It’s mental health week in Laugarvatn!


I am no longer in solitary confinement when I am banished from annoying my Viking. I have a friend/ flatmate… Sam… the physchiatrist (who specialises in schizophrenia and other serious mental health issues) from Melbourne  has moved into the cottage here in Gullkistan, to spend some time in focused isolation to finish writing a novel… I am not sure he was planning on sharing the place with me…. A tall, strapping, handsome chap with a good sense of humour who promises not to use me for any case studies on mental illness. Sam has taken it upon himself to be my personal trainer…. so far he has dragged me daily to the gym, followed by a good steaming at the fancy baths next to the gym- for which we both have season passes to. He has managed to limit my chocolate intake to one Icelandic 3 bar a day (my favourite Icelandic choc liquorice number)… but is having little effect on my wine intake….

sam gullkistan
Sam pulling off Blue Steel….

Our first morning walk was fun, we went hiking along the locals exercise path which runs behind the cottage along the mountain through the forest… (I use the word forest here liberally…. more like scruffy collection of stunted trees). About a foot of snow had fallen which made it entertaining as it evened out the surface so you couldn’t see all the uneven ground, so we walked like a pair of drunkards. The snow was so sparkling and the morning so bright we did find ourselves having a crack at snow angels… the word crack is also appropriate… given I ended up with a good amount of snow down my pants after said effort… and when it is -10°… that’s not ideal.

The videos below show me being very helpful to Sam as he tries to take a nice video of the spectacular sun rise.

Snow angels!
Sam practicing his Hunter S. Thompson look…

Sam and I have been getting along nicely… we had one small mishap this evening… in our quest for the Northern Lights. We drove a little way out of town up the mountain to get away from the town lights to maximise our chance of seeing the lights and the battery of the car went flat! As we were on a narrow look out next to a steep ravine, neither of us were that keen for a rolling start attempt. We had to wait in the cold (-15°) for about 30mins before we could flag down a car!! Any way we made it home happily, and I guess I should mention the lights didn’t appear either…. 🙂

The walking path has a number of signs along the way with some entertaining excercies for the avid hikers to engage in….



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