15 days alone in Iceland
After having crossed the Alps from one end to the other, I needed a change and a challenge. A new climate, new landscapes… Iceland was for me this promised land! Change, but not too much. Let’s say that I was more prepared to face a polar storm than a pack of wolves.
Paris – Reykjavick – Friðland að Fjallabaki. 3h30 of flight to escape the sunset, a night on a bench waiting for the bus … and here I am parachuted in the Icelandic Highlands.
A gray sky, a black ground, a continuous rain. The only sound is the roar of the torrents. Day 1. day 2. Day 3…little by little, from silence to silence, from drop to drop…I was moving forward, until this night, night 5.
I had huddled under a rock on top of a cliff. A precarious shelter that preserved me from the gusts of wind and the incessant rain. My only horizon to cross the mist, the Vatnajökulsþjóðgarður glacier. Below, almost invisible under the clouds, a wild river with hundreds of undulating arms. It is here that, exhausted by the climate, I fell asleep, opening wide the door to dreams. Each day, this door opened with more strength and struggled to close again… letting my magical creatures enter the real world. After several days of silence, without encountering a single living being, your brain invents its own world.
When I woke up from a powerful dream populated by strange little beings, I threw myself into this river with the mission of fording it. A crossing of 20 minutes…from arm to arm…to hold the course while letting myself be carried by the furious water. 20min needed for this incessant rain to disappear. On the other side, the weather was nice. The wind had risen. And it is here, in full sun, in front of the immense ice cap of Vatnajokull, that I let go.
The lake, the bee and the daisy
After a day down, lying between two black rocks, I put aside any performance objective. From now on, my only objective was to wander in this black desert, heading due west! I let myself be carried, or rather, I dragged myself against the wind with an excruciating pain in my ankle. The gusts were violent and slapped me with black sand. I spent the nights in ancient volcanic craters until I reached this small heavenly lake nestled between two mountains.
A makeshift shelter seemed to be waiting for me. It was the 7th day and my first nap in the sun, I was almost hot. It was at this place and at this moment that everything started to mix. I was here, there, and everywhere. I was both lying in the sun on the black sand and in a daisy being picked by a bee on the other side of the world. For the first time in my life I saw and felt two realities. In short! An extreme feeling of plenitude, in the middle of this lifeless black hell.
Two days of walking followed to reach the track and to hitchhike to Reykjavick. I was so thirsty of the world, that I decided to sleep in a camping to make a break in my adventure.
The flies and the glacier
A swim in the crowd and I’m back for a new adventure! With the return to life, the dreams had flown away. The region of Langjokull certainly softer to the life was covered with big expanses of peat, paradise of the sheep and the flies.
It was beautiful, hot, humid. A new hell, that of the clouds of insects. My goal was high up, far from the clouds, beaten by the strong winds! I wanted to sleep on the Langjokull ice cap. A very calm two days ascent, if we forget the hail storms that sweep relentlessly these great black expanses. One evening around 10 pm, a 4×4 stopped to ask me if I was lost. No, I was on my way, even if on foot and against the direction. Long live freedom!
After this night of ice with extraordinary panoramas, I calmly came down from my mountain. At the bend of a stream, I again experienced an anomaly. I heard the bells of the church of my village in Lorraine. Strange sensation to be in two places at the same time… 6 hours of walking later, bus, tourists, plane, Paris, RER, Versailles. Back to real life.