Expedition Iceland: An Unforgettable Trip to Ísafjörður and Back
Words by Valere Bouchaud: On April 8, 2015, we landed in Reykjavik, and met up with our 5 Queyrassins kiters and our friend and a speed rider from Saint Hilaire "Cuicui ". To reach the boat in the north of the West Fjords could be a little tricky , so we had contacted a French- Icelandic guide. The deal was that Nathanaël (our guide) in exchange of "his services", could travel with us and we'd learn him to snowkite.
As expected, Nathanaël was waiting for us with a good car.
Thinking he was at work, Nathanaël tried to interest us in local tourism. We quickly explained to him that we only would be interested in snow and wind… The next morning, we headed out to the Snæfellsnes, a peninsula situated to the west of Borgarfjörður, the true purpose of our road trip; The Snæfellsnes is home to the Snæfellsjökull volcano, regarded as one of the symbols of Iceland. If you have ever read Jules Verne's books, you’ll know that the entrance of his famous "Journey to the Center of the Earth" was at the top of the vulcano.
Nathanaël had planed everything, so a nice house at the bottom of the mountain was awaiting us. Here we were able to wait for the good weather forecast. That first day we had very light winds; we kited up the first summit of 1446 meters and found our way down with our skies. Not bad for our first day in Iceland.
The beginning of the ascent with "our" village in the background
In the background you can see the peninsula
The peninsula from the 2/3 of the ascent.
The next day we learned an Iceland rule number one: be patient! The weather was not looking good and as the old Iceland saying goes," If you don’t like the weather wait 5 minutes and it will change", we waited and ........ the storm came. And it certainly didn’t last five minutes.......
On the third day we tried to reach Ísafjörður, a town in the northwest of Iceland. But it was a complete failure as we had to wait a whole day in a gas station and find shelter due to the storm. It was a pretty rough night but we weathered it out and hit the road again.
The following 3 days we were able to kite at the most deserted spots, peaks and valleys of the island; it was a true magical sight. We reached the worlds end and took a boat called Zero to access the northern fjords, landed and kited the empty slopes for 3 more days. The pictures tell the story themselves, check them out. Nobody to spot far and wide! Unfortunately, one day the Zero had to bring us back to Ísafjörður. For an end we would like to salute our dearest captain. Thank you Philippe for your kindness, your patience and your soup that we "drunk" eagerly every time we came back from our kite sessions.
The Fjords’ road. Actually in Iceland 12 miles as the crow flies can mean more than two and half hours of drive......... (take a look… it’s the red line)
The Zero waiting for us!
Luckily, this end-of-the-world place has a bar
The town of Ísafjörður
Bolungarvik, a fishing village located approximately 14 kilometers from the town of Ísafjörður
Wilderness of the Northern Fjords
Not the storm again.....
Thank you Philippe!