Posted by: jeanne | May 5, 2016

reykjanes peninsula, or the last day of travel

updated itinerary:  sunday night maybe as far as fludir.  monday night skaftafell.  tuesday night vik.  wednesday night oh damn.  hafnarfjordur.

how am i going to stay at grindavik and wander the reykjanes peninsula in the hours before turning the van in if we’re going to stay in vik? grindavik has a kick ass playground and pool, and a great fish restaurant.  waaaaah.

grindavik has Húshólmi, a lava flow that just didn’t bury a settlement, and selatangar, a tidal pool, both east of grindavik, and only selatangar sort of available by side road.  otoh, anything that isn’t on a path the boys aren’t going down.  so maybe never mind these two parts of reykjanes.  but what about krysuvik and seltun?  it’s east of grindavik as well.  that’s well worth a trip.  and it’s on the way to hafnarfjordur the quick way, so if we run out of time and that’s all we can see, that’ll do.  geothermal, bubbling mud, steam vents, funny colors.

and getting all the way from vik to hafnarfjordur in a hurry is going to be a pain in the ass, a slog.  no you can’t get out and get all wet pretending not to throw stones at elves near that waterfall.

if we could spend several hours at vik, we could move closer to town before stopping for the night.  i’ll have to consider that.  i have no reason to choose vik campground, but vik is worth a long visit.  the farm path on top of the hill above the town, where you can find obsidian – icelandite laying on the dirt road.  the mountain coming down to the sea, made of columnar lava and host to thousands of birds.  the black sand beach with the amazingly strong waves.  and then there’s climbing said mountain, which used to be an army radar base back in the day and has a powerful view to the south of the north atlantic.

being able to do that would depend on how much time we spend at skaftafell and environs.  the glacier lagoon.  svartifoss.  the glacier.  i keep trying to stuff things in as if it’s a 24 hour day and jim and i won’t need to sleep.

already the boys are telling me they can stay up 24 hours a day.  fortunately i sleep lightly and will hear them trying to open the door and escape at 3 am.  i may be outside at that point myself.  i guess i could take the boy(s) and go for a little walk…

in fact, the more off we stay with respect to normal clock time, the more we manage to miss whatever crowds there will be just before the season starts.  tourist season in iceland is getting like tourist season in venice.  it never actually dies, but in some seasons it’s rare to see one.  not rare, but refreshingly infrequent.


despite all the planning that has gone into this, it will serve only as a vague reminder when we’re there.  the whim and energy of the moment will direct us, our fatigue, the boys’ moods, who has to pee, who wants an ice cream or a hotdog.  the weather.  tho we have raincoats, we’ll want to do things with less energy than we would if the sun were out or the clouds unthreatening.

when i started planning this trip, months ago, i put aside everything but the necessary.  i stopped writing grant proposals for my art project next summer (the grantwriting season ended), put aside my unfinished canvases, and started cleaning.

i haven’t cleaned the house thoroughly since the last event, which was two years ago.  so it needed a good one.  and to make things more interesting for myself, i volunteered for the local tour of homes, which means everything has to be stripped of clutter and collectibles, and decorated, in this case with art we made ourselves.

this of course has added another layer of complexity on my preparations, but it needed to be done, and i’ll feel so good coming home to an empty, echoing home nonetheless full of antiques and the rest of our stuff.  just no junk.

and to top it off, i’m inviting all our friends and neighbors to a preview party, and parties at our house are always blowouts – at least i need to sleep for a week afterwards.  but afterwards is not quite a week before we leave for iceland, so it’ll all squeak out in the end.

oh yeah – i got on to a housesitting service, and interviewed a bunch of potential ones, and finally decided on a cute little couple from california who’ve never been out east and are kind of tired of desert suburbs and LA traffic.  so cool, our menagerie will be tended, and we don’t have to rely on our steadily ailing permanent houseguest.

life is good, and it’s a wonderful time to be alive; politics notwithstanding.


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