Inspired by Iceland
SEEDS 23. The Highlands of Iceland - The Famous Kjölur Road! (1:2)
Highlands / Interior
SEEDS Iceland
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From 18.06.2011 to 02.07.2011
Type: Renovation / Environmental
Number of volunteers: 10
Language: English - high proficiency is not required
Accomodation: Local housing; mattresses on the floor; sleeping bag needed.
Participation fee: 150 EUR
Extra: Must be motivated to work outdoors. Hiking and excursions.

WORK / PROJECT: SEEDS volunteers will be working on few different projects for the general preparation of the area before the summer: Cleaning the area after the winter, turfing and light maintenance of the houses. We will be fixing and making walking paths and making the area more accessible, putting up signs, rebuilding a natural pool and putting up safety fences. The work can be physically demanding, due to the harsh landscape, but also quite rewarding.

ACCOMMODATION: We will be hosted in a local mountain house with a kitchen; sleeping on mattresses on the floor; please bring your own sleeping bag. We will receive food ingredients and be in charge of the different cooking and cleaning activities. Please do not forget some traditional food from your home country for the international evening.

LOCATION: The Icelandic highlands, or "the interior", are a true pearl to all nature lovers and outdoor people. It is accessible all year round on 4WD cars and most Highland routes involve crossing un-bridged rivers.

If you really want to get away from it all, the interior of Iceland is like nothing you have ever experienced. The mountainous centre of the island, with its rocky deserts, craggy mountain peaks, ice caps, volcanoes, hidden valleys and hot springs, is an awesome and untouched wilderness. Lake Hvítárvatn on the Kjölur highland road glints icy-blue at the foot of the Langjökull glacier, and in the barren black sands of Sprengisandur the arctic river beauty blooms bright magenta.

The interior was long all but inaccessible. Outlaws hid out for years at a time in the highlands, rustling sheep and keeping away from law-abiding citizens, while folklore tells of both natural and supernatural beings who lay in wait for unwary highland travellers.

Travellers between north and south sometimes had to cross the highlands: for instance for the assembly of Alþingi (parliament) each summer, delegates had to ride from every corner of the country to Þingvellir in the southwest, journeys across the interior were never undertaken lightly; such travel was risky and lives were often lost. Today the interior is crossed by two mountain roads, via Kjölur and Sprengisandur, which are only open in summer, after the snow has thawed in spring.

We will be staying close to the glacier Hofsjökull and near to the rivers Hvítá and Þjórsá. The mountains in the area that reach up to 1500m were formed during a volcanic eruption in the later part of the ice age. The area is still dynamic and great geothermal activity takes place in the surroundings. The environment is very diverse, both in shape and colour. The mountains are very weathered and have very little continuous growth, as the forces of nature, like glaciers, water flow, ice bursts etc. have been fast working in these mountain highlands.

LANGUAGE: English will be the language of the camp; high proficiency is not required.

STUDY THEME: This work camp has an educational/awareness-rising approach to environmental, nature-protection and sustainable development topics. Apart from the leader, we will have an environmental messenger, a person dedicated to organising and developing fun, interactive and educational activities within the project.

TERMINAL: Closest International Airport: Keflavík/Reykjavík (KEF).

SEEDS organises the "minibus option", a shared transport from Reykjavík to the camps and vice versa, which apart from being cheaper and more convenient, allows volunteers to meet fellow campers and have a relaxed trip, while stopping on the way for interesting and tourist sites.

EXTRAS / SPECIAL REMARKS: Participation fee EUR 150.

Remote places located in natural areas of extreme beauty. Place of extreme beautiful natural surroundings with countless opportunities to hike and discover it by foot. Volunteers applying for this project should be motivated to work in isolated locations in outdoor activities.

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