Anyone who knows me knows that I love goats - so a visit to the Icelandic goat centre
was something I was very excited about.
Johanna, the farm's owner, kindly let us look round the farm even though it was officially closed for the winter.
In fact, she did far more than just let us look around: she gave us a personal tour of the farm, an introduction to the ancient breed and its history, and introduced us to dozens of her goats - all of which she knew by name, and all of which had a story. We were introduced to the resident 'celebrities' - two goats who had a cameo in Game of Thrones - as well as a sheep that was brought up as a goat.
The Icelandic goat was facing extinction for years, until Johanna stepped in. At one point, there were just 90 Icelandic goats worldwide.
Johanna's work has played an enormous part in getting the species back on its hooves. She bought a small number of these goats several years ago, and is now intent on breeding them for health on her farm, Haafell. Thanks to her efforts, the global Icelandic goat population is now more than 800-strong.
But it hasn't been smooth sailing.
Johanna told us how, after she had brought these goats to her farm, a disease outbreak in another area of the country meant that all farms that had imported animals recently had to go into lockdown for seven long years. This meant that she almost went bankrupt and lost the farm, which had been in her family for hundreds of years.
Luckily, though, a crowdfunding appeal
donated enough to secure the goats' future - and the farm's.
After the tour, Johanna invited us to sample some of her goats' cheeses, and showed us the products that her and her family makes from the goats' milk, tallow, and soft cashmere fur.
Thank you Johanna for such a warm welcome!GPS POINTS:
64° 42,842'N, 21° 15,375'W