Iceland

ICELAND 2016 † FOREWORD

"Phantasmagorical Hornstrandir"

 
 
 

 
 
 

WHY THE HORNSTRANDIR ?


For my 8th Icelandic adventure I wanted to offer myself a distant land, inaccessible and phantasmagorical: The Hornstrandir . I had caressed the horizons of the look at my various passages in the Westfjords but had never taken the plunge.

My attraction to expanses of white and northern lights means that I tend to choose the winter season to visit Iceland, but this Nature Reserve is only accessible from mid-June to mid-August (and only by boat), making summer the sole option. My ticket was taken for July 23.

The crucial thing about heading “into the wild” is that you should be entirely autonomous: no resupply of food or other essentials, no electricity, no internet or telephone connection. You have to plan your expedition down to the tiniest detail, especially if you are going solo.

I had everything checked as professionally as possible. Mounted, disassembled several times my new tent in the living room of my Paris apartment (yes).
 
Purchased freeze-dried food for 5 days , portions that astronauts take on a mission. My checklist was extremely effective: I had even planned a dictaphone to record my feelings in real time. My son Andy (5 years old at the time) was quick to requisition the small device fun, having fun to leave me full of messages. I did not know it yet, but I’ll be glad to hear them once up there.

It all starts at Isafjordur , the northernmost city in Iceland that has been reached since Reykjavik by plane, bus or car. I chose this last option thanks to the support of my friends Lagoon car rental (thanks for the perfect 4×4 Subaru Forester!), It will take between 5 and 6 hours driving from the capital. The advantage of the car is that you can combine this expedition with a roadtrip in the sublime Westfjords that I never tire of browsing.

The boat that leads into Hornstrandir drops you off at various locations, from Hesteyri to Hornvik at the edge, it will take 3 hours of navigation to reach this end of the world and it is this place that I chose.

This vast nature reserve (580 km2) is a fabulous adventure playground for hikers, they leave with big backpacks and walking sticks but I realize that it will be impossible for me to transport all my photo material through the mountains and valleys (about 30 kilos with the tent, food etc). So I chose to bivouac at Hornvik and explore the “star” area from my camp.

Regarding the timing: It is possible to make the round trip Isafjordur – Hornvik in the day which saves you any camping chore (count 3h boat in the morning then again 3h for the return to 16h) but leave you very little time on site, you can also spend a night in a tent with a group, some agencies organize everything for you.

I made a different choice, I wanted to take the time to immerse myself in nature alone and far from everything: it is as much a photographic adventure as personal that I wanted to live there. If this challenge Robinson Crusoe tempts you nothing more simple, take a ticket “unaccompanied” by not omitting this small detail: the boat passes only every 5 days. In other words, do not miss the return!
 

MISSION HORNSTRANDIR


I gave myself 4 missions during this stay:
1. Survive this adventure in order to be able to tell you my story.
2. Photograph Arctic foxes, since Hornstrandir is a place of choice to observe them.
3. Bring back some images of Hornbjarg and Mt. Kálfatindar , the most majestic cliff in the country.
4. Visit Latravik lighthouse, a little further south. Lighthouses have always excited me, and I couldn’t imagine leaving without having admired it.

So did I meet my goals?
 

CHECKLIST FOR HORNSTRANDIR


In the photo bag

– 2 Canon 5DSR Cases
– 100-400 II
– 70-200 F4 IS
– 24-70 f2.8
– 17-40 f4
– Batteries x4
– 5 128GB Memory Cards
– Rain bags
– Rain sleeve
– Tripod (not used)

electronics

– Mackbook pro 13 ‘
– 2 external hard drives
– Dictaphone
– iPhone (for video)
– External charger
– small batteries
– Cables

Clothes

– 2 x FjallRaven pants
– 5 x boxer shorts + socks
– Woolpower / polar underlay
– hat
– light gloves
– Rain gear (Goretex + Cape)

Food

– Heater + gas
– Small dinette Plate, cup, cutlery
– food
– gourd
– small sponge + flask washing up liquid
– Plastic Bags & amp; Big Bags Trash for dirty clothes and shoes, rubbish

site

– Vaude Taurus 2p Tent
– Sleeping bag + meat bag
– Ground sheet
– towel
– Assietes, cup, cutlery
– Leatherman knife
– Washing line
– Aluminum paper
– Sopalin + PT
– Carabiners
– Torch charged
– Front loaded
– Touring watch

Food

– Sachets of liopylated food
– A Basque cheese (for morale)
– A ham ass
– Flask of whiskey
– salt + pepper + sugar
– Instant coffee

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