Day 2 in Iceland started slowly, there isn’t any point in waking up early here in winter, the sun doesn’t rise until 11. While crowds are definitely smaller the downside is that you only have 5-6 hours a day of sunlight to explore.
So our day started at 11 and our first stop today was a waterfall. It cascades off the side of a cliff in a dramatic white display, you could walk right up to it but icy cold spray kept everyone a safe distance back. It’s funny but for such a big waterfall the tiny little stream twisting quietly away was in stark contrast to the roar of the water.
Next up was some off-roading, here we went to a glacier off the tourist trail with our driving 4wd’ing through streams and across lava fields to the foot of the glacier. From here we were on our own, hiking through the snow to the foot of the glacier. This sounds like a great deal of fun but the truth of the matter is that every so often the snow wouldn’t compact, instead you would drop straight down through the layers, at one point all the way to my hip leaving me very little space to lever myself out. Across a little stream we trekked and then we were there … bens first ever glacier. It was shimmery waves of blue coldness, little bubbles frozen into the ice how many years ago. I am always surprised at just how blue a glacier is, that perfect blue standing out in stark contrast to the whiteness of the snow around it.
Then it was the black beach, its odd to get your head around the whole concept of black sand, first we viewed the beaches from above at the top of a table top mountain perched as an island jutting out from the beach. A lighthouse the only man made structure visible sitting stubbornly in the landscape, duty bound to protect ships from the coast. The view from up there was stunning, the mountains almost architectural in their beautiful rises and fall, dramatic cliff and soft moss contrasting to the cries of the sea gull circling above protecting their nests from threats.
After such an intensely beautiful visit to the top of the mountain the tourist covered beach at the bottom didn’t have the same sense of awe, Russians eating hot dogs one handed while taking photos and tourists waving selfie stick around the black pebble beach made the site a hazard!
Finally we were done with our guide saying there was two ways to get to the little town of Vic, we either drive around the mountain or we go over it, with us driving a super keep you can only imagine which option was chosen! When I say mountain I actually mean mountain, vertical walls, rough snowy terrain and narrow boulder filled trails made the ride both up and down exhilarating! The view from the top even more stunning with the town of Vik, a small speck at the bottom.
Such a big day so much was seen it’s almost overwhelming. Ben had fallen down with the flu now also so I am the sole surviving “well person” in our group, everyone else has set timers on their phone to remind them when their next round of drugs is due. With a sore throat myself I give myself a pep talk every morning on how I don’t want to ruin this trip wth illness so my body has to step up and fight any bugs trying to invade my immune system. Tomorrow we are doing a glacier hike and ice caving so I need my A Game!