The weather started to pick up at this point and what a difference it makes. We were able to leave our lair at 10AM and make our way to the infamous black sand beach in Vik, known as Reynisfjara. The black sand is formed by tiny fragments of basalt . Who ever knew black sand could be so beautiful and aesthetically pleasing. We spent thirty minutes frolicking around the beach after the twenty minute drive. It’s great for pictures with the various different rock formations Halsanef & Reynisdrangar which is abundant with wildlife such as pufins. Before leaving, toy with the idea of going for an arctic dip and just generally being silly!
So far we had been fortunate in the length of driving had been fairly short. This continued today. Fjadrargljufur Canyon was an hour away and this canyon forged slightly inland was spectacular. There are different viewpoints, top and bottom, to capture this majesty. Unfortunately, we had been to the Gorges Du Verdon in France, which did eclipse this and I urge you to visit. You can read about our time here! We took our time and spent an hour here, soaking it all in.
As you may have gathered, we try to fit a lot in to our days! Today was no exception. We toyed with the notion of skipping Skaftafell National Park but that just wouldn’t be GlobeTrotter-esque now, would it?! There are plenty of walks for hikers alike but as we were trying to fit a whole country in just 7 days (which is possible if you’re visiting Vatican City), we opted for the S2 walk to see Svartifoss. “Foss” as you may have noticed, is waterfall in Icelandic and is attached at the end of all of their names. You’re advised that the walk takes 40 minutes each way however one way is uphill and the other down. I feel their timings went astray… The waterfall itself is great and even on day 3 of non stop water, we are yet to be bored. They’re strangely diverse and unique in their own right, whether it be the force of the water or the surrounding rock, there’s always a niche element.
Even as I write this, I feel slightly rushed! Getting back in the van, we’d pinpointed the next location. Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon and the Diamond Beach across the road were a short drive away and also a world away to the green meadows we had just been walking through. There, on the side of the road, was the most pristine glacial lake imaginable. Stunning blues contrasted with the shimmering ice & with the epic tinge of sunlight skimming across the surface, it was postcard perfection. We wandered around the shores, utilising the timer feature on the camera to full effect and also honed our rock skimming skills. Other highlights included seeing an African couple getting married with this backdrop whilst feeling sorry for the shivering bridge and seeing chunks of ice float into the ocean. We even heard that there’s chances of spotting seals around these parts.
We were all sighted out and headed to Hofn in the evening as the Aurora forecast said there was a very high chance of seeing the Northern Lights there. After speaking with the receptionist at the campsite, she drowned our hopes stating it’s far too light now to see them. She was right 😦 In fact, other than our first night, we didn’t really see Iceland get dark. It’s strange and quite detrimental to the body clock, as we are discovering now!
Hofn Camping was OK, 1200 IKR and had to pay for showers. The dining room was tiny and we ended up making dinner by the van which was cute, partly due to the setting but more so as we shared any form of body heat we could with each other! We had a rum and pepsi max before hitting the hay, feeling well accomplished with our first three days.