This was the most frustrating day of our road trip with the least amount of sightseeing.
We woke up really early, around 3:00 AM and went to Jökulsárlón lagoon to take some pictures of the ice on the shore while there was no people around. Unfortunately, it was the time when the water in the lagoon was calm and ice was not drifting.
I took some pictures but there was really no point in lingering. We went ahead to see the closest ice lagoons in the vicinity, Fjallsárlón and Breiðárlón.
Fjallsárlón and Breiðárlón
Since our last visit in 2014, the Fjallsárlón lagoon looked kind of the same but the infrastructure was added around: a road, parking, business tents, etc. Perhaps I should have felt good about an easier, tourist-friendlier access to the place, but instead I felt as if the nature was permanently spoiled there. The wildness of the place and the feel of rugged wilderness were gone forever. I carefully avoided taking pictures that would include manmade structures.
On our way back from Breiðárlón, we saw this simple camp that was organically situated among the surrounding nature. Much better than all the infrastructure that businesses try to put in to attract tourists.
After this night outing, we returned to the hotel and slept until 11am, the check-out time. Alex was still sick. For the first time in the trip I felt like going home. No, I wished to go home. But we still had 3 days ahead of us.
On our way from the hotel, we were passing Jökulsárlón again. We thought we would not stop, but it turned out that we did because the tide changed and ice was drifting to the sea.
There was a lot of ice that drifted to the shore but even more people were running around with cameras. I felt like I was in a race with other tourists, running to get to a better spot to take that ultimate picture of a blue ice boulder. Silly.
The weather was getting worse by the hour. I planned a couple of short hikes but soon realized that the rain would not allow us to realize any of my plans. We made a couple of stops along route 1 to take pictures, but mostly we wanted to get to our accommodation, a cabin at Reynisfjara Black Sand Beach.
I really wanted to take pictures of Systrastapi waterfall near Kirkjubæjarklaustur. Unfortunately, Alex was unwell, and I left him at the parking lot to take a couple of pictures of the waterfall. I fell in love with it. It was on the small side but really looked like one from a fairy tale. Plus, no people around, which was a nice bonus.
Finally, we got to our accommodation destination. The cabins on that beach are in huge demand, but we made reserved one half a year in advance. However, when we came and found the owner, who was supposed to give us the keys, it turned out that our cabin was rented to someone else. Instead, he offered us another cabin that basically was a smaller version of ours and did not have a shower. Bummer. The owner apologized and told us that we would not have to pay for it. We did not have any choice, plus it was nearly $200 of instant savings. We were both tired and all I could think of was sleep. By the time we got there, the rain and wind intensified and turned into a full gale. The owner apologized again and expressed his wonder for people who were still coming to the beach (and Iceland in general) despite the “shitty weather”. “Sitty weather,” he kept repeating, “what a sitty weather.” He seemingly could not understand what all those tourists found in Iceland. And at that moment I kind of agreed with him.