Thursday, 10 May 2012
I'm usually pretty hopeless at tackling memes. I'm always delighted to be tagged but then I procrastinate at length by which time the momentum has passed. So when Liz from The Mum Blog started a new travel based meme and tagged me, I gave myself a good talking to, put it on my 'to do' list and am now about to put a big fat tick next to it.
My greatest journey has to be our trip to Iceland. It was the inspiration for this blog and was a trip that took me so far out of my comfort zone that at times I howled to be transported to a quiet sunny beach where I could wear flip-flops and a bikini rather than waterproof trousers and a thermal vest. Up until then I had never been on an adventure holiday. I don't 'do' cold as a rule. I certainly don't do activities. So why I paid Discover the World good money for a two-week family adventure fly-drive I will never know.
They broke us in gently with a dip in the bubbling hot springs of the Blue Lagoon. I couldn't even get that right, getting too much salt scrub in my hair so I looked like Wurzel Gummidge attached to a Van der Graaf generator.
On the second day they introduced our first activity which was an afternoon of horse-riding, straddling Iceland's famous 'volcano' horses. It was pouring with rain, we were dressed as the Tango family and we made the mistake of tucking trousers into boots so all the water poured into our socks. Dougie's nether regions took days to recover.
One way to scare a woman witless is to allow her to ride solo across a glacier on a snow-mobile: they'd obviously not seen how I drive. With warnings to avoid the yellow poles as we would be in danger of falling down crevasses, I took up last position in the pack, whimpering as I watched my 11 year old son, on the back of his dad's beast of a machine, roaring into the distance.
The punishment continued with an unexpected white-water rafting trip on a glacial river. I say unexpected as the booking had been for a leisurely trip on Class 1 river, suitable for families. They didn't have enough people for that so we were bumped onto the "adventurous" Class 3 session. I'm not a good swimmer so genuinely believed I would die. I didn't and, though I'm loathe to admit it, the adrenalin rush was so great I started...just a teeny bit....to enjoy myself.
We had a few days off to appreciate the stunning scenery of Iceland before they despatched us in a boat on the bleak waters of the Arctic Ocean to look for whales. Whales? All I saw were the contents of my stomach as I heaved over the side. Three hours of abject misery.
One more treat: a hike on a glacier. Quite liked this, truth be told. Natty boots, walking sticks, good-looking guide. It came a close second to the Penis Museum in terms of enjoyment.
It was only two weeks, there was only one road around the island to drive on (though we did manage to go the wrong way on one occasion) and it was a trip designed for families but it was still the most exciting fortnight I had ever had. We saw hot springs, geysers, waterfalls, ate a lot of fish and extortionately priced wine, we walked, talked, took photos and laughed...a lot. Best family holiday ever.
Ok, I want to tag a few others to find out about their greatest journey. Over to you.
A Bavarian Sojourn
Very Bored in Catalunya