A glorious dawn again today. Once all were fully “waffled up” at breakfast time it was an early start and off to the ferry port for Heimaey island. The sunrise was spectacular and Hekla and Eyjfjallajökull volcanoes loomed large and impressive on the horizon as we drove east; in fact the sun seemed to rise directly out of the E15 volcano’s crater – awesome! Stories were told and facts provided as we travelled towards our day out on Heimaey. This year is the 40th anniversary of the island’s 1973 eruption that was a headline grabber way back then. On arrival at the port, however, the waves were huge! How could this be? The air was still? Aha, they must be “free waves” i.e. waves made elsewhere where the wind was blowing. So, it was pretty obvious that the ferry would not be sailing at 10.00. A change of plan was needed; no problem, we decided to simply do Thursday’s plan today and try again tomorrow to head out to the island. All were very good in accepting this change of plan, no mumps, no moans, simply, “OK, come on, let’s go and see some other wonderful things”. Once the ferry was re-booked it was off along the south coast.
The weather was beautiful – such clear, vast views; splendid; this is a rare luxury! So it was waterfalls that you walk behind, a viewing of a splendid film of the Eyjfjallajökull eruption (delightfully introduced by the farmer’s wife who was in the midst of all the action 3 years ago), a waterfall that provided us with the opportunity to try the “1 minute trick” (it worked…for most!), a visit to the glorious Sólheimajökull glacier where we had close – but safe – encounters with the glacier’s snout (and where, on tasting some ice, some reckoned indeed that they could taste a “hint of lime” as I had suggested to the group earlier; ahem!). The lively and attentive group were by now deserving of a little cafe time and a bit of retail therapy, much enjoyed by all.
The final geography stop of today was on the south coast, at Reynishverfi. It was by now a little drizzly, significantly windy and the sea was certainly impressively pounding the coastline. By now the group were needing a bit of R&R so another swimming experience was planned and it was off to Hella Pool to rate the quality of the flumes – pretty good was the general opinion! Back home safe and sound by 7pm, it was Rasa’s burgers (yes, and chips!) that certainly hit the spot. Followed by home made chocolate sponge and cream, all were well satisfied. So now it’s a bit of relax time, a bit of Northern Light spotting and soon – hopefully – to bed. Hopefully, tomorrow will be “Wednesday” and off to Heimaey. If not a Plan B is already planned; Iceland has so much to offer, there is always an abundance of options. Tired? Yes! Exhilarated? Yes! Looking forward to tomorrow? Most definitely! If a happy group is a noisy group then this group is a very happy group indeed!
Ian K Hardie.