Into The Wild

IMG_20160616_142609087_HDR_2288x1716_1213x909_704x527IMG_20160619_140116394_2496x1872_1248x936

“Simon, I’ve got hold of a hiking book with all routes for the Faroe Islands. Can you take a look and let me know if there is any of them you specifically want to do during our visit..?”

I can only guess that the above comment has the same effect on me as it would on a chocolate addict being led into a candy store and being told, “You can have any bar of chocolate but you can only have one… which would you like?”

In such a case you kick the ingredient section into touch, regardless of allergies, and just head for the biggest bar!

“Found it!” was the reply after simply looking at the index… Yup, the biggest will do fine. 43km from the northernmost point of the island of Suduroy, Sandvik (give or take a hundred yards), to its southernmost point, Akraberg. “Let’s wild camp,” I added. Of course walking the route ‘book’ style means taking a day bag, perhaps a flask of coffee and a sandwich and nailing it in the 15-16 hours of walking time as suggested, in a day.

‘Camping’, however, requires a few extra items: a tent, sleeping equipment, food, the means to heat food, water, provision for first aid, clothes, maps, overnight bags, etc etc.

Simon knows best *ahem*, after all 43km is only twice the return distance between Dawlish and Shaldon around where I live in the UK plus about 3km… so we should have been able to nail it with ease in around 7 hours…

I guess I should halt for a moment and mention my lovely partner and hiking buddy Jennifer Lyon, as she is a fell runner and unafraid of a challenge. My point being that I guess I will never know whether or not she knew (or hoped!) in advance of handing me ‘that’ hiking book, which route I would choose. I am guessing however that she has never done a fell run with between 17-20kg of equipment on her back, let alone a distance as long as 43km. But, giving nothing away other than an eye roll at my choice, it gave me that ‘first bite of the chocolate bar’ feeling that we were on the same page, so to speak. Ah, but there is one other thing I should mention briefly whilst setting the scene. My Dawlish to Shaldon round trip back in the UK consists of anything BUT going Into The Wild; it’s a flat sea wall from start to finish! There’s a nice cafe called ‘The Clipper’ at the half way point where one can sit back, enjoy a wonderfully whisked up cafe latte whilst soaking up the sunny views of the Teign estuary before returning home. Equipment-wise I generally take nothing but my mobile phone, and that’s just to capture any unexpected nature shots on the way! On the other hand, for those who aren’t familiar, the Faroe Islands are located between northern Scotland, Norway and Iceland. They’re at the mercy of the full force of the North Atlantic weather systems, and in June it never goes dark… The islands are also home to many, many mountains which when climbed from sea level (as most are) involve a height gain akin to climbing England’s highest mountain, Scafell Pike… But, all that aside, hand on heart I can say it seemed like a good idea at the time!

So, to the adventure…

IMG_20160615_221826568_2288x1716_1281x961_743x557

Girl and Boy, both carrying 17-20kg on their backs and full carry-on luggage by their sides, fly from Bergen to the Faroe Islands. After a 7km ‘practice’ hike straight from the airport to the luxury of a proper bed – tired, ermmm, exhausted actually, but nonetheless still undeterred – have a ‘traditional’ night’s sleep before heading back to the left luggage area of the airport the following morning to drop off as much luggage as possible! It simply wasn’t feasible to take the additional 10kg or so of hand luggage up those mountains with us. We head off on a bus to the capital Torshavn where we find a quaint town with some extremely helpful people. We find the ferry terminal, get times for ferries to Tvoroyri (on Sudoroy, our hiking destination) and head off for our ‘last pre-walk supper’. On the way to the Western-style fast food restaurant we collect an OS-style map and whilst waiting for the ferry we eat and pore over our destination.

Now, I am not a nervous kind of guy, but there’s a look that girls give guys sometimes that suggests they may not be entirely happy with said guy’s forward planning (you know what I mean, guys… right?).

Jen has now had a good look at the map. Nervous quiet follows… an odd smile… a ‘Simon, you haven’t a clue what you’ve signed us up for… now we’re in, don’t mess it up or else!’ type of look!

I guess it was about halfway through our burger that ‘the’ look came and, I confess, other than looking at the index page several days earlier, the actual content of the hike hadn’t even crossed my mind until we entered the premises for lunch…

So, I joined in and looked at the map. Guys, the burger was great! Fries were well cooked, the sauces on offer were lovely and by Jove it filled a gap. I’m fairly sure the food was cooked well enough but I couldn’t help but feel a little nauseous. You see, on my maps of Dawlish and its surrounding area there are pretty much no contours to speak of i.e. the little orange lines that let you know how steep and fast the landscape changes. The closer together the lines, the steeper the incline/decline… Now I was looking at my Faroe map, and my eyes were seeing nothing but orange…

IMG_20160617_161822252_1536x1152_768x576_576x432

On a happier note, the ferry was on time and the journey was most scenic and beautiful. The trip – essentially a two-hour cruise, paid only in one direction even though most folks go both ways – cost us around ten pounds each, possibly the biggest bargain of the trip so far. Beyond that… Well, it is getting late so I’m afraid you’ll just have to wait to hear about what happened on our trip Into The Wild.

IMG_20160619_183211_1773x2566_1170x1694

One thing I can assure you all of is that it was anything but plain sailing!

Come back soon and read how it all turned out…

This post was edited/censored by the lovely Jennifer Lyon whose travel blog can be found by clicking here.

Simon Duringer is an award-winning blogger, interviewer and author. His own books can be found on Amazon too by clicking any of the following icons…


2 thoughts on “Into The Wild

  1. Gordon Brice

    Oops! Looking forward to reading the next part of your blog, Simon. Not sure if you have bitten off more than you can chew, but the word “masochist” springs to mind……LOL! I wonder if your hiking partner was thinking the same thing?

  2. Simon Post author

    I think it may well have sprung to mind for Jen but she is a tough gal Gordon and I doubt has ever let a challenge pass her by unattended!

Leave a Reply