I didn't read any of the reviews on SIADV before we went on our trip. But having read them now, I agree 100% with everything that has already been said. This was one of the best trips that I've ever been on, and our guides, Vedis and Stepnir, were the ABSOLUTE BEST people that we could have asked to host us! We cannot say enough good things about Vedis and Stepnir (aka Superman)!!
We booked the trip via Eskimos. Although initially hesitant at first, our contacts at Eskimos allayed our concerns and said that it was one of the best trips in Iceland. Afterwards, we couldn't have agreed more. Gissur picked us up from our hotel in Reykjavik. We didn't know that a tour of Southern Iceland was included as well, which was absolutely delightful. Gissur introduced us to some of his favorite bands (including mentioning his own), and took us on a tour of some of his favorite spots, including Skogarfoss and Seljalandsfoss and his home town. When we expressed an interest to see the ocean, he made a special stop while also pointing out the prison nearby. When we kept on asking questions about Eyjafjallajokull, he called the museum and asked if they could screen the documentary especially for us. Who does this?! He was really patient with us - especially with me, as I was peppering him with questions about the cabin in Midgard.
We met up with Stepnir and Vedis at the SIA offices, and proceeded to Midgard in the Super Jeep. At times, visibility was approximately 0%, but Stepnir was relaxed throughout the drive, chatting with us and expertly dealing with the adverse conditions. It was apparent that he's very comfortable in those kinds of conditions. We had good laughs the whole way up. Once at the cabin, Stepnir and Vedis made us feel so comfortable and safe. Even though the wind was howling and there wasn't another human being within a 3 hour drive (this turned out to be false - more on that later) AND there was a pair of ravens and an arctic fox stalking us (or rather, our trash), Stepnir and Vedis inspired confidence. Vedis waded through a 4 ft stream and chipped away 3 feet of ice to take down our fishing net left overnight. Poor little fish. There wasn't anything that Stepnir couldn't do; he carried 3 jugs of water, made an igloo, fixed a snowmobile, and then lulled us to sleep every night with his accordion.
The food was terrific. We couldn't have eaten better had we been back at Reykjavik. Everything was planned, with back-up plans and weather-dependent contingencies.It was very clear that everyone associated with SIA knew Iceland intimately, understood her stories and legends and had a huge amount of respect for the weather and its variability. We felt we had a truly authentic Icelandic experience that cannot be replicated or fully explicated.
Everything about the tour was customized and we felt as though we were with friends the entire time. We had some great times. Thank you Gissur, Stepnir and Vedis! I already want to go back to Iceland and when I do, I'm calling you!
(As for that other human soul - on our way back we rescued an Austrian kite-skier who was 20 km away from the cabin)