–ICELAND DAY THREE – WEDNESDAY AUG 21 2013–
*getting a real taste of the weather iceland has to offer
*seeing some of iceland’s impressive waterfalls for the first time
*a puffin sighting, and an overnight in vik
when we woke up at the arnes camp site, it was very apparent that our incredibly warm and sunny weather from the day prior would not be repeating itself. we awoke to a cold drizzle, which would quickly turn into a full blown down pour (and hail) within a matter of minutes. now, we kept thinking – we are in iceland. after a breakfast of cocoa puffs (we learned this is a cereal staple in iceland – literally your two options are cocoa puffs or cheerios), we packed up camp.
with the downpour of rain however (and still adjusting to a 5 speed), we decided to wait it out a bit. we took refuge at a tourist center located by a gas station right next to our campsite. after soaking up some heat, free wifi, a cup of coffee, a clean non-campsite bathroom, and a 30 minute film on the natural wonders of iceland – the rain had calmed down just enough to hit the road.
we continued along the southern part of iceland via the ring road. it was cold, wet, raining, sometimes hailing – but at the time I remember thinking – I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else. it felt like a real adventure roughing it in this kind of weather – making pit stops for waterfalls, small towns, and coffee (or kaffe in icelandic). our dashboard was quickly full of gloves, scarves, socks and leggings – as we attempted to dry clothing via our camper heater after each stop.
…that was no where near the reality. this my friends, is how you experience a waterfall in insane iceland weather conditions (prior to your purchase of a legitimate weatherproof jacket):
my husband (being the good sport and ‘in the moment’ person that he is) always dragged my ass right up to each waterfall. even though this meant standing in wind that would literally have you leaning sideways, thick fucking cold rain beating you straight to the face, and returning to our camper as though we took a bath in the log ride at disneyland. it was crazy, half miserable, and pure wanderlust all at the same time.
we had several things originally planned for our first full day in the camper (including hiking to an old plane crash site that we had thoroughly researched), but we quickly abandoned said plans due to the weather. that was the thing about this trip, we adapted as we went and made decisions on the fly (and you kind of have to).
our new destination to hit by sun down (not that you could even tell the damn sun was even up), was a small town I was particularly excited about – vik.
I don’t know if it was the infamous black sand beach, the old church on a hilltop, the history, the buildings nestled into cliff sides, or the legends contained within it – but there was something a little magical about vik. I can’t exactly describe it, because it’s just a feeling. like you know a lot of people have come and gone throughout time in this village, and their footprints, their soul in a sense – still remain.
here, in the southernmost town of iceland (and with the highest percentage of annual rainfall) – we would set up camp. another bonus with vik – it’s home of the icewear hq – an outerwear company famous for using ‘vik wool’. although touristy, it was a necessary evil to upgrade our jackets to something more suitable for the weather (you’ll see for remainder of the trip, we would end up living in these jackets).
before making our way to vik’s one and only campsite, we drove down a road along the beach and ended up in a cul-de-sac along a cliff side. little did we know, the birds circling above our heads before we entered a local bar – were puffins (or lundi in icelandic). although we could barely see them, this would be the one and only time we would spot puffins in iceland (as it was the end of their season).
after an appetizer of beer and ice cream, we made our own dinner (ramen of course) in the camper. with the rain finally stopping, and restless from a day of being (somewhat) cooped up in the camper – we decided to drink at another small bar just across the street from the campsite.
although freezing running back to our camper in the middle of the night, it was well worth the booze venture. we would fall sleep no problem, full with viking beer in our bellies and this little town of vik in our hearts…
–when in iceland–
+ be smart and stay on top of the weather! especially if you’re doing a road trip – this is essential as it literally can derail your entire plans…
+ have multiples of small layers (two sets of gloves, two scarves..etc), but have one solid weatherproof jacket. the jacket will get you through the rough stuff – and the multiples of thinner/smaller layer clothing will allow you to rotate them to dry off your car/camper heater.
+ vik is an absolute must if you go to iceland. the black sand beaches of vik are often said to be one of the most beautiful/must see beaches on earth.
+ in case you missed it, read more of our journey in iceland here.