Chance encounters and driving into clouds
Jokulsarlon Travel Blog› entry 9 of 11 › view all entries
So sleeping in my car didn't end up being that great after all. While there was plenty of room, it became incredibly cold during the night despite the number of layers I was wearing. I kept digging in my bag every few hours and pulling out some other article of clothing to put on or turning on the car for a bit with the heater on high. I finally gave up around 5am and went into the little shelter to take a shower.
I quickly noticed that due to the setup of this little building, I would be completely visible from the road as I got into the shower. Luckily it was so early no one was around, but I am glad I didn't sleep in until others were awake! I couldn't figure out the shower for awhile as all I saw was this little square box on the wall with a hole in the middle.
After a quick shower, I packed up and headed out to the beach in Vik. Vik is known for its black sand beaches due to the volcanoes and it was very eerie so early in the morning in the fog. The waves were huge and the wind was so fierce it nearly knocked me over and it took all my strength to stay upright. By the time I got back to the car, the wind had whipped my hair around so hard it was almost completely dry from my shower twenty minutes before.
Then I was on the Ring Road again. It was a foggy morning and it made the landscapes look surreal and spooky. I passed by black lava fields, green cliffs dotted with sheep, and glimpses of the huge waves from the ocean as I drove along. There were countless little nameless waterfalls tucked into the cliffs as I cruised along.
I came over a hill and suddenly became completely disoriented. Ahead of me I could see mountain peaks but they were embedded in this white glacier that for a moment looked like it was floating on a cloud and I was driving right into it. It truly looked like I was about to drive into the clouds and just then a huge rainbow appeared over the glacier. The scene was indescribable and the pictures do not do it justice.
Driving down the hill, I came to Jökulsárlón the glacier lagoon. Here the glacier has broken off into large chunks that float off to the sea. It was used in several movies like Tomb Raider and James Bond and it is easy to see why. The glacier chunks have a blue hue emanating from deep within the ice and you can hear them cracking and see their movements out to sea.
After taking in the view, I headed back on the Ring Road towards Vik. The driver I had on the first day to the Blue Lagoon had recommended I stopped at this place right next to Vik called Reynisfjara. I had forgotten about it before, so I decided to look for it now. I had seen few cars all day, but as I drove past Vik I was behind a car that was going very slowly on the road and then made a left turn onto a small gravel side road.
I had known he was going to be in Iceland at the same time, but when we compared schedules it seemed there was no overlap to meet up. It was the oddest thing that we would meet up at this little beach which isn't even mentioned in most of the guidebooks I've seen and wasn't even on my map.
As we walked back to the parking lot, it suddenly began pouring rain. We were now walking into the wind which meant our progress was so slow it seemed we were standing still. It was very difficult just to take a single step against the tremendous force of the wind, but we eventually got back to our cars, though I was completely soaked. We then read a sign which stated that due to the force of the wind and falling rocks you should not walk onto the beach! Oops.