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There’s a New Blog in Town

March 2, 2016

When asked, “If you could choose any job, right now, what would it be?” little did three teen girls know that the answer, travel writing, would begin this new blog and adventures beyond our own little gravel road. Let me introduce Anna, Emily and Moriah, our adventurers and the contributors to their new travel blog. They are three 15 year old girls thrust together by love and circumstances that call their living room school and the world their classroom. Each post may be an assignment, but already their eyes have been opened to the fascinating places to visit just beyond their gravel road and even beyond this world. Join them as they explore new places and share their journeys. Find them at teentravelsite.worpress.com

Emily’s first blog post is not only beyond our gravel road, but it is also beyond our world. Her travel blog to an imaginary place takes us to the very center of the earth. Her guide is not only entertaining, but it is filled with travel tips that will make your journey a smooth one. (at least as smooth as a journey to the center of the earth can be) Professor Lindenbrock would have enjoyed his journey more if he had read this travel blog before beginning.

Based on the book, “Journey to the Center of the Earth” By: Jules Verne.

“For all you adventurers out there, young and old, never give up on your dreams, no matter how big, or dangerous they may seem.” Emily Spence

emmy rock

A Journey to the Depths of it All.

I’m going to tell you about my journey to the center of the earth. If this is your desired destination, listen very closely to all the instructions I have to give, because if you don’t, your excursion could end in wasted time and money, or possibly even certain death. Nothing too serious, but the safe side is generally the fun side.

My story begins in Iceland, on the volcano Snafells. This volcano hasn’t been active since its last eruption in 1229, so it is perfectly safe to descend into its cone. The essentials for this journey are: A large supply of food, water, and some form of light. It is absolutely necessary that you purchase a travel pack from “The Duck Hunter’s Grocery,” a two hour drive south-west of the mountain. This pack will include all the provisions, and instruments needed for such an expedition. If you wish to make your own pack, go to: centeroftheearthguide.com. With me on my journey was a kind Icelandic guide (whom spoke no English), myself, and my dear friend’s niece, Alisha.

We ascended the volcano on the 25th of June, due to the fact that the passage’s opening is only visible in the last days of June. The first two days at the peak were cloudy, and the entrance is only visible in sunlight, so we camped at the mouth of the volcano until the 27th. If you happen to be put in this situation by circumstance, note that dried lava on the side of the mountain can be preferable for resting and camping. Finally by the 28th, the sign of Arne Saknussemm (Arne Saknussemm was the first explorer to discover the center of the earth. Upon his first trip, saknussemm left marks and signs along the correct rout, creating a map) was revealed be sunlight, and we could enter into the mouth of the volcano.

How you choose to descend into the volcano is simply your choice, but I might recommend rope ladders, or if you are in good shape, plain rope. This will take patience. But take it from someone with no patience, parachuting into the abyss can result in pain……..very much pain. Note: if you are afraid of heights, (or someone with you is afraid of heights) bring a blind fold. The volcano’s mouth is estimated to be about a mile and a half across, shrinking as it goes down. If you parachute down, it is highly probable that you will be wacked from side to side on the rocky hole.

You will descend 5,000 feet before reaching the bottom; sea level. At the bottom of Snafells is the perfect place to spend your first night. Besides the minor issue of sleeping on solid rock, your first night is sure to be a pleasant one. Utter silence penetrates the darkness as you gaze at a magnificent night sky through a telescope-acting cavern.

Day two, under the crust: we spent the day on foot, exploring caverns and heading down, deeper into the planet. The potential of exportable goods in this area was completely untapped. Crystals of opaque quarts, coal, and limestone, line every cave. Botanists will be pleased to find that over 1,500 different plant specious reside under the crust

If you are the sort who longs for an extraordinary vacation but hates busy tourist destinations, the center of the earth is the perfect place for you. Not only are there no locals, but the tourist flow is almost nonexistent, even in high season. The lack of tourism is just astonishing.

Day five, becoming acclimated: Very experienced travelers understand that different climates have different effects on your body. Going to the center in the earth is a perfect example of this.  Alisha, only being 12, could not physically keep up, so she would often ride on the back of our guide, to which he would comment “gott eg er ao fa greitt”, (check note 1. At the bottom of the artical) (I do so wish I had learned Icelandic). The temperature did not increase too severally, and the pressure did not affect us, as long as we took it slow and easy. The terrain was somewhat difficult and water was becoming scarce. Note: some areas can be quite tight and somewhat confining, so if you are claustrophobic, lose some weight before your journey. You must travel far each day if you plan to reach the center of the earth before the atmosphere begins to take an effect on you.  I recommend that you get into very good shape before you attempt this journey.

We traveled long and hard for three weeks before we truly became restless. Alisha began rebelling and insisting that we go back. Note: probably not a good trip for children. I had hoped that this would be an educational trip for her, but she became board and anxious. I noticed that even our guide was antsy, and somewhat reluctant to move on. Another note: pay your guides per day, otherwise they might give you trouble.

