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The Incredible Iceland PDW

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screen-shot-2016-09-27-at-19-13-58  Driving from the airport to our little volcano huts down in Þórsmörk and seeing the endless fields, the gorgeous Icelandic horses, tiny white clumps of sheep and the beautifully green mountains it really hit you how untouched Iceland is. We would drive through a town and be out of it again in less than a minute, everything was so natural and dainty, the people there worked around nature rather than the other way around which is true of almost every other place.

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For the Iceland PDW we were working to conserve this beautiful landscape, heading down to a small camp to help preserve hike trails, stop erosion, remove invasive species, maintain the camp area and much more physically demanding but emotionally rewarding tasks. Everyday we had a 30 minute hike just to get to the place we worked, in most places that novelty would quicklyscreen-shot-2016-09-27-at-19-13-18 ware off (if it was even there to begin with) but having such great views and amazing company made the trip pass by in a second. We would always stop off at a small cave that was about 15 ft off the ground and almost everyone tried their hand and climbing up the cliff face and scrambling into the small cavern. Every day was filled with fun adventures like this, and though the weather wasn’t always great the work was fun and it made it not matter.  screen-shot-2016-09-27-at-19-14-19

Over the course of the week we managed to build erosion fences, turf paths and gravel them again, build trenches and tables, screen-shot-2016-09-27-at-19-15-56make trail markers and set them up along hikes with geotags, remove a big portion of land of an invasive species and much more. Being able to see the hard work that we had done to conserve the environment so directly was an amazing feeling and made everything we did so worth while.

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Getting home to the volcano huts at night was equally as fun with a small hot spring and a sauna to warm up in and a cozy hut to play games in and talk with friends, we often saw arctic foxes playing in front of the dining area,screen-shot-2016-09-27-at-19-14-43 some of us even saw the northern lights one night (though those that saw it didn’t bother to wake anyone else up, can you sense my annoyance??) and at the end of it we all got to go to the blue lagoon for a relaxing evening with smoothies and face masks. Pure bliss. screen-shot-2016-09-27-at-19-16-08

Iceland PDW is hard work yes, but you make great friends, do some amazing work and see the most incredible sights that make you want to come back again next year.

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And the views weren’t half bad either……

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