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Published: June 13th 2013
Today was our last in this beautiful city of Reykjavik. We were up and eating breakfast by 7:30. The Guesthouse is run by Etta and her husband, the communist. Etta was our guide for the Golden Circle and she makes a-killer rhubarb crisp. Today was the arctic rafting trip. We had a 90 minute drive to the outfitter for our frigid excursion. We slept most of the way and learned just how cold this was going to be. They gave us wet suits (pre wet for us), booties, nasty fleece jackets and a water-proof jacket to cover everything. Watching everyone cram into the wetsuits was quite humorous. We got our helmets and paddles and we were off with our guide from Nepal, Lama. Fortunately as happened on our snowmobile tour, we were the only ones on the trip so it was a VIP tour. This should have probably told us something. The water was yes, you guessed it, cold, frigid, arctic cold. Again, what were we thinking? But Kirsten and Chester had rafted in New Zealand during the winter and it even snowed on them so this couldn’t be that bad. Ohhh, it was pretty close. The trip was easy, only
class 2 rapids and it wasn’t difficult at all. The only hard part was trying to keep our hands warm. That was really the only body part that got cold. The wet suits and fleece kept us pretty warm. The very first rapids were decent and the minute the boat started moving, Gene almost fell on Judy and pushed her into the drink. It was pretty funny, now. Judy didn’t fall in and everyone is fine, but the look on her face was priceless. Half way down the river Chester and Kirsten decided they would jump off the cliff. Chester was second guessing this move, and the video proves it, but Kirsten said that she has to do at least one stupid thing that Kirsten thinks up. This was definitely it. The jump was about 30 feet into the river. And ohh was it cold. When you jump in the temperature doesn’t hit you right away because of the wet suits. You pop up and then all of a sudden your hands and face start to burn from the freezing water. Lama said the water was about 45 degrees. We think it was colder. We got back in the boat
Kirsten Takes the plunge
Bet you didn't know arctic foxes could swim
and paddled down-stream. That was about the extent of the ride. Again, nothing difficult, but it was cool, literally, to say we went rafting in Iceland. The scenery was beautiful.
The trip came to an end and the great thing about this outfitter was they had a sauna. Everyone hit the steam room and quickly warmed up. Thank goodness there were no other Europeans there so it would have been a short sauna because they all would have been naked. Something about sitting naked with your parents just does not seem right. The showers were hot too and since we were the only ones rafting we didn’t have to fight anyone or wait to get into the warm waters. Lunch was served and then we headed back to town. A quick nap on the van and we were back at the Guesthouse.
This was the first day we got back to town at a decent time and headed for the national museum. It was all about the history of Iceland and had great old pictures and artifacts from those who first settled the island. After the museum we had dinner and walked around the main area downtown. The
last stop was the largest church in Iceland, which is located conveniently right across the street from our accommodation. Tonight will be an early night as we have a 5 am pick up for our transport to the airport. We are off to Ireland tomorrow! We have been packing and re-packing to make sure we stay under the 20 kgs we have already paid for our flight across. In Europe and everywhere else in the country you pay for the weight of your bags. This could get interesting. Chester may be wearing half her clothes onto the flight as she has over-packed again. We have a layover in London and don’t get to Shannon until 8 or 9 pm. It will be a long day of travel, but hopefully everything will go smoothly.
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