2014 / 2017
Despite being characterised as one of the largest uninhabited regions in Europe South of the Arctic circle, the Icelandic highlands were once traversed by horseback led by only the bravest of men. Their route, and mine, was the lengthy Sprengisandur, an ancient pass that slices through the middle of the desert and connects the North and South coasts. The Sprengisandur route is characterised by a never ending path through a forbiding interior desert, which is famous in Icelandic history. For hundreds of kilometres, the stark plains of rocks, ash and sand starved the horses of fodder and humans of shelter as monstrous winds whipped the landscape. These features gifted the area its name, which is derived from the Icelandic noun ‘sandur’ , which means ‘ash deserts of the centre of the island’.he verb ‘sprengja’ denotes ‘to rise a horse to death;’ or ‘to be on the point of bursting after running for too long’.