The Heirloom Lounge
A short story. A sci-fi short story. A kitchen-sink sci-fi short story. You’ve been warned. The flight had been delayed for another hour and my glasses had just been bricked by yet another update. Plus the rim was cracked from when I’d sat on it earlier. July 31, 2014 at 05:30AM
Little fella, in the sun. Lots of image posts at the moment because I’m writing my first year report. Normal service will resume in September. I might even have something to say about my research.
I’m such a bike nut: Saw this in Reykjavik and thought it had so much character. Look at the gouges and scratches on the rims! This thing has been around a bit. I also love the utilitarian colour scheme: sprayed or dipped grey to make it invisible, but take a look and every part on it is perfectly chosen. Such beauty in utility.
'Dragon glass' that I picked up off the trail in Iceland.
My trekking partner Paul took this one. The photo doesn’t do the view justice - it was quite something.
Snowy on the tops.
Wild camp on the way to Landmannalauger.
Langavegur top 10 tips (in no particular order).
- Getting hold of Propane/Butane gas for your stove is not a problem in Iceland. There are lots of camping equipment stores in Reykjavik that sell it, and if you get the bus from Reykjavik to Landmannalauger, the bus stops at a petrol station that sells it.
- There are numerous river crossings (5ish - more if you extend the trip at the beginning). £1 flip-flops are adequate to get you across safely, however, if you can, devise a means of securing them to your feet in fast flowing water. I though about this before arriving in Iceland and took a meter of shock cord with me to fashion something that would go round my ankle to pull the flip-flops between my toes. But I lost the cord and as a result, the flip-flops departed from my feet on the second to last river crossing. I completed the last two crossings bare foot which turned out to be perfectly fine. Flip-flops would have been safer though. On a related note, the number of people I saw fording rivers carrying their boots in their hands was a bit alarming. If you trip and drop them you are unlikely to get them back, especially in some of the faster flowing rivers. You will feel very stupid. Oh, and maybe don’t fully fasten your backpack on (hip-belt/chest strap). You might want to get it off in a hurry if you fall. Lots of people were using walking poles when fording the rivers. This seemed a bit of a faff to me, especially on the rivers in question. But they might be useful in deeper/faster crossings.
- The camp site at Landmannalauger requires that you hammer your tent pegs in since it is basically a compacted stony flood plain. If your tent is a light weight one with lightweight pegs (wire), this could be a problem for you. Take pegs you can bash into the ground with the numerous rocks lying around. Such pegs will serve you well on some of the other campsites too.
- All of the campsites we stayed on doing the Langavegur were around £6.60 per night. A shower costs 500isk which is about £2.80.
- Food on the trail virtually non-existent, and what there is tends to be very expensive, so you’ll need to take your own. Paul Kirtley recently made some great videos and follow up pieces about trail food. My trekking partner and I (inadvertently) followed much of Paul’s advice and ate well for the 9 days we were on the trail.
- At the Landmannalauger camp site I got a bit cold (wind, rain, caught in a hail storm…). Luckily the site has piping hot water (from the hot springs) which, when decanted into a 2litre platypus water bag makes a fantastic hot water bottle. Toasty.
- The washroom at Landmannalauger campsite doubles as a great drying room (geothermal hot springs = copious radiators on all your round). Maybe take a length of cord as a washing line, or better still, one of those clever elastic twisted washing lines. It is worth mentioning that cloths drying facilities are non-existent once on the trail so choose wisely (I might write about this in another piece).
- Our trip was from the 2nd of July to the 17th. It never got dark. If you are camping, I’d strongly suggest taking a cheap eye mask with you. My trekking partner didn’t and complained that the constant day light affected their sleep. I never had a problem. Ear plugs are great too, especially for hostels at the beginning and/or end of your trip.
- This is a bit of a luxury, but I took a seat thing that turns your inflatable sleeping mat into a seat. It was great to be able to sit with my back supported and read in the tent. Could be really useful if you get bad weather and decide to have a day off from walking…
- The hotdogs in Reykjavik are awesome. Try and go for the SS ones, and make sure you ask for you dog with everything on. Also, if you do the Fimmvöròuháls (from Poskork to Skogar), you will be tired and hungry by the end. There is a hotdog van in the car-park at the finish. Just sayin.
- Take lip balm. The wind/rain/sun wants to destroy your lips and nostrils. Vaseline works a treat.
- I took gloves and used them quite a lot. The weather wasn’t great - I think I would have had uncomfortably cold hands without them. My trekking partner certainly said he wished he’d brought his, so I don’t think it was just me.
Is that 10?
What we know about Mars.
One of the dumbest things you were ever taught was to write what you know. Because what you know is usually dull. Remember when you first wanted to be a writer? Eight or 10 years old, reading about thin-lipped heroes flying over mysterious viny jungles toward untold wonders? That’s what you wanted to write about, about what you didn’t know. So. What mysterious time and place don’t we know?
KEN KESEY (via kadrey)
[Book Review] Coding Freedom: The Ethics and Aesthetics of Hacking
E. Gabriella Coleman’s new book Coding Freedom: The Ethics and Aesthetics of Hacking (2012, Princeton University Press) is an ethnography of Free and Open Source Software (F/OSS) hackers working on the Debian Linux Operating System. July 16, 2014 at 11:30AM
Been walking and camping in Iceland for a couple of weeks. It was pretty amazing. I’ll write about how I got on over the next couple of weeks.