In August 2018 I celebrated the 18-month milestone since Wilderness Coffee & Natural High became an actual blog. It started off with a Facebook page in 2017, then continued on WordPress.com, and finally on my own website @ Wilderness Coffee & Natural High. I have also published some articles on LinkedIn. In this overview I will share some of the highlights and most popular stories.
Epic places, wilderness & nature
I created this blog because I love writing stories. Especially about beautiful places that trigger a natural high – a blissful state of mind that comes from immersing yourself into nature. And because I have an inner drive to write & explore. It’s something that already manifested itself in childhood, when you’re naturally drawn to the things you like to do most.
So I thought the 18-month anniversary was a good moment for an overview of the most popular stories thus far, across all pages and social media outlets. The Iceland stories and Vestmannaeyjar walking tracks continue to be some of the best read articles. Most notably the one to Heimaklettur, the Home Rock of Vestmannaeyjar.
But there’s more to explore in the ‘old archives’… 😉
Stories around the world
This handy interactive map shows where in the world these stories are. You can click on the icons, and zoom in for more details of the location itself.
The first blog posts
Some stories have existed in one form or another (long) before I conceived Wilderness Coffee & Natural High as a blog. Even way back when on MySpace, when it was still a social media platform in 2006.
I published my first blog articles as Notes (*) on the Facebook page. There was also a series of Nature Pic themes; pictures of epic nature with short stories. Some of these attracted quite a lot of views and a number of shares, in the first couple of months alone. This was still before the post reach of Facebook pages was drastically cut down. Unfortunately, that kind of exposure on Facebook is now almost unheard of (unless you pay to ‘promote’ your posts)… I published most Facebook Notes and LinkedIn articles around the same time. Yet some were read significantly more on one platform compared to the other.
Mountains, volcanoes and blissful islands
In the meantime I updated all the Nature Pic articles, and added more details and pictures to them here on the website. The other stories are updated on a regular basis as well. You’ll often find extra information and practical stuff, or new fancy features like the handy interactive map above. Be sure to check back in. 😉
Most popular stories across all pages
So, what are the best read stories so far? Below is an overview with a short summary of each article. If you want to know more, just click on the link in the title or on the picture to read the full & updated story.
Facebook Notes (*)
The most popular story on Facebook is the one about the Vierdaagse of Nijmegen, closely followed by the Opal fields of Lightning Ridge.
Vierdaagse of Nijmegen – Four days of long-distance trials & tribulations
The epic trial & tribulation that is the Vierdaagse of Nijmegen. This long distance walk is internationally known as the Walk of the World. Four days of walking 40 kilometers per day. Why do people even want to do this? It’s hard to explain, or even understand, if you haven’t experienced it for yourself. As you crawl along the Via Gladiola on the final stretch of the last day, the euphoria that comes over you causes a natural high that may well turn into a recurring virus. You get itchy feet, and you’ll want to do it again. The Vierdaagse virus is real.
The opal fields of Lightning Ridge – The mesmerizing draw of luminous stone
Opal fever is real. It will draw you in and take hold of you if you venture into the opal fields of Lightning Ridge and The Grawin. The only place in the world where the elusive black opal is found. It’s like northern lights and a volcanic eruption simultaneously frozen into iridescent stone, forged from the ancient depths of Gondwana. And it’s difficult not to get enchanted by its beauty.
The story about experiencing a Solar eclipse clearly is the most popular on LinkedIn, in spite of it being one of the first articles I published. The stories about Mount Taranaki and the Northern lights did very well on both LinkedIn and Facebook Notes.
Solar eclipse – A mind-blowing experience
Nothing can prepare you for what it’s like to see a total solar eclipse in all its mind-blowing glory. It’s one of the most overwhelming natural phenomena I’ve ever witnessed. It leaves you in total awe, wanting to see more. Wanting to see another one. It is as if you’re staring directly into the vortex of the universe. And yes, eclipses are highly addictive too. Read about chasing the fascinating solar eclipse in this story. And find out when the next one is!
Ode to the mountains – The magic of Mount Taranaki
Mount Taranaki looms majestically over New Plymouth, on its own peninsula on the west coast of New Zealand’s North Island. The mythical mountain is obscured from view most days of the year, shrouded by its low-hanging clouds. But now it stood there, clearly visible and beckoning in all its glory. I literally skidded to a halt when I saw it, and changed my direction there & then. It was calling me and I had to go. Mount Taranaki draws you in to explore its lofty top and many hiking tracks.
Northern lights – Energy from out of space pouring in
There are few natural phenomena as awe-inspiring as the magical northern lights. When the skies open up and flares of charged particles & energy from out of space come pouring in, it creates a display of light so magnificient it takes your breath away. Massive green curtains dropping down with purple tips on their edges, shifting and changing in all directions. It is literally out of this world. The northern lights will completely overwhelm you, to an extend where you can only utter sounds of sheer admiration, with a fading voice due to being blown away. But when can you see northern lights? Read about hunting the elusive Aurora Borealis in Iceland in this story.
