Friday, July 22, 2016

Iceland - Day 2 - Wow! Simply WOW!

What a fantastic day we had!  It was filled with excitement - from spelunking in a lava tube cave to hiking and floating in a hot river to snorkelling in frozen water between tectonic plates! What a day!

Iceland's vegetation is sparse - not one tree in site for ages then all of a sudden a little "forest" of pine trees - I'm guessing they were planted there.  Suddenly, you see a "field" of "grass", then nothing but moss again.  It's kind of odd really.  Beautiful but odd.

So, back to our day!  It started with a drive to the lava tube caves - Raufarholshellir (try saying that 10 times - never mind - try saying that correctly!!).  This was absolutely breathtaking!  You enter the cave to the most beautiful view!  I can't explain it, you have to see it.  Remember that pictures don't always convey the beauty of things... There were these holes in the ceiling of the cave that brought in some light - just breathtaking.  Walking in a bit further, there was snow, then later butterflies, yes, you read correctly - butterflies!  After the butterflies, there was no more light -none whatsoever!  Pitch black, complete darkness - get what I'm saying here?  Thankfully we were prepared and had headlamps and flashlights - into the darkness we went.  In the dark we found ice that looked like glamorous diamonds.  The cave was 1.5 km long - we didn't venture in that far as is was quite difficult and to tell you the truth, a bit scary!  Imagine falling in there and breaking an ankle? How the heck would you ever get out?  You wouldn't!

After this exciting adventure, we made our way to Valley of Reykjadalur - a 3.5 kilometer up a mountain side, down another, seeing beautiful waterfalls, boiling pots, fumeroles and ending up at a river where you could lounge in the hot water - How fun!  We then walk back the 3.5 km to the car and moved on.  This was a beautiful but difficult height - up, up, up... phew! Glad we are in shape - or so I thought!  I won't be going up MT Everest anytime soon...

We ended our day with some snorkelling in freezing water - but the most amazing snorkelling!  In between two tectonic plates -the european and the american plates.  Now how cool is that?!  We wore dry suits - which keep you dry - not warm!  Hands and face were really cold as they come in contact with water - but man! What an experience!

Tomorrow we leave this area to go and explore another.  I can't wait!  Oh yes, we saw birds today - northern wheatear, red-necked phalarope, heard a red throated loon to name a few.

1 comment:

  1. Wow, it looks like you guys are off to an incredible start! You've done some fascinating exploring so far. Georgeous pictures! I can't wait to see all of them when you get back! Be safe and have fun! Xoxo, Ann