4 weeks of much harder labour than I am used to these days and my fingerprint recognition thingy on my iPhone does not recognise me. My hands are torn to shreds, my knees creak, but the park is, I think, a bit better off for all of my and the team’s efforts.
I’ve really enjoyed this part of my trip, met some lovely people, made some good friends and learned a fair bit too.
Being at Skaftafell has been a privilege, being up close and personal with a glacier, seeing the evidence of its power in every bit of the landscape and seeing the impact of man on the landscape, both in the past through farming and now through tourism and of course global warming is both interesting and alarming.
The Virkisjökull glacier, which flows from the highest mountain in Iceland — the Öraefajökull ice cap in 1996 and 2009. In the last 15 years it is estimated that almost 500 m of horizontal recession and 50m of vertical thinning has taken place at this glacier. To put this in perspective, the glacier has only retreated around 1km and thinned about 50m in the previous 100 years combined.
(From British Geological Survey, link below)
More information on the glacial retreat in Iceland: