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Last Week in Iceland

My last week in Iceland

It’s been an amazing final week up here in this glacial valley of Skagafjordur.

On Tuesday the foreign team, AKA non-Nepali boys took a mission up to the hot pots of Saudakrokur. These beautiful little pools are situated on a point overlooking Drangey Island, a meeting place for millions of migratory birds including puffins. There is some debate as to whether the ocean here is the Arctic or North Atlantic. Since oceans don’t really have borders and I’m on the north coast of Iceland, I’m going to say it’s the Arctic, which means given my rather short dunk I’ve swum in all the world’s oceans.

On Wednesday we got a day off to hike the tallest peak in the valley. It was clear, allowing us spectacular views of the massive Hofjokull and Langjoskull glaciers.

On Thursday our boss Maggi surprised us with an impromptu shotgun shooting competition.

Friday’s rain brought out the adrenaline in some of us and we went creek hunting, hoping to kayak some waterfalls. We missed the window on this creek, but Chris and Yuji had nice runs of Reykjafoss. I’m a pansy and opted out.

Then came today with my last run of the East River, and oh what a fun trip it was. The rain’s brought the river up to a fun level and I got a five load of big Icelandic electricians keen for a wild ride. I specifically asked them what kind of run they wanted down the most difficult rapid, the Green Room. There were plenty of hoots and horned hands so I figured that after the second drop I’d head back up steam into the hole and see what happens. Here’s what happens:

One of the larger guys didn’t have a good time of it, however. In the case of large men in one-size-fits-all life jackets you never know what’s going to happen when you add this combo to churning, boily white water. In this case the dude stayed down a long time, in the green room, as we call it. By the time he hit the surface he had reasoned he would die. His brain at some point told his lungs to take a big old swig of oxygen as is the case when one’s panicked. Unfortunately for Ollie or whatever his name is, he hadn’t reached the surface yet and exploded from the swirling waters a sputtering, vomiting mess. By the time the flip was cleaned up and I reunited with my crew he just stared me down with his blood shot eyes and washed out face and said ” you bastard.” It’s all fun and games until somebody thinks they almost drowned. Rafting is over, my time in Iceland has come to a close. It’s time to go back home.

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