landscape in one of the most isolated areas in Iceland. Be prepared to experience all kinds of weather and bring warm winter clothes as the tasks take place outside and it can get very cold in the highlands. Bring warm under-layers, waterproofs, walking shoes/boots, a good sleeping bag, hat scarves and gloves.
Study Theme: The Icelandic highlands, or “the interior”, are a true pearl to nature lovers and outdoor people. It is accessible on 4WD cars and most routes involve crossing rivers where there are not any bridges. If you really want to get away from it all, the interior of Iceland is like nothing you have ever experienced. The mountainous centre of the island, with its rocky deserts, craggy mountain peaks, ice caps, volcanoes, hidden valleys and hot springs, is an awesome and untouched wilderness.
Accommodation: olunteers will be hosted in a local mountain hut; sleeping in shared rooms on mattresses on the floor; please bring your own sleeping bag. The facilities are very basic and volunteers are expected to show consideration for their companions. Volunteers will receive food ingredients and will be in charge of cooking and cleaning. Please do not forget some traditional/typical food or drinks from your home country for the international evening at the camp.
Language: English will be the official language of the camp; high proficiency is not required.
Requirements: Volunteers need to be prepared for physical and demanding work. Bring warm winter clothes as the project takes place outside and the weather can be very cold in the highlands.
Approximate Location: The interior was almost totally inaccessible until recently. However outlaws managed to hide out for years at a time in the highlands, rustling sheep and keeping away from law-abiding citizens. Folklore stories tell of both natural and supernatural beings that lay in wait for unwary highland travellers. Travellers going between the north and south of Iceland sometimes had to cross the highlands. To get to the assembly of Alþingi (parliament) each summer, delegates had to ride from every corner of the country to Þingvellir in the Southwest.
Notes: Volunteers will be staying close to the glacier Hofsjökull and near to the rivers Hvítá and Þjórsá. The mountains in the area that reach up to 1500 m were formed during a volcanic eruption in the later part of the ice age. The area is still dynamic and great geothermal activity takes place in the surroundings. The environment is very diverse, both in shape and colour. The mountains are weathered and have very little continuous growth, as the forces of nature, like glaciers, water flow, ice bursts etc. have been fast working in these mountain highlands.
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