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Many Adventures of a Nomadic Poet A young poet with Asperger's makes travel his passion, and away he goes...

Jökulsárlón

ICELAND | Tuesday, 19 June 2007 | Views [1167]

I had another great day on my 7th day here in Iceland. I woke up in my tent at 7:30, and I was still trying to decide whether to go on the glacier adventure or to Jökulsárlón. I washed up and went up to the information center, and I decided on going to Jökulsárlón. I saw Lee again this morning, and she’s on her way to Vík. She wants to see those unique basalt columns that are there. The bus came at 8:30 and the ticket was 2,600 kronur. A number of people were staying in Jökulsárlón and heading to Höfn. I may be headed there in a couple of days. As we were driving, the sky mostly cleared and the glaciers looked amazing! The driver stopped so we could get some photos. As we kept going, I saw glacial runoff in streams of melted glacier water. Over the piles of glacial deposit, I got a glimpse of Jökulsárlón. It really does look like Antarctica! The driver dropped us off and we had a full two hours to explore. The sky was clear, so it was extra special. I went into the shop and got a muffin and asked about a boat ride but the next one wasn’t leaving until 10:10. I went down to the shore of the lagoon and stood in complete awe! I kept taking pictures and couldn’t turn off my camera. I was even thinking that I could easily say I’ve been to Antarctica now. I spent about 15 minutes at the shore and was having fun throwing rocks into the lagoon. I then walked up the little hill that was there, so I could get more photos. This is another place that I could easily fill an entire memory card with photos. I even noticed in iceberg that’s in the shape of a whale. These beautiful places are the type that I live for. As I kept snapping pictures, I decided I’d do a boat ride on the lagoon. The first boat was full, so I had to wait for the next one. The boat is an amphibious boat or a “car-boat.” We drove on land for a short distance and then got in the water. Most of the people on the ride were older Germans, so the guide was speaking in German. As we were riding through this unreal lagoon, I was taking dozens and dozens of pictures. They say in Antarctica that it’s a photographer’s dream, well this place is too! I noticed a set of icebergs that look like a dog and a duck. I could have spent the whole day out here! The guide broke up a piece of glacial ice and we all got to try some. After about 40 minutes, the boat ride was over. The ride was 2,300 kronur, but it was so cool! It’s the type of scene you only see in movies. I then kept taking pictures because I still had 15 minutes to go before the bus left. I walked back down to the lagoon and I noticed another couple that brought their children to Iceland. I would guess that children who travel internationally when they’re young are less likely to drop out of high school, etc. and those who don’t. I spent 10 more minutes at the lagoon and then walked up to the shop. By the time I was done, I had pictures from nearly every angle of Jökulsárlón. At the shop, I got a Diet Coke. An interesting thing I noticed yesterday is that they have both Diet Coke and Coca-Cola Light out here. They don’t seem to sell Diet Coke in Reykjavik. I said goodbye to this couple that I traveled to Skaftafell with yesterday, and the bus picked me up at 11:15. I will really miss Jökulsárlón. As we drove across the bridge away from the lagoon, I saw a great skua: a bird that lives in Polar Regions. On my Icelandic journey, I have seen puffins, gannets, skuas, and all these different majestic birds. I do have an eye for them! The clear skies really made the glaciers look majestic. I wish I could live in a land with the glaciers all around me! We got back to the campground at about noon and I just relaxed for a bit and studied my guidebook. I then asked a young man named Sasha, from France, if he’d like to hike to Svartifoss waterfall, which I’ve seen on many different postcards. He agreed and we took it easy for a bit before setting out at 1:00. I packed some water and biscuits and had my camera in hand. We started up the trail and it wasn’t too long before we saw the first waterfall. We kept hiking higher and passed another waterfall. I could see the glacier across the horizon as we kept hiking. 45 minutes after we began, we were at Svartifoss. The basalt columns are extraordinary and look kind of like an upside-down pipe organ. I relaxed there for a few minutes and took a photo where I’m at the waterfall. After about 5 minutes, I told Sasha that I wanted to see Sjónarsker, which was only about ½ km ahead. So we hiked up there and we could see the glacier on the left, the glacier on the right, and the huge glacial floodplain in front of us. It was so unreal! There was a view disc at the lookout, and we could see what direction everything is in. After a few minutes taking pictures, we walked back down to Svartifoss and up the other trail. Sasha wanted to go up to Sjónarnípa. It was quite a walk. On the way I met this pretty girl who was doing some volunteer work fixing up the trail. She was very cute! We then hiked all the way to the top, to Sjónarnípa. The view was absolutely fantastic!!! I had the glacier below me. At one point, I walked to this rock at the edge of the cliff and I just sat there. I had the glacier, mountains, sandur, and ocean all in one view. I sat for like 20 minutes looking over the land like it was my home. I didn’t want to leave because I loved the view so much. I took like 40 pictures while I was there, before walking back up to the main lookout. We spent almost an hour at Sjónarnípa. On the way back down, I got a photo with that cute girl I was talking about earlier. She is from Switzerland. I met another cute volunteer from Scotland, and her name is Jill. After talking to them, we kept walking back down. We passed all the waterfalls again and I was admiring the landscape. It took almost an hour to get back down to the campground. Near the beginning of the trail at the campground, I took a picture of the small purple flowers that I’ve seen out here. We hiked for a total of about 4 hours. However, it was a great hike! Iceland is a hiker’s paradise. I went to the shop and got a soda and checked my email. I got an email from Scarlett, a nice girl I met in Australia earlier this year, and Mr. Schickman, who was my teacher in summer school during high school. He loves to travel, but he once told me that he never thought of Iceland as a destination. I think now he’ll change his mind because I love it so much. I then found out that the bus will be running on the 21st, but I still might go to Höfn and fly back to Reykjavik. That’s because I don’t want to take the same bus back. I got a cup and noodles and walked to the picnic area. I sat with Emil to eat. It’s really special being in such a remote area of the world that few people go. But, like the Northern Territory of Australia, the flies here are super annoying! I wonder if brushing away of flies is the “Iceland Wave.” Emil then offered me another one of his camping dinners. This time is was a game casserole. They are very good, despite being freeze-dried. I then walked across the campground and talked to the man in charge of the glacier hike. I want to do that tomorrow. He took a tour on a climb of Hvannadalshnúkur, which is Iceland’s highest mountain at 2,119 meters. I don’t have the money to do that tour. By that time, it was freezing, and I threw on my thermal shirt. The hike today sunburned me a little, but not nearly as bad as in Australia. At 9:30 I decided to call it a day, because there is no night here at this time of year. I went and lied down in my tent and just read my guidebook. I’ll see you tomorrow night after the glacier adventure! Good Night.

Tags: sightseeing

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