For our first night we had no idea how long it stayed light as we did our best to stay awake to get on the time zone, but lasted only until 9:30. We snuggled into our sleeping bags, with Mandy and Kevin on the upper bunk and Crosby and I on the bottom one. Mandy put on a sleep story blog, though I can’t say that a word of it sunk in as I quickly dozed off. We slept soundly until 8 A.M. thanks to our sleep masks, then arose to a beakfast of eggs and toast while gazing out upon the ocean. Delicious and delightful.
We soon headed out to explore the peninsula, stopping first at a waterfall just off the road. We wandered up close and found that at the spot where it came out of the hillside it was a narrow canyon where the kids went in, walking on the rocks in the water. I stayed in place, watching the sea birds circle overhead as they soared on the wind and roosted in the cliffs. We learned that trolls and elves tend to live in such spots and we ought to watch out. This one was supposedly occupied by a cross between a giant and a man.
We drove on to Arnarstapi where we took off on a clifff walk to Hellnar. The views along the cliff were gorgeous, with lots more seabirds on and around the cliffs, soaring gracefully and calling out with an unusual gull sound. We continued on to find a rock “giant” guarding the shore. Along the way we spotted a sign describing a local legend of a serial killer from 1555 who acted as a local, offering hospitality to travelers then proceeding to kill them for their horses, clothing and supplies. We’re being cautious.
We kept finding interesting places to pull over and investigate, including an old church that had been rebuilt several times over many years with a charming old cemetary adjacent to it, with graves dating back to the mid 1800s, giving those resting there a perpetual view of the ocean.
By then we were circling then end of the peninsula and the National Park. Once on the north side we aimed for Kirkjufell, a mountain that has been featured in a number of movies (and the kids say also in Game of Thrones) conical shape from one angle is very distinctive. It was quite a sight to behold, especially from the tide flats. The bonus was another beautiful waterfall next to where we pulled off. I knew Iceland would have a lot of waterfalls but had no idea how many… today we counted 57!
Just driving here presents an amazing array of landscapes, with mountains still with snow to fjords and rivers. We came upon Helgafell, where we climed to the top of a rocky hill. The legend had it that one should climb to the top, never looking backwards and not speaking. Once at the top you were to make to 3 wishes that would come true as long as you approached with a pure heart and never divulged the wishes. It made for a wonderfully trancendent time.
We then headed off the peninsula driving for quite a distance on a secondary, gravel road. Kevin enjoyed the driving, but I was happy to eventually return to pavement and the ring road. We headed to northern Iceland, driving along some interesting landscapes when suddenly it seemed as if a downy blanket of fog enveloped us, obscuring the road almost totally. Kevin persevered in driving when just as suddendly things cleared out and we were back in sunshine. We fnally reached our campsite destination in Saudarkrokur. We pulled in and quickly got dinner cooking as it was already past 8. When it mostly stays light outside it’s definately easier to keep going.