It's become much warmer in Iceland over the past few days and all the snow has melted. Considering we were sitting in a hot bath with outside temperatures at -17 eight days ago, it's very odd. Today has been around 6° and there is vegetation appearing from under it's icy blanket which is green and yellow . I didn't see anything like it last time I was here as the ground was constantly covered in snow as I remember.
I have been sleeping an enormous amount. I usually have between 6 and 8 hours at home but here, it's never less than 9. I'm not sure if that will change as the mornings become lighter, but it's a strange phenomenon to wake up at 9 am, nip to the loo and go back to fast asleep for a couple of hours. The sleeping patterns on an artists residency are weird anyway, with many night creatures doing their arty thing until 4am....
So to the last couple of days. I have slept, walked, fallen down, had a G&T, got half price sweets from the garage and been on a short trip to the elusive lighthouse. But, first. These were taken 2 days ago in the snow.
|The walk back to Manabraut|
|Very calm sea and twinkling harbour|
|Sea Cliffs about 10 minutes walk from the house|
|masses of seaweed, which Eleanor tried and found disgusting to eat|
The water is so clear and tempting, but freezing..... One of the artists, Sophie really wants to swim, but I'm not sure I have the bottle. Apparently there's a monthly sea swimming club...Hmmm.
The sunrises and sunsets are usually stunning. It's almost expected and I have become somewhat blasé about it. Well actually, no. I still get really excited and say 'eeeeee it's brilliant' in a higher voice than my usual one. But hey, I make no apology for gorgeous natural beauty.
Yesterday I set out early (11am) for a walk to the valley between Spákonufell (our mountain) and some other less wonderful mountains. I had already wandered around this area a little bit before but hadn't discovered the valley, the river, the waterfall and the trail up Spákonufell .. I had stupidly decided to carry my camera bag with a massive extra lens, my tripod and a load of other stuff 'just in case'. Interestingly I forgot to bring any water and was so dehydrated by the time I came off the mountain that I was prepared to climb down the side of a gorge to get some from the stream - that was after actually trying the door on a house to use their tap..... (which I discovered later is a hireable venue for partying in isolation of anyone or anything). Anyway, back to the story....
|This is the river running through a wonderful valley about 45 minutes from the village|
|High up, looking into the gorge|
Very gorgeous it is too (See what I did there?) (tired now..!)
|Looking up to Spákonufell summit|
Ah well, I was always within site of the village and I'm sure my green parka would have shown up on the mountainside if I'd got into any trouble, particularly against the - greenish vegetation.......
Steve and the kids are now at this point thinking I was reckless and taking stupid risks, but I wasn't, promise gov. It's artistic licence, that's all.
|This is me about half way up and having decided that I wasn't fully equipped to go to the top. Plus having just gotten over bronchitis, I felt a bit ill.|
Easier said than done. I found this fabulous strip of ice/snow, about 50m long and decided that the safest and most efficient way to get down would be to slide. I had even brought a carrier bag for this specific purpose - who needs a sledge who you have a carrier bag? Anyway, I got myself settled on the bag - my camera bag on my back, my feet out in front and my precious iPhone 7+ in my hand, ready to ride the exciting, dynamic ice path down the mountain. My phone was so excited, it decided to go without me - in video mode. I did capture it's journey, and it survived but for a few scratches. It's on my Facebook page if you want to see it.
I found an iced up river and some pylons on my walk back to civilisation, where I rewarded myself with a large G&T.
|very icy river|
|very interesting pylons|