Day two. Someone has already stolen my precious chunky peanut butter. I opened it, ate a little bit. I needed the sugar. I temporarily left it out and then someone or a couple of people ate over half of it.
This did not make me enthusiastic about camp in Landmannalaugar.
Keflavik looked like a wasteland. It was constantly draining and wet. Rain poured down like hail and the wind surrounded your body, no matter where you stepped. High or low. Not many people talked to you or replied. I would ask a simple question and the response would be a wave with a cigarette in their hand or a grunt as they passed with filled shopping bags.
Within three days I had spent sixteen pounds and fifty two pence or two thousand thirty-three hundred Icelandic Króna on four small loads of brown bread, one litre of milk, two ready cooked meals, both meat and pasta based and five green bananas, two milk and dark chocolate bars, three red apples and one tub of smooth peanut butter.
After this short shop, I wanted to pack for camp, I bought; powdered milk, five variations of cup-a-soup, ten packs of noodles, three packs of seeded and herbal crackers, smooth peanut butter, two chocolate bars, chocolate spread, two loaves of brown farm bread. Five tins of fish that mostly tasted of salt. Two large packets of spaghetti, coffee, tea, powdered tomato and beef sauce compacted in a sandwich bag, five couscous packets, two full bags of travel pick and mix. One load of green bananas and five apples, dried and compressed peaches and one full bag of plain rice and pesto, to make everything taste better. The cheese and ham was for the beginning.
In total, this cost me little over fifty pounds, seven thousand, eight hundred and fifty-one Icelandic Króna.
I was going to Selfoss in the morning. I was not intending to buy any dairy products, as they would have been out for a long period of time but I fell weak and bought a small tub of copied Garlic flavoured Philadelphia. For the road and chocolate spread for the lasting effects. I found Maryland cookies that were only fifty pence. I brought a coconut and chocolate packet and a double chocolate packet. Oh, what heaven I was in.
The drive to Selfoss was by taking a shuffle bus to the airport, to then take a bus to Reykjavik. This took me to the bus base in the city. I found the number three bus that took me to Mjódd, waited two and half hours with already cooked, cold beef dumplings and popcorn and then I took bus number fifty-one.
The bus to Selfoss was stunning. The combination of green and black was mystifying. I wanted to get off of the bus and hike my way to Selfoss. Taking days as I could weave in and out of the mountains.
The accommodation in Selfoss was delightful. There was a light breakfast; apples or bananas, bread, two types of cereal, coffee or tea. It was refreshing. I laid down on the single bed with my drenched hair and soaked clothes, I thought I was in a five-star hotel.
The host wasn’t really around. The only time I saw him was on the first day, in the evening. We shook hands and said hello. From what I can remember. He had a half-grown beard. With a subtle German accent and an Italian cleaner.
The Italian cleaner was so enthusiastic, not even beginning to make my lunch, at three o'clock, she wanted to drive me down to this beach I had not heard of. She must have mentioned it six-seven times before I could even spread the peanut butter. The enthusiasm caught onto me as I drew a smile across my face.
I went on my first hike, in Iceland. Ingólfsfjall.
I was surrounded by rocks of all kind.
The weather was bright, not too much wind. I climbed to the top, no problem. Beautiful view, fantastic environment to step into. I wandered around the top, to see more. The wind started to pick up and I struggled to walk. Losing my exit. I looked for the route I thought was the most suitable for me.
I needed to cross a small path. A narrow path. I had to move around a large rock to get to the other side. I stepped on a rock, thinking it was secure, a bunch of tiny rocks fell around my feet, this rock under my feet crumbled. I gripped the large secure rock that was in front of me until my feet found a different landing point. Scraping both of my arms and bruising my right knee.
Leisurely making it back up to the top, after one hour. I must have screamed fuck and shit about a thousand times amongst my echoes.
The wind remained violent.
I still could not find my exit.
Walking further along the right side, I found a rather large pile of rocks going down. I became aware of the combination of loose and heavy rocks. Most of them were heavy rocks with a few small flat and rugged rocks.
Towards the middle, the wind started to calm down but the heavy rocks reduced a little. I didn't seem to trip or slip much. More and more small rocks appeared. I found it challenging to find safety. Until I sat on a large rock, knowing in my gut, if I move I'll fall.
Starting to need to pee. I remained still. My heart rate slowed down but my head was racing.
Three hours later a young male appeared amongst the rocks, I saw him trip and slip a few times, which made me throw the upcoming trust out of the window.
He eventually reached me. My panic became fearful. I didn't want to move but I wanted to get off this mountain.
"What's your name?" He asks.
"Courtenay, you are going to have to move now."
"I know but I am scared."
"I know." He faintly replies.
I lifted up. I shook until I stood up.
He took my bag and we began to move. A few steps further we landed on a rock. The drop was quite astonishing. My fear remained, as we stopped. Still not knowing where my trust was.
My eyes started to water and I began to lose my basic bodily functions. I wanted to sit down again and grip tightly onto the nearest rock and never move.
After taking off my right shoe to drain out the leftover urine he proceeded to tell me it is going to be OK. I gripped him tight and he wrapped his arms around my chest as I kept saying sorry and thank you.
I held his arm as though it was a stress ball.
I never thought I could be so scared.