Shot for the Day (01 December 2016)

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A sky full of clouds.

After crossing Europe on my bicycle in 2009, I took the Hurtigruten ferry from Honningsvåg (and the North Cape) to Tromsø.  I was only on the ferry for a day but the landscape in mid summer was stunning.  As we were north of the Arctic Circle, we did not lose the light.  The shot above was take somewhere in the archipelago around 10pm.

I aim to return in the winter, when the landscape is covered in snow and under the Aurora Borealis.

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Shot for the Day (2 October 2016)

Sunset in Reykjavik

Last couple of shots from Iceland.  On the day I finally completed my circumnavigation of the island on my trusty cycle, I went for a wonder around the shoreline of Reykjavik.  I was treated to the most glorious light across the bay.  The yellow light house a beacon at twilight just as it was at night.

Prior to arriving in the capital, I had camped on the shoreline of Jökulsárlón.  This image was taken close to midnight.  As Iceland is just south of the Arctic Circle, it has little darkness in the summer.  However, even though it was meant to be the hottest time of the year, it was chilly, with temperatures still very much in single figures that evening.

Ice sculptures at midnight

Shot for the Day (27 September 2016)

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I have visited Iceland a few times.  This was from my most recent trip there, when I cycled round the island.  This was one of the rare days when it did not rain.  I was around 300km east of Reykjavik when I took this shot.  The wind was with me that day and I covered over 100 miles.

This next shot was a couple of days out of Egilsstaðir, close to Hoffell if I recall correctly.  Just a mile or two away from the road where I was cycling, was this the view I was treated to, of a glacier positioned on the edge of Vatnajökull National Park.

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Shot for the Day (02 January 2016)

Pilau Ubin rain

Yesterday, we took a family outing to an island off the north eastern coast of Singapore called Pilau Ubin.  It feels more akin to neighbouring Malaysia than the ultra-modern Singapore and as such, has a certain charm that is lost in this country’s modernity.

Unfortunately for us, being in the midst of the rainy season, the heavens opened as we were en route to the island from Changi.  The shot above was from the pier we were deposited on at Pilau Ubin.  Our boat was reversing out into the emerald green bay as the rain lashed the landscape.

Pilau Ubin after the storm

After a very wet cycle ride around the island, we caught a boat back to the mainland in the early evening  The rain had finally stopped and we were afforded a dramatic view of Pilau Ubin to the north, as the heavy rain clouds circled the seascape, in preparation for another storm.

All shots were taken on my Nokia 1020, which did a pretty decent job.  However, I will definitely return on a less inclement day and take my camera kit as the views on the island are very contrasting to mainland Singapore.

Day 10: Berufjordor to Hofn

Today we were heading for Hofn which was 130km away.  It was a long days ride especially after the previous one. We clung to the coastline. We cycled around beautiful fjords. It was still miserable weather and rained the whole day again. Body temperatures plummeted. But very stunning scenery. We couldn’t see in front of you. Passed shingle banks along the cliffs above and below all the time knowing that if it slips, the road would go from beneath you. Lovely seascapes but lots of gravel so hardcore cycling.

Stopped for lunch and whipped up a warm drink which made a big difference.  No drama throughout the rest of today’s ride  but spectacular scenery.

Arrived at Hofn 9pm. Went to the supermarket and bought high carb food. Crossed road to campsite and we were soaked to the skin. They had one cabin left so we took it and dried out. Could hear the rain hard on the roof the whole night. Went to bed trying to remember how it felt to cycle in the sunshine.

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Day 3: Budir to Stykkisholmur

Tonight we blog from Stykkisholmur after a tough but rewarding day.

We have made it around the end of the island having cycled through a massive volcanic region. The weather has frankly been miserable for most of the day but the sun broke though late afternoon and actually turned out to be absolutely gorgeous.  We have been cycling mostly along the coast which is a tough terrain to deal with but very rewarding.

Fish is on the menu again tonight as we are now sitting in the beautiful fishing town  of Stykkisholmur  awaiting our supper. More detail to follow tomorrow!

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Day 2: Borgarnes to Budir

At 4am we were woken up by the unmistakable  sound of torrential rain pelting down on the canvas. Because of Iceland’s location, so close to the North Pole, you will have heard that the daylight hardly ever subsides so eye-guards are vital. Waking up to the sound of the battering rain wearing eye-guards is quite disorienting and we had no idea of the time. Tentatively we pulled up our masks hoping that it was not 9am and were relieved to learn that it was only 4 in the morning. So, eye masks back down and we were able to snooze away until 7am.

When we awoke for the second time this morning we got up and dried out the tents before heading out to look for breakfast. This is where we happened upon a unique Icelandic character who is a puppeteer by trade and now also runs a great cafe with his wife.  We had a fantastic breakfast and reviewed our maps taking on local advice from the puppeteer.

We cycled North West to the Snaefellsnes peninsula which had also been highly recommended by our first host. To get there took us 4 hours and battling the continuing headwinds meant we covered just 40km. In the afternoon Angelique had to pull up as she was concerned that she had injured her leg. We flagged down a passing truck and she managed to blag a lift to our destination for the day. I waved her off and cycled on, completing another 75km alone.

Tonight we reside in Budir close to Snaefellsjokull. Our prettiest location so far. We are in a small hotel which Angelique managed to get a great deal at and have a view of the glacier we had been heading for. Angelique is fine and should be back on the road first thing. Off to relax now!

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Day 1: Reykjavik to Borgarnes

We awoke to a beautiful day and set off north around the harbour towards Borgarnes which provided us with our first real experience of cycling in Iceland and along a 69km stretch. We had heard the Iceland was renound for it’s head-winds. The rumours were not wrong. The temperature was a very pleasant 25 degrees but the wind was incredible. The last part of the days trip had us heading along a dead straight road where we could see the last 10 miles ahead of us. Cycling in a straight line into the winds was almost debilitating so we were relieved to reach our destination.

We found a campsite and having set up our tents, headed off in to the local town to search for dinner. The food in Iceland can be challenging, fish is ‘popular’ but by now we were craving the green stuff. We were thrilled to find an awesome restaurant which served up the most fulfilling salads. Not something we thought we would ever appreciate quite so much but we went to bed full of fresh vegetables and utterly exhausted.

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Bit of a mad dash

Not a great deal to report on the cycling front. We suffered a bit of a set back when Angelique’s luggage did not turn up. The airline were fairly helpful and able to give us a budget to replace the vital cycling kit.

We thought that this would be a simple task but luck was not with us as shopping for cycling gear in Iceland is a bit of a struggle. After dashing around Reykjavik Angelique was happy to settle for some waterproof bags which we were ingeniously able to fashion in to panniers for her bike. That evening was spent putting the bikes together and consulting the maps with our kind host lady Bára ( www.270mos) who advised us to head north towards a spectacular glacier. We got our heads down for the night desperate to get cycling tomorrow.

Please support Kids First Trust by sponsoring Julien on his Just Giving Page

Events Team
Kids First Trust

020 7841 8955
events@kidsfirsttrust.org