Trekking on horseback to Iceland’s Smoky Valley, Reykjadalur

Now, I have been horseback riding several times, in four different countries, and I can say, without hesitation, that I have disliked every moment. But, I must admit that, in some cases, the best way to experience a particular spot or journey, is upon the uncomfortable spine of a large and surly beast.

One of those spots is Reykjadalur, Iceland’s Smoky Valley, near Reykjavik, a verdant swath crisscrossed with hots-springs and ringed by ridges of black rock. Sure, it can be reached by bus or car, followed by a short and easy hike, but why do that when you can clamber onto an Icelandic pony so the creature can make its way over the lip of an ancient volcanic crater, its hooves clomping just inches from crumbling edges and a ten story drop? Fun!

Honestly, it was a pretty great trek and, despite my hatred of horseback riding in general, I can only recommend it. In fact, I wrote more eloquently about it for a freelance piece, which you can read here.

That’s the thing: sometimes you just gotta accept that there are better ways to experience a certain place, so you gotta swallow your dislike, distrust or fear and go with it! So, yeah, I know I’ll surely find myself perched atop a saddle again.