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Published: August 27th 2008
Yes we do believe in fairies.
Our little friends must have been out shopping.
We had a good night's sleep at a lovely guest house with fairy houses outside. (Yes, we are still waiting to spot them. ) The little houses looked well used outside and well situated. Our rooms were comfortable with a great view of the mountains behind. Birds sang in the shrubs outside and we were convinced we saw something moving behind a small rock. Maybe the local trolls coming to visit? We were looking forward to the trip to the Puffin island. We had been told they were still there but not in great numbers. It was a little too late in the season and most in the west had already gone. Sounded like the start of a children's story like ' The last loneliest puffin? '
We arrived at the place where the tractor would pull the open wagon over the black sands. It was a windy yet beautiful morning and the sun shone over the water on the flat, volcanic sand. Quite tranquil and peaceful. We could look back at the volcano from here with its snow capped peak. The guide was very informative and said that there were still puffins to be seen but there would also
be other interesting birds on the island. We were asked to stand as near to the front so the tractor could take us nearer.
We then had a long trudge up the soft sand to the top of the island. We must have looked quite a sight! The air was crisp and reminded me of holidays on the Northumbrian coast some years ago. The island cliffs also had the feel of Pembrokeshire.
Even the little white bell flowers (sea campion) were growing here to welcome us. The guide pointed out his three baby skewers which he hoped would not be caught by the local arctic fox. On our way over there were footprints in the black sand beside the tractor which showed an arctic fox had recently gone over to the island to get his breakfast. We finally saw some puffins but someone must have told them we were on our way as a lot of them were madly swimming out to sea in large groups! Nothing personal I hope?
However a few brave photographers laid themselves flat on the cliff to zoom onto the few that were socialising still on the rocks below. The positions were
getting more daring that we saw people taking photographs of people taking photographs! Yes most of us were British! I think someone must have have at least one decent photo with the amount of different cameras pointing downwards. One or two of the little creatures flew past us daring us to get the cameras out then swooped down the cliffs at the last minute to avoid being caught by the camera. I think they were used to the tourists! There were many empty nests in the ground all around us and we had to be careful not to put our feet in them. We were a little disappointed that there were so few but at least we could tick the box to say we had actually seen some!
When we finally got back across the sands we saw this amazing little wooden hut. We couldn't think what it was first of all. Maybe a rather small for a holiday home for trolls but it was in fact a very clean outside toilet. It could only be in Iceland that there could be such a place. I think this one needs to be added to the travelblog forum about toilets
A genuine puffin hole
One very smart puffin residence for sale.
around the world!
After lunch we headed for the National Park where we had arranged to go Glacier walking. It all sounded rather adventurous and I must admit my imagination got a little carried away. No we didn't go right up onto the clean white snow and ice. The lower glacier was covered in the black sand but it still made an interesting walk. Our guide was charming and smiled a lot. He must be very amused by these tourists taking a walk on the lower glacier. He was most impressed to find we had a 75 year old in our group and she was most pleased to add another young man to her photo collection! Soon we were bundled into a mini bus and we were taken as near as we could. Crampons in hand and a token ice axe for the photos we soon started walking. The blue ice could be seen in the crevices and the ice was not cold at all. The guide's smile widened at the amount of cameras that pounced on the first bit of interesting ice! How predictable we tourists are! We kept on wishing we could go further up towards
How far do I have to lean over?
Why are they all swimming away and out to sea?
the whiter ice. We were able to walk quite a way and we all enjoyed the experience.... even washing the crampons in the waters at the end. This had been a good day and we returned to our delightful guesthouse for a comfortable evening. There was a little church near the guesthouse which was one of the best preserved turfed roofed churches in Iceland.
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