At 65° North, 1215 metres, and 83 years old – meet the amazing Gwen Gallagher

At 65° North, 1215 metres, and 83 years old – meet the amazing Gwen Gallagher

Gwen Gallagher is a fantastic advert for the benefits of keeping fit and active. At the age of 83, she joined our Icelandic Explorer tour and did a top grade walk to the summit of Sulur Mountain, almost in the Arctic Circle – leaving some younger members of the group trailing behind.  

I’ve been active and sporty all my life; as I got older, it never occurred to me not to carry on cycling, playing tennis and badminton, and walking with my club – and I’m very lucky, as I’ve never really been ill. So the prospect of hiking round Iceland didn’t daunt me – after all, the previous year I had climbed 3000 metres to the Tiger’s Nest monastery in Bhutan!

I thought Iceland was a wonderful place, with the most amazing wild landscapes that brought you so close to nature. To see such raw and inspiring scenery, the wild flowers and birdlife, all unspoilt and without other people was special indeed. The walks were all really good and varied. I particularly enjoyed the lake walk, which took us to a wild, lovely place – we all had to help each other crossing a river at one point, which only added to the enjoyment.

Crossing the steep snowfield on the way to Sulur Mountain was admittedly a bit arduous, but well worth the challenge. You see so many amazing sights in Iceland, such as the geysers, mud pools and waterfalls, and can experience the most unusual things, like bathing in a hot river!

Our hotels were excelle nt, with helpful and friendly staff, and the fish was delicious – it makes you realise what poor quality our fish in the UK is by comparison. We were also fortunate with the warmer than expected weather. And we had an excellent tour leader in Mike Duxbury. This was my first holiday with Ramblers Worldwide Holidays, and I was very impressed by the meticulous arrangements – a lot of thought and research was evident. It was a very special holiday. Where next, I wonder?