In 2015, Grétar Gústavsson and Karl Friðriksson circumnavigated Iceland on a 1963 Massey Ferguson 35X tractor to raise funds for Vinátta (‘Friendship’), Save the Children Iceland’s anti-bullying project. However, at the time, the lifelong friends skipped over the Westfjords. Visír reports that they’ve now been challenged to complete the full journey-by-tractor by circling the peninsula in seven days.
The pair set out from beloved roadtrip rest stop Staðarskáli in Northwest Iceland on Wednesday, July 13 and are set to finish their 950-km [590 mi] voyage in Hvanneyri on Wednesday, July 20. They will be accompanied on their travels by Blær, Vinátta’s purple teddy bear mascot, and all three will be popping in to say hi at Westfjord kindergartens along the way.
‘It’s important to have dreams’
Karl and Grétar have been friends for sixty years. Their lives have taken them down different paths—Grétar is described as a master auto mechanic and farm equipment and vintage car enthusiast, while Karl is the managing director of the Icelandic Center for Future Studies—but their friendship has never faltered. The ’63 Massey Ferguson 35X tractor is symbolic for them because it’s the tractor that captured their imaginations when they were growing up in Fitjardalur, Northwest Iceland. When the first one arrived in the countryside, it was “like a Rolls Royce had driven into the farmyard.”
“Having dreams is important for people young and old,” remarked Grétar. “Sometimes dreams come true in different forms—which might even be better than the original version. The main thing is to work on your dreams and let them guide the course of your life, within reason.”
Donate to the cause
After their 2015 tractor trip, Karl and Grétar further supported Vinátta by publishing the picture book Friends of Ferguson: A Trip Around the Country Against Bullying. All proceeds went directly to the cause. This trip will also support Save the Children Iceland’s anti-bullying project. To contribute, send a text message (within Iceland) with the message “Barnaheill” to 1900 to automatically donate kr. 1,900. You can also make a donation via the page on Save the Children Iceland’s website, here.
Grétar and Karl’s itinerary is as follows:
July 13: Staðarskáli to Hólmavík
July 14: Hólmavík to Hamar
July 15: Hamar to Ögur
July 16: Ögur to Ísafjörður
July 17: Ísafjörður to Bíldudalur
July 18: Bíldudalur to Flókalundur
July 19: Flókalundur to Reykhólar/Hríshóli
July 20: Reykhólar to Hvanneyri