Inspired by Iceland
SEEDS 03. The highlands of Iceland - The famous Kjölur road!
Highlands / Interior
SEEDS Iceland
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From 15.06.2009 to 29.06.2009
Type: Environmental / Construction
Number of volunteers: 8
Language: English - high proficiency is not required
Accomodation: Mountain hut
Participation fee: 120 EUR
Extra: Remote places located in natural areas of extreme beauty. Outdoor activities as hikes in the area will be arranged for the volunteers.

WORK/PROJECT: Volunteers will be working on few different projects; general cleaning of the area after winter, building and maintaining hiking trails and pathways and putting up signs and descriptive information charts for the trails. There is a camping site in the area that has to be fixed and marked properly to prevent unnecessary damage to the nature. Volunteers will also have the opportunity to discover new hiking or tracking pathways and mark them. In the area there is an old house that has become a danger hazard; the house needs to be demolished so it can be built up in its original form; depending on the advance of the mentioned tasks, this first group will start demolishing the house and taking the different materials apart in order to be taken to the recycling centres.

ACCOMMODATION: Volunteers will be hosted in a local mountain house; sleeping on mattresses on the floor; bringing a warm sleeping bag is highly recommended. Food ingredients will be provided and a kitchen will be available, volunteers will share the duties of preparing and cooking meals.

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

If volunteers 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.

Volunteers will be staying close to the glacier Hofsjökull and near to the rivers Hvítá and Þjórsá. The mountains in the area -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 official language in the camp, high proficiency is not required.

STUDY THEME: Environmental messenger in the project. S/he will be in charge of delivering ecological and global education messages to both, International volunteers and local hosts. S/he will arrange and organise few activities that intend to raise awareness and to encourage the participants to undertake simple but easy-to-implement actions which will affect the way we use our resources and we deal with the environment and the world we live in.

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.

SPECIAL REMARKS / EXTRAS: Participation fee EUR 120,- (Euros). Remote places located in natural areas of extreme beauty. Outdoor activities as hikes in the area will be arranged for the volunteers.


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