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ExWeb Interview with Alastair Humphreys: Wild Iceland

Posted: Sep 09, 2010 05:50 pm EDT

After a recent walk across Iceland Alastair Humphreys says to ExWebs Correne Coetzer the country is only three hours by plane from Britain and yet one of the wildest places he has ever been he has cycled 46,000 km around the world.

Alastair and teammate Chris Herwig trekked across various types of terrain and paddled some rivers from Akureyri to the Westman Islands via Hofsjokull glacier.

ExplorersWeb: Tell us about your teammate?

Alastair: Chris Herwig is a travel photographer. I met him when I cycled through Kazakhstan. I stayed with him whilst waiting for an Iranian visa.

ExplorersWeb: When was your expedition? Start and end dates?

Alastair: All of July this year.

ExplorersWeb: For how many days did you plan? How much food did you take?

Alastair: 25 days of food.

ExplorersWeb: How heavy were your back packs?

Alastair: 40kg.

ExplorersWeb: Where were your start and end points? Co-ordinates?

Alastair: Akureyri to the Westman Islands.

ExplorersWeb: Where did your track go?

Alastair: Akureyri to the Westman Islands via Hofsjokull glacier.

ExplorersWeb: Did you travel by road at some stages?

Alastair: The first couple of days.

ExplorersWeb: How did you cross the rivers? Did you cross any rivers by bridge?

Alastair: Some fording, some paddling, a couple of bridges.

ExplorersWeb: What type of terrain did you cross?

Alastair: Green farmland, black rock highland emptiness, volcanic ash, glacier ice. Lots of variety!

ExplorersWeb: How was the weather?

Alastair: Lots of rain. Temps 5 to 15°C.

ExplorersWeb: What were unpleasant/challenging moments?

Alastair: The weather in our lightweight clothes. Capsizing in frightening whitewater deep in a river canyon.

ExplorersWeb: What were your best experiences during the trek?

Alastair: The wilderness, variety of campsites, and a fun companion.

ExplorersWeb: What did you learn from this trek?

Alastair: That a packraft has so much potential for exciting, challenging, unusual journeys.

ExplorersWeb: How are your plans going for Antarctica? What is your planned date? Teammates (Ben Saunders, or is he going solo)? Start point? Return trip?

Alastair: Planning going well for next winter [Antarctic summer] with Ben. Still looking to do the return trip from the coast as planned.

Alastair Humphreys (UK) has cycled around the world (46,000 km in 4 years), sailed across the Atlantic Ocean, canoed and walked in various places and ran the Marathon des Sables.

Chris Herwig is a professional photographer for the past 13 years. Most recently he has been working for the United Nations peacekeeping mission in Liberia, West Africa. He has provided photographs from the remotest regions to many magazines and newspapers, e.g. CNN Traveller and Reuters. Currently he is based in New York.

#Polar #interview

Image by Chris Herwig courtesy Alastair Humphreys

Image by Chris Herwig courtesy Alastair Humphreys