Inspired by Iceland
SEEDS 64. The Highlands of Iceland - The Famous Kjölur Road (2:2)
Highlands / Interior
SEEDS Iceland
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From 21.08.2011 to 03.09.2011
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: 160 EUR
Extra: Outdoor activities; hikes.

WORK/PROJECT: SEEDS volunteers will be working on few different projects for the general preparation of the area before the winter: The main focus will be to clear old fences in the area that no longer serve their purpose. Those fences are old and are now weathered down and can easily be a danger hazard for hikers and travellers in the area.

We will be working on hiking paths, building new ones and maintaining those already in place; we will put up signs, markings and descriptive information charts around them. We will also be clearing up litter and doing light maintenance work on the houses to prepare them for winter. 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; 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 black sands of Sprengisandur - the arctic river.

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.

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 you 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 160,- (Euros).

Remote places located in natural areas of extreme beauty with countless opportunities to hike and discover it by foot.

Volunteers applying for this project should be motivated to work with people in outdoor activities in isolated locations away from urban settlements.

AGE: 18+

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