Bernie Theron won the 2014 MCSA Supertramp Award. He has completed his solo trek across Iceland in 27 days. He walked around 550km unsupported without the safety net of a satellite phone or GPS in a landscape dotted by volcanoes.
“After to many restless nights, useless days of planning and even more useless days of pulling out my hair; I stood next to a light house at Hraunhafnartangi, the northernmost point of Iceland! My body was shaking with anticipation and excitement, it could also been the cold artic winds howling around me. I stared north over the ice blue sea and looked south over plains of green with white peaked mountains on the horizon and I thought to myself, “Damn that’s a long way…” I gave a small hysterical laugh and started to do what I came to do, walk!
Day followed day in the greenery of the northern of Iceland, with families of sheep scurrying away from me while thousands of terns* attack me from above. Iceland is renowned for the most beautiful scenery in the world with glaciers and green moss covered peaks littering the ash filled landscape! It was true till you hit the highlands with its brutal mud, choking dust and ice cold winds. The landscape turned into a maze of lava field, mud pits and rocky hills. I spend about seven-much appreciated sunny days in the highlands till it turned bad and ice cold rain followed me for the remainder 13 days. With my orange kitchen gloves, a R200 lightweight poncho and green garbage bags I was able to keep all my gear and most of my body dry…
Around day 18 my body started to slowly give in under my (now) 35kg back pack, lack of real food, sickness setting in and harder days entering the high mountains in the south, with high winds and rain still pounding me. That’s when I started to really enjoy Iceland. My emotions flared when I started to get into the south with the beautiful Landmannalaugar and Thorsmork area.
After 27 days battling everything from blisters to my own thoughts, I stood in the southernmost point of Iceland. I looked back north and I thought to myself “Damn that’s a long way … I want a pizza.”
*Sterna paradisaea – no bird on Iceland is so graceful and yet such a nuisance as the artic tern.”