Simon Benson & Alison Edwards
In Iceland (Part 2)
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|Iceland Part 2- by Alison
Iceland continues to be an amzing adventure but with familiarity comes some acceptance of it's unusual features. Anywhere there is a fertile strip of land you find sheep - families of black or white sheep. These are not as we expect though as it is not uncommon for a white sheep to have twins, one black and one white or a black ewe to have two white lambs or even one lovely little black lamb with white feet and a white ruff like a necklace. Almost always there are 2 lambs per ewe. Along with the sheep are swans - big white swans in large numbers or just pairs. Nowhere are there any cows which is a puzzle , not solved until a hot pool soak conversation with a local. The cows are still inside the barns as the late summer means there is not enough grass for them outside yet.
Hot showers in rudimentary campsites are 4 or 5 x 100 kroner pieces for 4 minutes of sometimes hot water. Geothermal hot baths have communal showering facilities (clean, and oodles of hot hotwater) after which you are allowed to swim and then soak in a hot pool for the same cost if you avoid the tourist trap ones. We will not be going to the Blue Lagoon for a swim . To swim there, you need to book online several days in advance , and you are then restricted to a 2 hour time frame and for this, they charge $65 each!
In general though, the local swimmng pools are a much much better way to feel clean and warm and relaxed. We started with one of the best at a little place called Hofsos where the infinity pool lip set off the crazy wind on the fjord. Iceland decribes it's wind speed in metres per second and I think 30 meters per second translates asclose to 100 km /hr. Simon wrestled with the van all afternoon to keep it on the road. There were more whitecaps than I have ever seen on the bay and on ponds and even on puddles! The wind was raising sheets of mist perhaps 30 metres high and you could watch the gust of wind travel down the fjord. Wild weather.
This "late summer" they are having here is also responsible for stunning vistas as all the hills are snowcapped. There are snowdrifts right down to sea-level in places. The downside of the snow is that all the interior roads are still closed so access to some areas is impossible still. Oh well - we have still been able to do a lot of day walking.
We are getting used to fjords, amazing views, and especially to lava fields. We are even getting a bit blase about what type of lava, what type of rock etc but I am still collecting bits of rock wherever we go. There are amazing colours, crystals and gas formations. Luckily all the porous types are quite light.
The little van continues to be a delight - it didn't rock over last night. It starts everyday. The diesel consumption is reasonable even running the diesel heater at night and driving into massive headwinds. It allows us to eat well even with Iceland food price. Supermarket supplies are not too dissimilar to Melbourne but to eat out is exorbitant. eg a one foot sub is about $19, a cappucino $6.50, a hamburger is $16-20.
We are continuing our anticlockwise journey but will have to leave out whole slabs for another time.