Laufey from Iceland – GR20 Corsica – from Calenzana to Conca – 12 days

Hello Laufey, could you introduce yourself please ?

Hi my name is Laufey (on the left of the picture) and I am from Iceland. I love hiking, trekking tours and mountain climbing. But not the very serious ones like Everest or the high mountains.

Taking photos is my passion I remember taking my first photo when I was eight or nine years old. I am not a professional photographer. When I am walking in a city or in nature then in my mind I am taking photos.

Could you tell us about hiking in Iceland ?

I hike all year around and go on trekking tours in the summertime and they can last up to eight days. I have walked across Iceland from the south-west to the north-east. We walked 810 km in several trips (33 days in total) it took us two and a half years to finish. Only four days of the whole tour we carried everything on our back, tent, sleeping bag, cloths and food. Usually the luggage is transported between places.

I have already started on another trekking tour across Iceland, now from the south-east to the north-west. Last summer we walked 203 km in 8 days. These trips I have made with Útivist travel association. Sometimes I just take off and walk up the next mountain or go somewhere outside of the city alone with my camera or I go on hikes with my hiking group I am a part of, it is on Facebook and is called Vesen og vergangur it is open to all.

I can not suggest any hiking-trails but I will give you these websites to look at : en.fi.is and www.utivist.is/english

Concerning about the GR20, when did you walk ? How did you go to Corsica ? Which way did you walk on the GR20 ? Where did you start and finish ?

We walked the GR20 in September 2015.

We started by flying to Paris from Iceland and from there to Bastia where we stayed overnight the next day we took a train to Calvi and a taxi to Calenzana.

I hiked with my friend Ásta. We walked from the north to south and started our hike from Calenzana and finished in Conca twelve days later.

What was the context for you to want to go hiking on GR20 ? How did you prepare yourself to this target ? How had you heard about GR20 ?

Well, as you probably suspect I love hiking and adventure and I think this hike is an adventure.

The preparation was all the hikes in Iceland the months and years before. Though I wish my condition had been a little bit better I had been taken it a bit slow that year, but I made it to the end. I heard about GR20 from my friend Ásta.

Which material did you bring with you ?

My backpack is an Osprey Ariel 65 and it weight far too much at the beginning. I did not weigh it but I am sure it was about 18 kg. The water bag holds 1.8 liters. I had two changes of clothing, pants, short and long-sleeved t-shirts of fine wool that does not smell after perspiring a lot and it dries quickly.  I had some other things and too much of it I found out when walking the first mountain up to Refuge d´Ortu di u Piobbu.

I was wearing my Scarpa hiking boots. I think it is very important to have good boots that give your ankle a good support. I was carrying my tent 2.9 kg and a sleeping bag 800 gr.

The food I carried was almonds and chocolate, sometimes some bread, sardines, tomato, pate ones and some dry bread.

We usually had breakfast and dinner at the Refuge. Bread, butter and coffee in the morning and the food that was served at each Refuge, stew, pasta or something else.

What are your feedbacks ? Positives and negatives as well.

I am so glad I vent on this hike. It was such a good experience. Even though it was tough  at times walking up the mountains. It is a beautiful trail and I only met nice hikers.

The negative is the breakfast, for a hike like this you need a good breakfast. Healthy carbohydrates, good fat and protein.

If you should do again this hike, what would you change ?

Yes, I would do it again and I would take a lot less clothes and unnecessary thing with me. Though I have carried a heavy backpack on a hike here in Iceland and it was easy. It was not up and down a mountain day after day.

The food, yes I would have to prepare that a little better.

Which advices could you give to people whom are thinking to go for a GR20’s hike ?

You have to be in good condition and prepare you mentally as well. I did read some blog from people that had hiked the trail and it was obvious that they were not all prepared for the trip.

Would you like to suggest something else ?

Be positive and enjoy the experience.

Thank you Laufey for having shared your experience with us !

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