Day 4 –
At this point, we had not only figured out the generator and how to maximize its full use but we had also concluded that there was no reason to wake ‘early’ since you couldn’t see anything. My alarm went off around 08:30 and lo and behold it was dimly lit out. And sure enough, in front of us, about 500 meters was the impressive Mr. Skogafoss. As day broke we went for it. Climbing its 500 stairs in one go, not stopping for any rest, we were short of breath at the top. Taking in its sheer awesomeness we relished in its power and beauty. Looking out over the ocean it looked as if the clouds would break and the sun would make an appearance. Not wanting to miss that, we hurriedly made our way to the Sir Skogafoss’s bride, Madame Seljalandsfoss. Anthony found her more impressive. I didn’t but it was nonetheless very impressive. Deciding to brave the slippery steps and rocks we would have to make our way over in order to make it behind the waterfall, we set out. Not many of the dozens of people there would mimic our bravery. Why? Because it was friggin’ cold and damn wet getting there. But we had arrived in Iceland to be adventurous. We didn’t come to this lunar landscape on earth to return home telling of the risks we didn’t take. No way. We accomplished our mission the previous 3 days and day 4 wasn’t any different. Soaking wet, with the snow falling heavy, we circled the waterfall from behind and made our way back to the CV.
Ridding ourselves of soaked coats and my wet socks (did I mention to get waterproof socks above, this is why I did), we now set out for the 90 minute drive to the Golden Circle and its wonders. By the way, my Merrell shoes more than held itself up to the chore of trampling through the wet and muck. As did my North Face pants and Columbia button up shirts. Sorry, shameful plugs in case this article goes viral and these companies along with Kellogg’s for single handily setting a market for them in Iceland as we couldn’t get enough of the Sour Cream and Onion chips. Ok, back to our adventure. We chased the sun toward Gullfoss. Making it there, saving Secret Lagoon for the end of the day and very glad Anthony suggested it, we were awed by its power. If Skogafoss was the Sir and Seljalandsfoss the Madame, then Gullfoss was Lord of the manor. What an impressive sight to behold. Perfectly colored turquoise blue waters scattered with magnificent white foam, this river majestically carved a path through a canyon and leaves you breathless in its power. It’s not like Iguazu Falls in Argentina/Brazil and I can’t compare it to Niagara but this waterfall surely is a Lord of this domain. Taking it what we could but knowing daylight was fading fast, we quickly made it to Geysir. That’s its name. Geysir. Simple but fitting. This heaping collection of sulfur and water relieves itself every 6 minutes (approximately) for those gathering around its smallish crater. It shoots about 30 – 40 feet into the air. The sulfur smell isn’t nearly as potent here as it was up at Myvatn. You only need about 20 minutes at this stop. We moved on to find Icelandic horses that we had seen on a cut through road on the way to Gullfoss from Secret Lagoon. Between Gullfoss and Geysir is only about 10 minutes. At least during the winter when the tourist buses and cars are at an absolute minimum.
Finding the horses around their feeding bails, I got out the drone and flew it just over their heads. Not liking the buzzing alien overhead they began to scatter. But good footage was captured and I’ll have you know that I made up with these beautiful creatures before we left.
Stepping out of the freezing air and into our warm van we would proceed on to Secret Lagoon. About a 20 minute drive back toward Reykjavik. We decided that the $50 USD entrance fee and the tourist trap that the Blue Lagoon is would not fit into our budget style trip. So we would take our chances on this little Secret. For 2.800 Krona we couldn’t have been more happy with our decision. Especially watching the display of nakedness that would find its way to the floor of the slippery mens locker room. Perhaps the funniest part of our entire trip happened inside our locker room. Here’s how it went down, and trust me it’s probably way funnier to have witnessed than my words will make it out to be. Enter “Man A”, a fully clothed older gentleman, probably around 75 loses his footing and falls to both knees. Halfway getting up on his own, “Man B”, another 70-something year old man decides to help Man A up. Man B is stark naked mind you. As Man B makes his way over, he reaches down to help Man A to his feet. Sure as shit he slips and falls, dick up, right in the fallen mans face as Man A is still hunched over with one hand firmly on the floor. Now as if that wasn’t enough, Man C, a younger Asian man, say late 30’s, goes over to offer his hand in help. Did I mention Man C too was stark naked. Man B, who first offered his help is now sitting on his toosh, legs stretched out in front of him beside fallen Man A, and is rubbing the back of his head. Man A within a few more seconds makes his way erect, er, upright on both feet. The naked Asian is now bending over to help Man B, who is still on the floor, to get to his feet. The delightful conclusion to this all too brief of a side story is that there were no injuries and all three found their way to be fully clothed within 5 minutes. But likely, none the wiser from the event that played out in front of Anthony and I, and others. And if you have never been blessed enough to see a naked man helping a slip and fall victim to their feet, just imagine the pleasure of watching two naked men of varying ages and ethnicities undertake this act. Because I can promise you that you may never get to witness the hilarity of two grown ass naked men helping each other off the floor over at the tourist trap, Blue Lagoon. This would be too sophisticated (enter sarcasm here) for that establishment. In fairness I have never been to Blue Lagoon but hear nothing but spectacular things about it. The good news is that this shows that humanity will offer to help each other, regardless of race or creed, no matter how naked and vulnerable they are. To get my mind off of what can’t be unseen ever again, I thought back to the beautiful horses with the sun setting over their grazing field of frozen earth and crystallized particles of moisture. Serenity now!
Now back to the hot springs that make Secret Lagoon worth the visit. Spending nearly two hours there, pruned and dehydrated we definitely got our money’s worth. The snow began to fall, heavy. We still had about an hour drive ahead of us so we showered up and left. No slip and falls for us. Although the roads were doing their best to add us to their own twisted tale. The wind howled, the heavy snow coming down in sheets it seemed as we climbed the mountain pass that was a requirement in order to make it back to the city. Honestly, this was the most treacherous conditions that we had driven in over our entire trip. But we persevered, pressed through what mother nature threw at us and made it into town for a bite to eat. The one take away from the weather here in Iceland is that it reminded me, for some odd reason, of Freddie Prinze Jr’s movie career. Here one minute, gone the next.
Two Icelandic Hot Dogs later, we were back in the CV headed to Keflavik so we could be near the airport the next morning early. First, we needed to do a thorough cleaning of the van, which we accomplished in about 25 minutes. We reminisced about parts of the trip as we shut the lights down and got some shut-eye. Little did I know we would be awoken periodically throughout the evening as the wind gusts felt like gale force winds threatening to blow us off the parking lot, past the tourist ship parked on dry land next to us and into the frigid waters of the Atlantic. We survived.