Darkness, darkness and more darkness... maybe a little light!


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Europe » Iceland » North
December 28th 2018
Published: December 29th 2018
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I packed my bag at around 7 and headed out of the apartment complex. I had no idea how to find the bus and a random lady walked past. I asked her how to find bus 3, she said that she was catching that bus too and I could follow her. I'm glad I found her as I was going in completely the wrong direction.

A 30 minute bus ride into the BSI bus station and there was pandemonium with lots of buses arriving with airport passengers. The airport is Keflavik and is around a 30 minute drive to and from the city. Lots of early morning flights bought people from all over the world. It was about 8am when I arrived, pitch black, heavy backpack and people everywhere. I called the car rental place on the phone and they said that someone would come and get me in about 2 minutes. I waited for 30 and called them again. Apparently, I was waiting inside instead of outside and the pickup girl had left. There was a French family also waiting for a car from Enterprise and he was getting very agitated. Eventually, the girl arrived and the man was grumpy with her. She asked me to hop in the front seat but the grumpy guy just sat in there first and I was relegated to the back with 3 other passengers. When we arrived at the car rental place, they were really busy and I had to wait again. I let the French family go first as apparently they had an 8:30 appointment and it was already 9:30. The girl apologised and he kept saying how upset he was. Meanwhile, I was just waiting patiently with my bag over on the side. When they finally left, I went up to the counter, she said how sorry she was that it had taken me almost 2 hours to get my car. I told her that it was my fault too as I was inside the terminal instead of outside. She appreciated that I wasn't angry with her and gave me free insurance ($170 worth) with the vehicle at no charge. Sometimes it pays to be patient! The little car is a Kia, automatic. I sat in the car and contemplated how to drive a car on the wrong side of the road, on the wrong side of the car. I was about to connect my GPS when I noticed a NAV button on the dash. The car has it's own built-in navigation system! I found the self-drive instructions, put in the co-ordinates for the first stop and proceeded to drive BACK to the airport! I realised my mistake when I was on the freeway with no turning spaces! Eventually I found a turnoff and being careful to stay on the right hand side of the road, parked and readjusted the GPS. Mind you, it was 10:30 and still dark!

I eventually found my way out of Reykjavik and onto the road, heading for a place called Akranesviti Lighthouse. It was a 95 klm drive and by now the daylight had appeared (sort of). I wondered where the GPS was taking me as I went around some docks but eventually arrived at this lighthouse on the coast. It was freezing cold and blowing a gale but I paid my 500 krona ($6) and climbed the 4 storeys of the tower. The view was amazing but I had to stand on the back of the tower as the wind threatened to blow me back down the stairs. The sun was just coming up!

I set the GPS for the next stop Hraunfossar & Barnafoss Waterfalls. This was about 91 klms from the lighthouse. By now I was in the Icelandic wilds! Huge mountains that are sharp and jagged. They look like they have come up out of the ground in pain. They are volcanic rock and the earth at one time around Iceland must have been very seismic. There were lots of parts that I thought looked like Scotland. Snowy mountains and not a tree in sight. When I arrived at the waterfalls, it was about 12:30 and the light had already started to fade, I realised I hadn't eaten all day. A quick visit to the waterfalls, which were spectacular, minus the one slipping episode where I fell on my butt after sliding on the icy pathway. I quickly got up and dusted off the snow and ice and hurried into the warmth of the little restaurant onsite. I bought a bowl of garden vegetable soup and bread. It was yummy and I was allowed to go back. I had two bowls and two bread rolls. Feeling much better, I set off for the next spot on the list: Deildartunguhver Geothermal Area. This was only 25 klms from the waterfalls. This water boils to the height of about 1 metre. Even New Zealand was not as active as this. There was a lovely swimming centre but I didn't have time to stop and also I left my swimmers in the bag at Renee's!

Setting the GPS for the next spot but I thought it was getting a little dark, so I thought I'd go straight to the hotel. When I put the coordinated into the GPS, I was still 134 klms from the hotel. I decided not to visit the seals but set out for the accommodation. It was almost 2 hours of driving and I went over mountains and drove through lots of snow and I think some ice although I have winter tyres on my car and they are supposed to grip better. The only incident was when the car in front threw about 10 litres of water on my windscreen after going through a puddle and I was blinded. I jammed on the brakes and thankfully there was no one behind me. The wipers are also on the opposite side to what I'm used to and so I turned the blinker on instead. When I finally sorted it out, only a few seconds but felt like an hour... I continued on my way. The drive was spectacular! Iceland has amazing landforms. I found my hotel Fransiskus on the the shores of the sea. I'll be interested to see what it looks like in the daylight... oh wait....there ISN'T any! I signed in and unpacked my car. It had started to snow and the flakes were huge. After a shower and a bit of washing, I walked outside and could see the Aurora but it was just a faint greenish tinge, nothing definite.

Going to sleep now. Another big day tomorrow.


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