© 2019 by Matt McGee 

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  • Matt McGee

Faroe Islands Closed For Maintenance

Gjógv was recently closed for some much needed maintenance

This past week the Faroe Islands closed 11 popular sites, and allowed no tourists to visit. Yeah, they really did that. What they did allow is volunteers both local and from abroad to come volunteer their time to help with maintenance of these sites. For example, in Gjógv, the trail to one of the popular vantage points is being repaired and adding steps in the steep areas. Traffic from lots of tourists in the steep incline has led to erosion, and these steps should help prevent this in the future. The hiking path out to Trælanípa, also called the hanging lake, to the floating lake) with get some trail maintenance.

Please don't destroy my land, says this sheep in Gjógv

I've heard of lots of "things" being closed, but closing landscape locations for maintenance is a smart move on the part of the Faroese. As the world has become more accessible, and social media sites like Instagram are showing many of the beautiful locations in the world, more and more people are wanting to visit these locations to "get the shot." Even when people respect the landscape and try to do minimal damage, just the increased amount of traffic does irreversible damage to the land. And after what has happened in Iceland as it had blown up in popularity, I fear the same may happen to the Faroe as the world looks to find the next "It" location.

What's really cool about this maintenance and renovation, is that is has be led largely, if not exclusively, by volunteers. Not only are the volunteers Faroese, but they also include people from abroad who just want to help preserve the beautiful landscape. This is impressive to me not only because these people are giving their time to help with the project, but also because I can't imagine a more technically challenging place to do manual labor. Carrying supplies up and down these steep inclines is no joke. honestly, I don't think I'm in good enough shape to do it, and I applaud anyone who pitched in to help.

The hiking trail out to this place, Trælanípa, got some TLC last week

In addition to the closing of these site in the Faroe, I also recently read that Komodo Island in Indonesia will be closed for 2020. This is due to the fact that people have been stealing Komodo dragons and selling them on the black market for as high as $50,000!!! What the actual fuck?!! People seem to be in a race to destroy this planet. I mean, I get it, we all want to see these beautiful locations firsthand, and I guess some of us want their own personal Komodo dragon, but I just don't think that anyone is considering the consequences. At least they don't seem to be. What do you think? How much should we be limited from visiting certain parts of our planet? I believe that educating ourselves about our world is valuable endeavor, but the way things are going, I don't think that this will be in the best interest of the Earth longterm.

Gásadalur will also get some maintenance on its hiking trail