Fly to Iceland to kick off the start of the Bouchie Lake Lawnchair Travel series

Joan McNaughton rides an Icelandic horse. Submitted photo
A waterfall in Iceland. The Icelandic landscape is covered in waterfalls, mountains, coastal cliffs, and geothermal hot springs. Joan McNaughton photo
A sunset in Iceland. The Icelandic landscape is covered in waterfalls, mountains, coastal cliffs, and geothermal hot springs. Joan McNaughton photo
A glacier in Iceland. Iceland is home to the second largest glacier in Europe, the Vatnajokull Glacier, as well as several others. Joan McNaughton photo
Coastal cliffs and a black sand beach in Iceland. Black sand comes from basaltic lava that once covered much of the area. Joan McNaughton photo

A tourism powerhouse, Iceland was featured at No. 34 on the New York Times’ 52 places to visit in 2018 list, and West Iceland took the second spot on Lonely Planet’s 2016 Top 10 Regions in their annual Best of Travel series.

It’s also the subject of an upcoming presentation in the Lawnchair Travel Series in Bouchie Lake.

Joan McNaughton, who visited Iceland in September 2018 with her husband and two friends, will be piloting the presentation.

The Lawnchair Travel Series works like a flight, complete with a flight crew comprised of flight attendants, security and people working the gate, as well as snacks at takeoff and “in-flight service.”

The flights are hosted by the Friends of Bouchie-Milburn Society and will take place in a new venue this year, with the tarmac changed to Rocky’s General Store.

“[The travel series] is quite fun,” says McNaughton, who has presented in the series several times before. “It’s very social.”

She says her presentations typically follow her trip through chronologically and show a broad spectrum of places and activities. “It’s not just, ‘oh, here’s me by a waterfall’ — nobody really wants to see that one,” she laughs.

In the past, her presentations have typically focused on the diverse wildlife she’s found on safari in southeast Africa. Her Iceland presentation, however, will focus on the “amazing scenery, fantastic scenery. If you don’t like waterfalls, cliffs, ice fields and all that stuff, you’re going to be quite bored. But we loved it. It’s a beautiful country.”

RELATED: Bouchie Lake is planning fifth year of popular travel presentation series

While McNaughton wasn’t able to travel all around the country — something many visitors do on Ring Road, the highway which circles the country — Iceland made such an impression on her that she will be returning in September 2019 to see what she missed.

She says they spent most of their time in the West Fjords, a remote, northwestern region of the country, and northern Iceland, with a few days in Reykjavik. Altogether, they travelled approximately 3,000 kilometres in two weeks.

Although many of the classic tourist areas can be a “zoo,” with many tourists, she says things like the Golden Circle — a route through Thingvellir National Park, near Reykjavik — and the waterfalls, parks, and sites of Iceland’s south coast, from the Ring Road, are all things you can’t go to Iceland and not see.

She says the country’s landscape is fascinating: “I mean they call it the land of ice and fire. You drive along and there’s just steam coming out of the ground. And here, that would be like ‘fire!’ but oh no, the ground is just doing that … It’s really neat. The ground there is almost alive.”

The country is also covered in large fields of an incredible green moss, which rolls over black lava rock and can take decades to form. The moss is also very fragile, something tourists are discouraged from touching or walking on, lest they cause damage which could take years to fix.

“[The moss] is amazing to see. It’s a whole little ecosystem, and there’s miles of it,” says McNaughton.

People often ask McNaughton, who herself has travelled to approximately 15 different countries, if places are safe to visit.

With Iceland, she says she would confidently tell her friends that it’s a safe space to travel, solo or otherwise. It’s only dangerous, she adds, if people don’t use common sense when they drive.

Roads in Iceland go over mountains (and sometimes through them), and the country even has “F” roads, where rental cars are not allowed to drive, and those that can must be four-wheel drive — and be prepared for a bumpy ride.

As for the food, McNaughton says she never had a bad meal.

McNaughton’s flight is the first of seven, which include Views from the Yellowhead, Vietnam, The Easter Islands, Mount Everest base camp, Sri Lanka (also by McNaughton), and Nicaragua.

McNaughton’s presentation will take place Monday, Feb. 18 at Rocky’s General Store in Bouchie Lake at 7 p.m.

Gates open at 6:30 p.m.

Heather Norman
Community Reporter
Send Heather an email
Like the Quesnel Cariboo Observer on Facebook

Just Posted

Forestry Ink: BC and Canadian pulp industry doing better

Regular columnist Jim Hilton looks at what is happening in the pulp and paper industry

Cottonwood House Historic Site opens with limited service for 2019

Capital upgrades are taking place at the site, but it’s still open to walkers, hikers and picknickers

Quesnel kung fu dojo holds tourney

Three clubs exhibited their skills for family, friends and instructors

West Quesnel’s West Village Community Garden hosting Plant Day May 25

Community members invited to come help plant vegetables and learn about the garden

Kids find friendship, confidence in Quesnel youth choir

The In Song choir performed on Monday, May 13

UPDATE: B.C. pilot killed in Honduras plane crash

The crash happened in the Roatan Islands area, according to officials

‘Teams that win are tight’: B.C. Lions search for chemistry at training camp

The Lions added more than 50 new faces over the off-season, from coaching staff to key players

Rescue crews suspend search for Okanagan kayaker missing for three days

71-year-old Zygmunt Janiewicz was reported missing Friday

B.C. VIEWS: Reality of our plastic recycling routine exposed

Turns out dear old China wasn’t doing such a great job

Carbon dioxide at highest levels for over 2.5 million years, expert warns of 100 years of disruption

CO2 levels rising rapidly, now higher than at any point in humanity’s history

B.C. residential school survivor’s indomitable human spirit centre of school play

Terrace theatre company plans to revive Nisga’a leader Larry Guno’s Bunk #7 next year

B.C. ferry stops to let black bear swim past near Nanaimo

Queen of Oak Bay brakes for wildlife in Nanaimo’s Departure Bay

Mother dead, child in critical condition after carbon monoxide poisoning at Shuswap campground

The woman was found unresponsive insider her tent and the youth was taken via air ambulance to hospital

Canada’s parole officers say correctional system has reached breaking point

About half of Canada’s federal parole officers work inside penitentiaries and correctional institutions

Most Read