Hiking trails in the Westfjords of Iceland
Description: In this project SEEDS volunteers will help with environmental and conservation work in the municipality of Strandabyggð in the Westfjords of Iceland. We have been working with the municipality since 2009 with very good results. Strandir (e. the coasts), located on the north-eastern part of the Western fjords of Iceland, are a hiker’s paradise. Volunteers will be restoring and maintaining hiking trails. Maintaining these pathways is important to encourage people in the area to enjoy the beautiful environment in a way that does not spoil the nature around. The ground is sometimes rocky and volunteers have to work together to find the most suitable place for the path. Volunteers will also help rearrange stones that mark the paths and repair a stones culvert and a small bridge.
Type of Work: No previous experience of this work is necessary. The working day normally runs from 09:00 - 17:00 with breaks for lunch and coffee; however, please be prepared for some flexibility due to the unforeseeable weather in Iceland. Additional tasks may be cleaning and beautifying the area, like hand-picking garbage or collecting trash that has been blown by the wind or brought by the sea to the surrounding areas. The work can be demanding and requires a good physical condition. 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 weather, we may not be able to perform some of the tasks or activities planned.
Study Theme: SEEDS volunteers will be hosted in a local house which is a schoolhouse in winter and have access to shower facilities. Participants will also have the chance to go to the local swimming pool. Volunteers will be sleeping on mattresses on the floor in shared rooms. Please bring your own sleeping bag. Food ingredients will be provided and volunteers will have access to a kitchen. We will share the duties of cooking and cleaning. Please do not forget some traditional/typical food and/or drinks from your home country for an international evening.
Accommodation: The camp takes place in the West fjords at the north-western part of Iceland. The Westfjords are very mountainous; the coastline is made by dozens of fjords surrounded by steep hills. The region of Strandir was for centuries one of the most remote areas in Iceland, known for the inhabitants' knowledge of magic and as a refuge for criminals and outlaws. The landscape of Strandir is far from uniform, the low hills of Hrútafjörður in the south gradually change to 700 m high mountains rising straight from the coast in the northern part.
Approximate Location: The population in the Strandir region is under 800. The towns of Hólmavík and Drangsnes are the most populated; around 400 people in Hólmavík and 100 in Drangsnes. The people of Strandir live almost entirely on fishing and farming and are increasingly aware of their heritage and will proudly tell tales of their ancestors' dealings with ghosts and other supernatural beings. It has often been said that the people of Strandir know more about witchcraft and sorcery than others, and to underscore that, the Museum of Sorcery & Witchcraft.
Notes: SEEDS organises the “minibus option”, a shared transport from Reykjavík to the project and vice versa. Apart from being cheaper and more convenient, it allows volunteers to meet fellow campers and have a relaxed trip, while stopping on the way for interesting and tourist sites. Departure from Reykjavík will be at 8:00 am in the morning of June 4 from SEEDS office in Reykjavík. After the camp, we will arrive back to Reykjavík in the evening of June 18.
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