SO HERE IT IS. The final installment of our Icelandic Adventure. Enjoy.
Full disclosure: I've had a few drinks.
Days 6 through 10: After the Hike
I left off with D and I having just arrived at our final hut. The next morning we woke up early, made breakfast, re-packed everything, and hauled all our gear out to the bus pickup. I was limping pretty badly and my ankle/foot was so swollen that I couldn't get my boot on, so I wore my little neoprene river-crossing shoes. The bus arrived after about ten minutes, we threw our gear in the gear bay, and climbed aboard. There were several rocky river crossings that the bus had to ford, and we were on one of the ever-present badass four-wheel drive buses that are so common in Iceland, so we had no trouble crossing through fast-moving water up to three feet deep.
A measly three feet deep you say? Ha! That's nothing, you might say. Ok, Sure, if you're riding in a jacked up badass bus, you're right, three feet deep is nothing. However, if you're in a small two-wheel drive SUV, you may encounter some problems. Like these folks did:
|Oh yeah, they've got this! Right? Just go kinda fast, don't slow down, hit it at the correct angle, etc.|
|... aaaaand they're stuck.|
Yeah, that's only about a foot deep. But a foot is enough to fill up the bottom of their car with water, and we had to watch them bail water out of the passenger windows with mugs. I really felt for those guys, cause we all knew that their rental car insurance doesn't cover water damage.
We continued to ride the bus through a gorge latticed with river crossings. I took about 300 pictures of the view out my window alone, it was so beautiful in the morning light.
Once back in the city we hired a cab to take us to our camper van rental from Kuku Campers. I knew going in to this that we'd probably have a camper van that was colorfully painted. That was part of the reason why I chose this particular company (that and they were the cheapest. Let's not shrink away from the truth). We signed a bunch of paperwork after being lectured about the two main rules of the road. These two rules are as follows:
1. Do not speed. Icelanders do not fuck around with speeding. There are speed-trap cameras all over the place, and the police will pull your ass over if you go more than 2 km/hr over the speed limit. Do. Not. Speed.
2. Do not hit any sheep. This was no joke. We were told, "If you hit a sheep, that sheep immediately becomes the farmer's favorite sheep, and he will demand up to 500 euros from you for his loss and suffering."
Armed with our two rules and a key to our van, we were shown to our camper. I am 100% serious when I tell you that the following photo was OUR VAN.
One important thing to know is that besides the Two Cardinal Icelandic Driving Rules (no speeding, no hitting sheep), there are basically no other rules. Roundabouts are a nightmare. Want to drive the wrong way down a one-way street? No problem. Would you care to run a red light? Go for it. Have an urge to cut off the person in the lane next to you? You do you, bro. White-knuckled and shaking, D hit up an apothecary and a grocery store, and then we were on our hair-raising way to Blue Lagoon.
In hindsight, I consider the timing of our visit to Blue Lagoon to be pure genius, and I nearly dislocated my shoulder while patting myself on the back for it. We were tired, kinda sore, and I was injured, and a looooong five-hour soak in the Lagoon was the perfect remedy.
The next day our itinerary included another visit to Seljalandsfoss, the very famous waterfall Skógafoss, a drive-by view of the volcano that fucked up the world in 2010, Eyjafjallajökull, a stop in the rainiest part of Iceland, Vík (yes, it rained there), and our final destination: Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon. Because I don't want to bore you with the details of that journey (lots of glaciers, sheep, etc.), here are some pretty pictures:
|The Fingers at Vík|
|I AM SO HAPPY TO BE HERE.|
|Beer brewed with water from the glacier that feeds the Lagoon.|
|OMG ANOTHER ICEBERG.|
|The view from our camper van. I just can't even.|
|Obligatory Icelandic Beach Selfie|
|Another view of the Lagoon because I STILL CAN'T EVEN.|
|The view. No joke. This is a real place.|
|Here's where the first dude that decided on democracy stood.|
|And there it goes.|
The next morning we got up, headed back to Kuku Campers to drop off the Shania-Mobile, and took a cab back to the hostel. We accidentally ate horse-burgers, had a few beers, and went to sleep. An early rise saw to us getting to the airport just in time for our flight to be delayed due to 80 MPH wind.
I will probably write up a gear review next. Like the famous George R. R. Martin's next much-anticipated book, you can expect to read the gear review in the year 2045.