I recently had a very exciting and educative driving trip to Iceland. There is many a thing I want to share. I will be publishing my experience in a series. Here is the first in this series – how it all came about.
On 6 May 2015 I was set to leave for Trek to Annapoorna Base Camp in Nepalese Himalayan range. Air ticket, insurance, expenses all paid. As usual, my baggage was ready duly packed a month in advance! Never mind, though, my family members make a joke out of it! All items on my checklist ticked. Only a thorough recheck a day before leaving, was pending.
About 10 days to go, my enthusiasm and excitement was at its peak for this trek. On 25 April 2015, post lunch, as I switched on the TV, “Severe earth-quake in Nepal” was the breaking news banner. Most unfortunate. News followed that the earthquake was of severe intensity and some of the villages around the mountain I was to trek had completely got devastated. Rescue operations were on. Incoming commercial flights were closed. Tourism in Nepal came to a standstill. My trekking trip got cancelled. My efforts to visit Nepal to join the rescue and aid operations did not get positive response.
I did not unpack my bag; it was still intact lying near the life-size window at my bedroom. Every time I looked at the bag, I was asking myself, is there any interesting place I could go to?.
Just around that time, Seema, my daughter in UK was insisting that Nishi, my grand daughter, had holidays and Pushpa and me should stay with them for a few weeks. I initially resisted as I felt it would be a stay without much of action! Then I was reminded that it was over 2 years since I had seen Nishi. Oh! there was a reason that I should visit UK. Before I could think further about it, my son Anand, booked most comfortable tickets for us for 4 weeks stay in UK. But I kept thinking, ha! staying for 4 weeks without adventure? Not entirely convincing! Surely it could be better!
For me, leisure travel means not just relaxing in premium hotels or at home. There has to be some unusual action or adventure; a stay in a mountain tent or a hut, in near freezing temperature or something where action is primary, comfort is secondary and food is tertiary. To keep myself fresh, I needed to have at least one such trip a year.
I reactivated all travel related ‘blocked’ email ids and started looking at these ‘junk’ emails, in case they have some suitable place to venture out. One of the junk emails was tempting – a 4wd driving trip to Iceland in Nov 2015.
In Iceland, there have been regular lava eruptions. From internet browsing, I realised that due to its volcanic origin, Iceland has features like gushing geysers, ice glaciers, snow-capped mountains, volcano craters, lava eruptions, natural hot water springs, sea shores, black sand beaches and staggering waterfalls – all these natural phenomenon at a very close proximity to each other,
Iceland sounded like an interesting and unusual place; different from the 50+ countries I‘ve visited.
Iceland is close to UK, just a 3-hour flight from London, “why not take off a week for Iceland out of my 4-week stay UK-trip?” Also, August was supposed to be a good time to visit Iceland. But then, this would defeat the purpose of staying with Nishi. I wondered if Nishi would be travel with us to Iceland. I thought Nishi was a little too sophisticated to make a trip that could get uncomfortable. All of 8 years, little Nishi makes her own decisions. When Seema checked with her, Nishi responded with an enthusiastic, “Yes”. That’s it!
Decided. Go out for UK for a month, sneak out time for Iceland!