In 2018 Mom and I came to Iceland as part of a long layover coming back from Scotland that Iceland Air offers as part of their fares. We had about 36 hrs, long enough to do the 140 mile golden circle drive and to go to the blue lagoon. Truth be told we weren’t overly impressed, but I heard that to really see the beauty of Iceland you needed to drive the entire ring road around the island. That along with 50% off ticket vouchers from that first trip that were expiring, and Dennis being incredibly jealous of our trip, I decided to come back again and give it a better look.
We arrived at 0600 after getting a few lousy hours of sleep on the plane leaving out of Newark, having left AZ that prior morning at 0200. We hit the ground running, as usual, and picked up our camper van for the week, a Mercedes Marco Polo pop up. This van was quite the upgrade from our vintage VW we rented in Oregon, but the same basic layout which was perfect for just the two of us.
We headed over to the capital of Reykavik,
the northernmost capital on earth, and hit a few of the popular sites and stocked up on some groceries for the week.
Our first official stop on the golden circle part of the ring road was Thingeveiller National Park. This is a significant site for several reasons, one of which it is the site where the world’s first democratic parliament assembled, under a huge waterfall at the base of sheer cliffs formed by a tectonic split.
I had pre-booked a dry suit dive at 1400 hours in the Silfra fissure, which we were already beginning to regret. Sleep deprived and jet lagged we managed to grab a quick one hour nap in the van before our dive.
Silfra is considered one of the top ten dives in the world, and with good reason. It is a dive between the North American and Eurasian tectonic continental plates in a glacial melt fed fissure with 34 degree water as clear as the eye can see ( which is approximately 300 ft.) The water isn’t actually as cold as you might think, we wore 2 layers of thermals under a one piece thermal suit under the dry
suit. Besides your hands and head coming in contact with the water, everything else stays perfectly dry and comfortable.
The dive was gorgeous and exhilarating and all our regrets of booking on our first day quickly dissipated. The skies were clear blue and the weather pleasant (50’s) and we got a second wind to motor on through a few more sites along the golden circle past Geysir (a old faithful type geyser in a Yellowstonesque geothermal area) and the beautiful Gulfoss falls.
We ended the day finishing golden circle and onto the ring road where we stopped for the night at Hveragerði campground in Reykjamörk. We were quickly learning Icelandic language is ridiculously impossible for us to pronounce.
We were perfectly situated in a campground right near the trailhead for tomorrow morning’s hike up to some natural hot springs along a stream. In spite of our absolute exhaustion we stayed up until about midnight( which is when it gets dark here this time of year), giddy about what we had done so far and what was in store for the following 8 days and 900+miles.
Tot: 0.078s; Tpl: 0.017s; cc: 16; qc: 87; dbt: 0.0211s; 1; m:saturn w:www (22.214.171.124); sld: 1;
; mem: 1.5mb