Day 5…was different. After leaving the hostel, I went to check out the glacier again. Jökulsárlón Lagoon was the name. This time it was to get a few shots of the little glacier blocks that littered the beach. It started off with some bad news. Apparently the aurora borealis was out in full the night before, right when I went to bed. Damnit. This particular day wasn’t all that interesting. I’ll just let you know right here and now that I ended up catching a stomach ache for the afternoon. Despite that, I did end up doing a few things.
After catching the sunrise at Jökulsárlón, I drove back to Skaftafell National Park. I was there to check out Svartifoss (black falls), but ended up doing a bit of hiking instead. To be honest I didn’t find Svartifoss to be all that great, but it was still pretty cool seeing the formation. Rather than going back to the car, I decided to do more hiking. I hadn’t done any hiking for years up until that point and then felt like a good time. So with about 10-12 pounds of camera gear, further up the mountain I go. The whole time I’m thinking, what on earth am I doing? I hike up to part of the top and boy, I feel great when I get there. I didn’t really do THAT much hiking, but I felt happy. Exercise ladies and gents. Exercise is indeed important for happiness.
After that, a 3 or 4 hour drive to the town of Laugarvatn to stay at the hostel there so that I can visit the places around the so-called Golden Circle the following day. These locations being: Gullfoss, Geysir, and Thingvellir National Park. The hostel I stay at is pretty empty, and not many people to talk to. I end up getting a stomachache and cannot finish the dinner I made for myself. I’ll have to try cooking for myself another time. For now, it is time to live off of sandwiches. I have a feeling I’ll have lost a fair bit of weight when I check back home.
Stopped by a random cave by the road. I liked this shot
What happened in day four? Well, it’s been a while since I actually thought about it so here it goes. Day four was the day I went ice caving. What I didn’t mention in the previous post was the benefit of interacting around with other people who are also traveling. You can easily learn some new information. In my case, I learned that a hostel called Vagnsstaðir was actually open for business. When I looked on the website before, it was closed for the winter. This was beneficial because it meant that I didn’t have to drive back and forth between Vik and the southeastern part of Iceland (going back and forth 200kms or so). That and the option of sleeping in a car overnight…
Other than that, it was a very long drive to get to the meeting point for my ice caving tour. It was something I was looking forward to and one of the few things on this trip that wasn’t flexible. The tour started off well enough. Some of us were able to drive our cars to an area somewhat close to wear the cave was, then got into a large van for the final leg of the journey. Being that it was full of people, I found it a bit strange that no one was really talking with each other. Everyone was already with someone else, so I guess I found it strange because I’d been traveling alone for so long already and longed for some social contact. I’ll admit that. Though we were all probably thinking about the photos we’d take in the ice cave. Would I go ice caving again? Yes. With a tour group? Not so much. I would say that I’d spend the extra money to get a private guide.
Being inside an ice cave was both an underwhelming and overwhelming experience. I was expecting so much more and the cave still blew me away in its own special way. If you haven’t gotten it yet, an ice cave is underneath a glacier. It is what the name suggests. A cave that is formed by the surrounding ice of a glacier. Such things are only around for so long and once that part of the glacier melts away, it’s gone. The ice cave walls were a mesmerizing blue to the eyes, forming no specific shape as small grooves littered its surface. The sounds of footsteps crunching along the snow and gravel faintly echoed as they bounced along the uniquely shaped ice walls. The small stream trickled along, following the path of the ice cave to its mouth. It was calming.
A lower angle of some ice
Picturesque looking I’d say
It was a place I wanted to explore more of and stay longer in. Had I fully waterproof boots, I probably would have tried to walk further in along the stream; at the utmost annoyance to my guide because safety for him comes first.
Oh, and I got to see some glaciers too.