Day 9 – Finishing with a bang!

Starting LocationKirkjubæjarklaustur, Iceland

Ending LocationReykjavik, Iceland

SPECIAL NOTE:  I originally wrote this post 10 days ago.  I posted it, and about 8 hours later I accidentally deleted it.  So, this is a rewrite – it was important to me to cover each day for posterity.

Today we started with three ambitions – 1.  Don’t kill each other – car cabin fever was beginning to set in.  2.  Get back to Reykjavik (we had a very early flight the next morning)  3.  See the volcano as close as possible.

Stop 0 – During the night it had rained.  We took advantage of the rainy start to take our time at the breakfast buffet.  I have become a fan of herring for breakfast.  At this particular hotel they had herring three ways – mustard, pickled and with clove.  Ummm – lekker!

As we went out to the car we had realized that either the wind had switched, the rain had brought more ash or the rain had attempted to clean our car.  Our car was covered in rain blotched ash.  Thankfully, the local gas stations all had free hoses with which you could clean your car.

DSC_0654

As we heading out of town and down the road towards where we had met the ash cloud on Day 8, we were lucky to see the ash cloud much earlier than the day before.  The wind had shifted and we had a good view.  The ash is starting at the far right middle.

DSC_0661

Stop 1:  Beach at Vik, Iceland

A beautiful beach on an ugly day.  The wind was blowing and it was a bit cold.  The beach is interesting in that it has some stark volcanic basalt columns.  The wind is holding Tim up in this picture (check out the wind whipping his pant legs).

DSC_0718

DSC_0726

Stop 2 – Skógafoss Waterfall

One of the most often photographed waterfalls in Iceland.  It is extremely easy to see from the island’s ring road, it is only about 2 hours from the capital.  The waterfall has a width of 25 meters and a drop of 60 meters.  My son sprinted to the top of the falls in 4 minutes, something I could have never done in my life.

DSC_0742

There are two interesting things to note in our picture:

  1. The water appears to be dirty – it is from all the ash that is flowing down stream.
  2. Above the waterfall, in the break in the clouds is a darker patch.  That is actually the ash cloud of the volcano about 30 miles away.

Stop 3 – The volcano

Well, we had been waiting nearly a month.  Our goal was to get as close to the volcano as was legally possible.  We wanted to live life on the edge.

We headed towards the volcano.  Its ash cloud at been peeking at us from time to time from behind the clouds, so our hope is high.

We arrive at our desired location to see this…

fog[1]

We go away for a few hours with hope of the clouds clearing.  We have yet another gas station lunch, play a game of Risk on the computer, have a cup of coffee and head back to the volcano.

We find our desired observation place, join a few locals and head out walking down the road to get closer.  There we waited for 1 1/2 hours for the clouds to clear.  Every 10 minutes or so we would get a glimpse of the top of the ash cloud, then the middle, then the bottom.  But never all three at once.  We could see the glacier that melted, flooded and washed out roads a few weeks ago.  We could see steam where the glacier was being melted.  But we could not see the whole volcano.

We waited.

Then the clouds cleared some, then some more, then we got the picture we were hoping to get.  We were only 5 miles from the volcano.

DSC_0869

To give you an idea of what you are looking at, I took the liberty to add some text to the picture.

DSC_0869_annotated

So after 11 days (9 full days on the island) we got to see our volcano close up and personal.  We had succeeded in walking on glaciers, driving fjords, crossing barren plains, counting innumerable waterfalls, taking pictures of birds aplenty.  We had see bud pots and steam spouts, geysers and sulfur springs.  We had even drove on top of a pending volcanic eruption.

It was a great trip – we never killed each other or even got close.  We survived way too many gas station meals.  We listened to our music.  We had fun with a 4×4.  We had a great time.

Now we are planning our next trip.  Any suggestions?

SIDE NOTE:  My son and I made it out of the airport on time the next day.  Unfortunately for my brother it took him another two days as our dear volcano shifted its plume to west and it shut down the airport for a couple days.  Well, near perfect trip.

About plimtuna

I am just an average guy trying to find his way along this journey of life. I am definitely middle aged. I am definitely happily married with a wife and two children. Personally, I have a passion for things eternal. Professionally, I have a passion for things that are securely in control.
This entry was posted in Iceland and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Day 9 – Finishing with a bang!

  1. Scott Brickert says:

    CONGRATS TIM! Great blog and trip and pics. I wish I liked Flickr more. Gotta joyn I guess.

    Keep up the good livin’

    Scott

    • plimtuna says:

      thanks for the comment.

      No real loyalty to flickr. I just found it first, it now has a few thousand of my shots and I can’t imagine moving. I also think of it as an off site back up also.

  2. Pingback: Monthly Update – May 2010 | 1 Year, 1 Book, Many People

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s