Day Five; Going Separate Ways
Disaster, it’s all come to a head. Tensions have run to breaking point. What it all boiled down to was that there was far too much to do in such a little amount of time with everyone wanting to do different things and being too stubborn to change their mind, primarily me. After some tears and shouting for a solution we parted ways for the day, Mum and I opting to visit Skaftafellsjökull, the glacial face, and see some waterfalls; and Mac looking to take in a top.
For us, a short 20 minute walk took us towards the massive glacial wall and pool at the bottom. Some 5 to 10 icebergs nestled in the lagoon creating a stunning foreground for us to photograph, I had to climb on one of course and you could really see why it was compulsory to wear crampons for the glacial walk. Having the day meant we had the time to play around with settings and really get some proper photography in. My photo count rapidly went from about 100 photos to well over 400, exactly what i’d been wanting from this experience.
We then had a short lunch break and headed up to the waterfall Svartifoss, about a 1.8km walk from where we were parked up. Flagged by stunning basalt columns, Svartifoss comes crashing down into a typically blue Icelandic pool of glacial water. One thing is clear, Iceland’s geology is absolutely fascinating. Compared to Scotland, it’s so young, the recent volcanic explosion is testament to that. Things that would seem exceptional in Scotland are the norm in Iceland, for instance huge boulders that in Scotland would have names they’re so rare, are so common in Iceland that people pile them on top of each other to make them seem more interesting.
Regrouping at base camp (big fee the motorhome) we discussed our options, do we turn straight back and head up the coast after spending a night in the campsite we were cuttingly parked in, or do we head on and visit the famous Jökusarlon lagoon.
So we headed back onto route one to travel the extra hour east to the stunning glacial lagoon. We arrived with just enough sunlight to see the vast expanse of the lake, 51km wide, and god knows how deep, Jökusarlon is only 80 years old and, due to the increasing melt rate of its glacier, increases substantially in size every year. Full of fish, icebergs and harbour seals, this location is a tourist hot spot and so we weren’t the only campers parked there for the night.
After what began as a stressful morning, ending the day listening to jazz and drinking beers and whisky was not too bad, considering everything, if you ask me. I went to sleep that night with the sound of huge blocks of ice knocking and creaking in the lagoon behind me.