Adventurer of the Week: Daniel and Amanda Walk and Climb the Ice

08. December 2016 —
Amanda & Daniel on Sólheimajökull Glacier

This week's instalment of our "Adventurer of the Week" series tells the story of Daniel and Amanda, two intrepid cavaliers from La Viva Vida Travel with big plans coming to Iceland without really knowing what they were getting themselves in for. They told us all about how they conquered their fears and took a million-too-many photo stops on their journey around Iceland. They glacier walked and ice climbed with us out in southeast Iceland and had a great time. Here they are, in their own words.  

What motivated you to visit Iceland?

Honestly, Iceland wasn’t in our original travel plans. But then we saw some awesome flight deals from the USA, and decided to cut short some of our time there and spend it in Iceland for the landscape and incredible photo opportunities. It’s such a picturesque country and so much more beautiful than any photo could ever portray!

How long was your stay? Did you travel solo or with a group?

We spent 10 days in Iceland and hired a camper van to travel around the entire country via the Ring Road. We made a million stops along the way because of all the beautiful sights: you kinda just want to photograph everything! It was just the two of us too, so there was a lot of bonding time. 

We are adventurers and love a good challenge so figured we’d go for something exhilarating like ice climbing.

Amanda & Daniel

Which tour did you take and why did you choose it?

We opted for the Glacier Walk and Ice Climbing Tour. We knew we wanted to do something exciting in the Land of Fire and Ice and we figured that a glacier walk just wasn’t enough. We saw some photos on the Icelandic Mountain Guides website and just thought ‘YES!’ We are adventurers, and love a good challenge so figured we’d go for something exhilarating like ice climbing. 

We love anything and everything involving adrenalin, and what better way to get a rush than to climb up the side of a glacier! Svínafellsjökull looked perfect, less busy than Sólheimajökull and even had ice caves. Unfortunately for us, we missed the ice caves due to bad weather; guess we’ll just have to come back and do it again!

What is something that you learned about Iceland that surprised you?

Daniel: Iceland’s honour system. The Icelandic people are clearly very honest, honourable people because a lot of places such as toilets relied on people paying money into a tin. It’s so refreshing to be around such a trusting community of people. Also, that there pretty much no police around (which shows how safe the country is). I think we saw 2 police cars during the entire trip. 

Amanda: I was surprised by how good all the food is, EVERYWHERE. I mean, even the truck-stop restaurants connected to petrol stations had delicious food! We had the most amazing buffet selection and lamb shanks at a random tiny pit stop café near Skaftafell. We didn’t expect anything of it and were blown away! We didn’t have a single bad meal there!

Our Guide Flo Handling Rope Safety

Our guide Flo was a complete pro so I knew we were in good hands.

Amanda & Daniel

If you had more time in Iceland, what else would you like to see and do?

We’re definitely coming back and spending waaaay longer. We would love to explore the central Highlands and Westfjords (didn’t see any of either unfortunately) and spend more time in the Eastfjords. We lost 2 days because of the worst rain in Iceland in 15 years which changed our plans a lot. Next time, we’re coming here for at least 3 weeks! We’d also love to come back in summer to do some more hiking. 

What tips do you have for people who want to visit Iceland?

  • Give yourself way more time than you expect: we’re kicking ourselves for not staying longer and probably could have squeezed in an extra 2 or 3 days. So if you can, do it! 
  • Plan your trip to really make the most of it – especially if you have less than 2 weeks. There are so many amazing things to see that a 2-hour drive can actually take you all day with all of the stops. In saying that, you’ll need to be flexible because the weather can take a turn any minute. Make sure you’re checking the weather, and change plans if you need to. 
  • If you’re hiring a car, make sure you have a pin number for your credit card for the self-service petrol stations! 
Ice Climbing in Sólheimajökull

What adventure are you off to next? What is your next dream adventure? 

We are heading from an Icelandic Road Trip to a USA Road Trip. From 9 days on the road to 40 days! Iceland was good practise so now we’re off to see some cities and National Parks in California, Nevada, Utah and Arizona. After that we’re off to Japan, South East Asia and then another road trip in Australia. We’re hoping for another big trip through Europe in 2018 and most likely starting with Iceland again!

Sólheimajökull with a Rainbow

Want to be our next Adventurer of the Week?

Daniel and Amanda's adventure  is only one of the many features that make for an unforgettable experience. Book your tour and join us for an excursion that is guaranteed to make memories that last a lifetime.  

Daniel and Amanda are Travel Bloggers, and they do some great stories form all over the world. You can keep up with their adventures around the world at La Viva Vida Travel 

Have you been on a tour with us in Iceland and would like to be featured as an “Adventurer of the Week”? Feel free to email Jewells at [email protected].

About the Author

Joseph content writer for Icelandic Mountain Guides

Joseph Mattos-Hall

Hailing from London and born into a British/Brazilian/Italian household, Joseph came to Iceland originally to complete a master’s degree in Environment and Natural Resources from the University of Iceland: the rest is history.

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