Just as a note, I didn’t end up taking very many photos these two days. I ended up just taking shots of the car I rented, the Suzuki Swift. I fell in love with this car not because of its style, sportiveness, or speed. In fact, the acceleration was awful. Mostly it was the fact that it had a USB port so that I could play music from my iPod. That and it took me all over various parts of Iceland, I pushed the car to do certain things and it delivered. It took me through all sorts of conditions and it made Iceland a blast!
I’m just going to put some shots of the car here and there in this post. I can see why people like taking photos of cars now. Would I get a Suzuki Swift? Yeah if I had loads of money, it’d be one of the cars I’d buy. Mostly cause I’d try and drift with it for kicks.
It is around days eight and nine that things begin to become a bit more relaxed. The 11-6 schedule I had been following had been taking its toll. Generally I was more tired and lacked the energy to really do anything. The private hotel room, despite the extra cost, was a refreshing break from the hostel dorms I had been staying at. It occurred to me that while having a budget was good, it was also stressful. Knowing I could break the budget without any major consequences (such as not having enough in the bank) made things all the less stressful; more on the finance side of things in a future post.
Simply put, on day eight we visited Seljalandsfoss (for me a second time) and it was from there we parted ways. They drove to their next destination just before Vik and I drove back to Selfoss. The reason for the separation was mostly the weather. The wind picked up that day along the south coast and it was something like 70-80km/h winds. What I found amusing was the difference of driving style between my new friends and myself. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with being safe let me just say that. I just found it amusing that I had no problem driving at the regular speed in that wind vs. their slightly slower speed. Safety first of course and I’ll admit something bad could have happened to me. Maybe I’m more of a risk taker than I previously thought?
Anyway, in Selfoss I just chill around and make some dinner. Basically pasta and some god awful frozen fruit I picked up that probably wasn’t meant to be eaten on its own. Oh and a banana. What I didn’t expect to end up doing there is practice my French with two lovely ladies from France. Backstory, they came to travel in Iceland but with no rental car. To be frank they weren’t having as great of a time as they could have had, but they weren’t having a super bad trip either. It just could have been better as Iceland is a place where a car is pretty much necessary. Back to the French practice, one of the ladies spoke English quite well whereas the other lady understood English, but never tried practicing. So as a result, fluent in English French lady often translated for her friend. It was amusing for myself and fluent in English lady for non-fluent in English lady to try and converse in English, not so much for the non-fluent friend!
After sleeping in a drafty and dark room I set off again to somewhere. I had done some research the night prior and decided to check out Haifoss (literally high falls). It was recommended during the winter, but I thought “screw it, let’s try”. So I end up driving there and the roads end up being covered in snow, I keep plowing forward and at some point I tell myself to stop and just go back. I end up visiting Hjalparfoss, which wasn’t all that special (maybe better in the summer). But it was interesting seeing two small waterfalls almost face each other. The upside is I got to drive around in very random winter conditions. I also got to experience the car slipping and sliding around and was able to control it (surprisingly).
After all this I end up getting KFC back in Selfoss (it was ok…) and drive back to Reykjavik to stay a night at this other hostel in the city. This hostel was much bigger and I found it to be much more relaxing to sit around in the common area. Later in the night I had a great conversation with a lady from Denmark. One of the conclusions we came to was that there is a lot of pressure when it comes to traveling. Everyone back home expects you to have an amazing time and that the trip should be amazing balls. See some amazing sights and everything should work out fine and dandy. Of course, I’d like to imagine that anyone who’s traveled on numerous occasions know that this isn’t the case. At least, that’s what I got from everyone I had talked to and observed.
The parts of trips we won’t tell you (some of the time) are the awful bits. The lonely moments (if applicable), the shitty weather, the moments where things don’t work out, and the moments where we’re doing absolutely nothing at all. There are moments during the trip, at least I had them at least, where we’ll wonder “why am I even here?” Though, sometimes we might spin the situations in a funny manner. That’s when we make it back home after all. We survived. I’d have to say that the first time one travels, there is indeed that bit of pressure to have an amazing experience. Once you get past that though, you end up having a good time. Maybe this will be a few days after you get to your destination or during your second or third trip. At some point, you stop caring and just have a good time. Truth is, there isn’t really any pressure to have an amazing trip! It only seems that way when you hear all those stories about others having fantastic trips. Or maybe those photos of them in some far off place. It’s all in the mind. As long as you found the trip worthwhile, others will think so too. Hope this helps if you had or might have that initial problem.
I shall leave you with an awfully long video of just the drive around if you’re interested. Most of the snowy conditions were on day 9 and it is a bit boring, but I think I’ll be doing more timelapse in the future. With a motorcycle.