NaturePic stories on Facebook
These are the seven most liked & shared posts from the NaturePic series. The spectacular and the remote ones! 😉
Vestmannaeyjar – A force of nature that can’t be denied
When I saw the volcanic island shapes of Vestmannaeyjar shimmering on the horizon, I felt immediately drawn to them. It was like a force of nature that couldn’t be denied. I just had to go there. Sailing into Heimaey harbour, through a narrow opening surrounded by a jumbled chain of steep cliffs and a huge field of lava flows, is mind-blowing. Vestmannaeyjar – also known as the Westman Islands – boasts the youngest volcanic island and the newest volcano in Iceland.
Eyjafjallajökull – The one that rules them all
Eyjafjallajökull, the unpronounceable one, silently looming in the background. Nobody knew its name, or could even pronounce it. Until that day in April 2010, when it literally erupted into world fame, and stopped the whole of Europe in their tracks. Eyjafjallajökull rules them all. This beautiful volcano is surrounded by hiking tracks in Thórsmörk around the back and Fimmvörðuháls over the top.
Mount Etna – Vigorously steaming from all its craters
Mount Etna is Europe’s most active volcano, and it’s in a constant state of excitement. There’s always something going on around the slopes of Etna. Often it’s just quietly steaming away, and you can do many beautiful hikes in the summit area. But when it erupts it can cough up large rivers of lava, fissure fountains, strombolian fireworks, fuming ash clouds and everything inbetween from its various craters.
Hawaii – Volcanic fields of fire
The enigmatic Big Island of Hawaii, where flows of lava tumble down its rocky shores into the sea. I walked across the fields of fire from Kalapana to the Kilauea lava flows and stood utterly mesmerized looking upon the creation process of Earth itself. It is one of the most mindblowing things one could hope to see.
Haleakala – The House of the Rising Sun
Haleakala is the House of the Rising Sun – literally. The sunrise on this volcano on Maui is of such an epic magnitude that it draws people to get up at ridiculous o’ clock to drive up its endless hairpin roads to the top, in order to gawk over the ethereal beauty of its caldera when the sun slowly lights up and paints it in otherworldly colours. You can hike all the way to Halemau’u on the other side of this vast caldera, and explore its countless craters and cinder cones.
El Hierro – A volcanic hotspot underneath the sea
El Hierro, the most remote and authentic of the Canary Islands, with volcanic activity still bubbling underneath the sea. Once considered as the edge of the known world, El Hierro consists mostly of huge cliffs rising straight up from the sea to over 1000 metres high, and an enormous crescent shaped valley. It’s absolutely spectacular.
The Hazards – Scrambling up to prehistorical views
At just over 450 metres, Mount Amos isn’t really that high, but its inclination gets rather steep & challenging. You’ll have to scramble your way up (and down again!) over huge granite boulders to reach the top of this peak in The Hazards mountain range. Once you’ve braved the hardcore scrambling bit, you will be rewarded with awe-inspiring views over Wineglass Bay and the Freycinet Peninsula on the east coast of Tasmania.
But the winner is…
The best read story by a long run still remains Vestmannaeyjar – Þar sem hjartað slær. Don’t be confused by the title 😉 – it’s written in English. This is the story about the island that captivated me at first sight. I saw its mysterious shapes shimmering on the horizon, and it was as if there’s an unexplained energy emanating out of it. I just had to go there. The landscape is out of this world – a huge density of spectacular features all compressed into one small island.
The story that triggered my blog
Vestmannaeyjar is also home of the fantastic Þjóðhátíð festival in August. ‘Þar sem hjartað slær’ is the ultimate Þjóðhátíð song that captures the atmosphere of the Iceland National Festival like no other. And yes, I will be standing in that row of flames again, and wield a fiery torch like I did the previous years. GeWELDIG!
This is the story that finally triggered me into setting up my own blog. Something that had been in the back of my mind for ages, but ‘never got around doing’ before. I first posted it as a Note on my own Facebook page in January 2017, and it has been shared many times since.
(c) Nancy Claus – Wilderness Coffee & Natural High
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© All photo’s and content on this blog are my own, and subject to copyright (unless credited otherwise). Please contact me if you would like to use a picture or quote a piece of text from one of my articles. You’re welcome to share a link to my blog articles and pictures on social media, with a tag or mention to Wilderness Coffee & Natural High.
(*) Facebook Notes are no longer available
Since 31 October 2020 the Notes feature is no longer available on Facebook Pages or personal profiles. I think that’s a pity, because it was a nice tool for sharing longer stories. The options to add pictures and subheadings in a proper layout made it easier to read than the regular status updates. Facebook Notes were a better user experience, and also provided more interaction and connection with readers.
This is one of the reasons why blogging on your own website domain is essential. Then you are not dependent on the whims of other platforms, who might change their settings and algorithms at will. And therefore have your creative content disappear into the abyss…