8:04 – Didn’t get around to writing, but last night I made it to Vik and then to Reynisfjara – the famous black sand beach like with crags, caves, and outcroppings of basalt rock. It was past 23:00 by then and quite dim, but I had fun squishing through the sand and exploring the caves. I stayed there for the night (mainly because there was a WC I could use in the morning), and finally perfected my blocked off backseat bed. Naturally, you always figure it out the last time you do it.
My alarm went off at 4 AM, as I had hoped for some sunrise photos on the beach, but since it was still overcast and dark, I went back to sleep and got up at 6:00 instead to drive around to the other side of the beach (there is a thin strip of ocean separating the two) where I sat on a high point in the rocks all alone and watched the waves crash against the crags below me, occasionally getting sprayed by a monstrous one.
The famous attraction here is Dyrhólaey, but you have to cross to the other side to get a good vantage point. It was a long and, once again, uphill hike (yay hiking!), but the view was, of course, worth it. Turns out there is a winding road up to the lighthouse, so the hike wasn’t necessary, but hey – a little exercise never hurt anyone. Especially since I am now dining on a breakfast of cookies.
10:31 – Whew. I just walked 4.5 miles to look at a wrecked plane. My feet hurt. So the DC-3 plane crash is eerily awesome and a must-see. There’s no driving to it though. You park on the side of the road and traverse more than two miles of rocky desert before you find it. But it’s flat, even ground, and for the first time, I had the luxury of looking up while walking instead of watching every step. [I found out that the plane crash was a safe one, in which everyone survived, which made me feel a little better about all the people climbing over it and taking gleeful selfies.]
12:56 – Back in familiar territory! I have technically made a full loop now – although my journey isn’t quite over – and I’m back at my host home to return a blanket I borrowed from her. While there, I took advantage of the bathroom and wifi and got so say goodbye to the kids one last time (they were half asleep when I left on Wednesday). Their new volunteer had arrived the night before and for some reason, already decided to leave (well okay then!), so now I am going to drive her to Reykjavik with me. The car is clean, my stuff is repacked, and I have plenty of time to pick up my laptop!
15:35 – There’s nothing quite like an overpriced frappuccino to remind you of America. I have been reunited with my laptop, and I promptly camped out at the nearby Te & Kaffi to utilize the wifi. Well, I was hungry too. After this, I’m planning to hit a good pool and try not to drown by asleep in the hot tub. I can take a ncie shower there and be refreshed and ready for my flight to Scotland!
20:01 – Ah, the job of public showers and the pools that necessitate them! I believe the one I visited is considered Reykjavik’s finest, and it certainly is decked out with all the best amenities. Not only did I get to relax in the hot tubs and steam bath and do some hard-core stretching in the pool (yes, I’m the person who goes swimming to stretch), but I also got to take a thorough shower, wash my hair, and then braid it in the peace of their dressing rooms. With another 10 hours until my flight and no real plan to sleep tonight, it’s time to do some last minute exploring. There is a restaurant on top of some water towers called Perlan which I’d like to check out. Even if I don’t feel like spending the money to eat there, I’ve heard it’s a great view of the city.
Considering I didn’t plan out a schedule of time and even had what little plans I made change three times on me, I would say it’s quite a miracle that this trip turned out so well and so perfectly timed. I must have an uncanny inner clock… not that I would expect it to still be ticking after the confusion of the last few days!
21:43 – What an amazing thing to do with your city’s water towers! More places should follow this example. Perlan is fascinating outside and chic inside, with a fancy revolving restaurant on the top level. I was very close to sinking more money than I should on one last classy dinner, but thankfully for my bank account, they were having a private party tonight. I got a rather delicious crepe on the cafeteria style restaurant a floor below and enjoyed the view.
Last stop: Keflavik. I’m actually looking forward to just sitting for a few hours with internet. My feet hit their breaking point today, which is all well and good for Iceland, but as of tomorrow, I’ve got to start trekking around Edinburgh. Less elevation, please!
00:36 – Getting to Keflavik is no easy task. Signage is very confusing, and I ended up in a random coastal town nearby. No problem though, since I found an old boat there to take pictures of in front of the beautiful sunset!
The worst part of traveling for me is the luggage. I am forever downsizing my life, and it is forever still too much. Of course, packing for this trip was difficult since I have no idea how long I’ll be traveling nor to where. I hate lugging it around though. That’s why I’ve loved driving without stopping in hotels – I got all my crap in the car and then left it there. I need to learn to get six months of life in one moderate-sized bag. That would be skills.
And now I’m plugged in and ready for six hours of chilling in the airport. My plan is to move as little as possible (because again, lugging bags with you every time you need a bottle of water is a pain in the butt), but I’m already thirsty. I need to make an airport friend who will watch my stuff.
Technically though, this ends my fifth day and my time in Iceland. I have survived the Ring Road, I am broke, and I am ready for Scotland and a decently priced beer!