When we arrived in Iceland we were at the tail end of what was basically a two year working holiday, we were conscious of our waning funds, and the fact that we still had a lengthy jaunt around the US planned before heading ‘home’ to Australia. In other words we were travelling on the cheap.
The thing is, there are some things you just shouldn’t skimp on, one of those things is a sleeping bag…in Iceland. We had picked up an old single bag from a thrift store in the UK and figured that it would be sufficient - how wrong we were. We had hired a small camper van and would prepare for sleep each night by donning every item of warm clothing possible, and precariously placing the remainder of our clothes on top of us, before finally draping the thin sleeping bag on the very top. With every slight stir in the night our fragile sleeping cocoon would slide wayward, leaving us exposed to the freezing air until we were able to reestablish the elaborate arrangement of tee shirts, socks and underwear.
Of all the memories I could call upon from Iceland and beyond, this little scene is one of which I am quite fond. It’ll come to me out of the blue while I’m washing-up or driving my car, vivid and new, and I’ll chuckle to myself.
Isn’t it funny that it’s the little aberrations and detours that stick with us, that the stories we share over a nostalgic conversation are often tales of misadventure, or unexpected detours.