Sunday, September 18, 2016

Land of Fire and Ice: Day 4



After waking from a long overdue well rested night, we slowly made our way down the mountain to get on the road toward the north-western edge of our journey. Although not as long as Day 3, it was still another long day of driving through even more varied terrain. Both Dan and I were surprised at the shift in weather patterns once we got to the northern side of the island. It was so much warmer in the north than it was along the southern coast. We didn't have as much rain, and actually used the air conditioner for a while! It didn't require as many layers, but could still turn cold/rainy at any moment. Iceland sure kept us on our toes, and with our jackets always within easy reach.







We drove through the sunny and clear northern coast to arrive at our final camping site of the trip, near a small fjord in the off the ring road in the west.

It was the first time we had arrived at a campsite with a few hours to spare before the sunset {granted, sunsets were always so late!}, and we used the time to hike around the area.




It also happened to be a campsite that had a hot spring on the grounds, and it felt like something straight out of a storybook. There was a small hut in which you could change/leave your clothes and the the natural hot spring was at the base of a pretty cool small mountain with a waterfall. Dan and I first hiked up the mountain to get a better look at the waterfall, and then relaxed afterward in the hot spring! One thing they don't tell you about natural hot springs is natural hot spring in the ground = a TON of mossy algae that just LOVES to get stuck in your swimsuit. The clean up was super fun...and very green.





From our experience the night before, we knew we wanted to try and see the northern lights again tonight, and knew relatively when they might be visible, if there was clear weather. So after the hot spring, we made dinner and took a nap. When the time came to get up and see if we could see the lights again, I was exhausted, but Dan jumped right up and went back to the hut and hot spring from earlier. I stayed near the van to watch while Dan ventured off to get some shots from the spot we had staked out earlier. This evening was even clearer than the previous night and the lights were even brighter. As with the night before, the sky was just so active with the aurora-dancing. It flowed effortlessly before our eyes from one shape to the next. I just kept thinking "the sky's awake, so I'M awake!" Anna, gets it.

Overall, it was an awesome way to spend the final night in our camper.








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