Real Adventure in the Westfjords!

In June and July, we successfully ran our first Wildfjords Trails in the Westfjords region. As our guests quickly found out, the trail isn’t so much a path marked on the ground, but rather a route through some of the region’s roughest and most spectacular landscapes, and an idea to bring people into closer relationship with the land and the sea and themselves. Over the coming weeks, we’ll be using this blog to share our most adventurous, memorable and, at times, toughest moments from the two trails we ran in 2014. 

Real Adventure in the Westfjords!

The intrepid few begin the first complete Wildfjords Trail, photo by Tanja Geis

The first trail was an epic two week adventure, setting off from a high hill above Bolungarvik where a good ten foot of snow remained. The snow helped to mark a clear transition into trail time, as within minutes we were surrounded on all sides by white. Soon after, we paused as a group to share our intentions for the trail; some wanted to be present and open to what the trail had to offer, others to find inspiration for their creative work and some to just walk with like-minded people. We marked this intention setting by offering a guillemot egg to the trail gods or perhaps the resident arctic fox. 

Real Adventure in the Westfjords!

Sharing intentions, photo by Tanja Geis 

The first day was short – a gentle introduction to Iceland’s most remote coastal landscape (but it would change!). We made camp at Skálavík beach, a blacksand beach that often has a heavy shorebreak and a fecundity of birdlife harlequin ducks, eiders, black-blacked gulls, kittiwakes, common gulls, terns and fulmars. As Henry took the group down to the shore to explore different types of edible seaweeds, they all flurried out to sea amidst watery wing beats.

Real Adventure in the Westfjords!

Delicious dulse, photo by Connie Butler

As the group slept (perhaps we are still asleep on that grassy spit next to the rushing river), dreams were seeded, experienced and shared, dreams that echo Thomas Berry’s observations:

"We are in trouble just because we do not have a good story. We are between stories. The old story, the account of how we fit into it, is no longer effective. Yet we have not learned 'the new story. We are talking only to ourselves. We are not talking to the rivers, we are not listening to the wind and stars. We have broken the great conversation. By breaking that conversation we have shattered the universe. All the disasters that are happening now are a consequence of that spiritual ‘autism'.”

With thanks to Finisterre and Clif.

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