Finally, by the end of July, we began to see signs that we were getting close. A spring replenished our water supply, and a forest of tall mushrooms insured that we would not starve. Note: if you are allergic to mushrooms, this is a literal forest of mushrooms, some stretching up to 30 feet high. Bring your own supply of extra provisions so that you do not starve while your companions are eating mushroom soup.

August 1st: finally we reached the subterranean sea. There are no raft shops in the area, and  if you bring an inflatable raft, your guide is most likely going to throw it off his back exclaiming “heimskur konur sem purfa ao blasa upp bat” (check note 2. at the bottom of the article) when the journey first becomes strenuous. Note: Get a guide you can understand so that you can be sure when he is insulting you. Fortunately, Alisha had been taking wood shop class and was able to instruct our guide on how to make a raft of mushroom stumps. Note: mushroom stumps have the same characteristics as lumber, if the mushroom is large enough.

By August 3rd our raft was safely constructed, and we set off across the sea. If you are the type that enjoys fishing, the subterranean sea is ideal for fishing. I would recommend catch and release, the fish in this sea are not only ugly and eyeless, but taste disgusting. I would liken their taste to that of a fish that has been dead and decaying for thousands of years.

By the 13th of August, we were exhausted. We had been at sea only ten days, but it felt like an eternity. Note: the light in this area is consistent, day and night. This makes it very difficult to sleep. Not only had we not been able to get any sleep, but our food now only consisted of mushrooms, which lack the vitamins you need. I was dreadfully sea sick from the push and pull of the waves on our tiny raft, and often found myself, head flung over the edge of the boat, poisoning the clean water of the earth. Alisha, only being 12, was not an expert raft maker, and therefore we had to always be on our guard of what crack we must patch up with a rag. Water was constantly sloshing over the sides of our “ship”, getting us soaked to the bone. The spray of the water gave an intoxicating smell of salt and putrid fish, which only increased my nauseas state. Note: if you have trouble with sea sickness, take along Dramamine.

By the 25th of August, I was starting to give up hope. Alisha cried twenty-three hours a day (once again this is not a vacation for youngsters) and Mr. Guide sat with his knees to his chest, on the corner of our boat muttering “aldrei aftur, aldrei aftur, aldrei treysta drjalaour American aftur”. (Check note 3. At the bottom of the article) Note: if you fear insanity, this is not the trip for you. I was beginning to worry. To all you travelers who get so set on the destination that you do not enjoy the ride, let this be a lesson to you. We came beneath the crust of the earth in search of the center of it all. Indeed we got there but the destination was three times as horrid as the rest of the trip.

We were sailing along in our usual despair when the wind began to rise and the waves began to throw us to and fro. Our guide jumped to his feet, and Alisha held her whining tongue. The waves pushed and pulled our minuscule raft, like a toy that is fought over between two very selfish children. We flew in rapid circles, as a torrent of hot rain fell from the dense clouds above. Just as I was thinking that we were in the worst possible situation, what should appear before me from the water, but a sea beast? For the sake of any child reading this, I shall not in detail describe the horror this creature displayed, but I shall say that it was ferocious, and we were all in danger. Note: this is not a petting zoo. Keep your hands to yourself. If you do not know how to swim, DO NOT FALL OFF THE BOAT!!! Very important that you remember this. Behold, this was the center of the earth. Now don’t let these things discourage you from journeying to the center of the earth, for really it is a stupendous destination.

I do not wish to prolong this story of our unfortunate encounter with the center of the earth, so I’ll just tell it like it happened. The beast smacked us around a bit, and broke the majority of our raft. Alisha, an attempt to distract him, threw the remainder of our provisions into the sea. When the beast dove for them, we navigated our way out of the storm, and safely to shore (well mostly safely, but that’s another story for another time.)

Once we reached the shore, we followed our map (included in the packet at the Duck Hunter’s Grocery.) through various tunnels, which eventually brought us to an air shaft. The air in this shaft will boost you to the surface, so long as you have some cart like object to sit in on the way up. The momentum of the breeze from this shaft will shoot you all the way to Italy, were you can schedule a flight back home.

Additional notes-

History: The center of the earth has obviously existed since the dawn of time. There are many conspiracies on how the course of time has altered it, some people even believing that time has added layers to the planet. For more information on these go to, thelayersoftime.net. For information on other expeditions to the center of the earth, go to myunclelindebroch.org.

Accommodations: high class travelers will not be at their leisure, but a perfect trip for indulging the inner camper inside all of us. No hotels, motels etc.

Culture/Locals: locals are very few, and those that you find (such as sea beast), keep your distance.

Transportation/Restaurants: None.

If you remember to follow these few simple things, your trip is sure to be a success! Just remember, don’t take children, don’t pet the sea beast, and enjoy your journey to the depths of it all.

 

 

Note 1. Translation: It’s a good thing I’m getting paid.

Note 2. Translation: Stupid woman, bringing a blow up boat.

Note 3. Translation: Never again, never again, never trust crazy American again

 

https://teentravelsite.wordpress.com/2016/03/02/a-journey-to-the-depths-of-it-all/

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