Ohoh my an amazing day. First, our group is 8 people. Kathy and Kay from Florida (nurses who work together, one well traveled, the other is on her first trip out of the US) From the Netherlands Malise & Jon, Leeza from Athens, Alex & Whi Minh (phonetic spelling) from Singapore, and of course, me. Our guide and driver is Martina, from Iceland, and as an Icelandic enthusiast - history, nature lover, follower of Icelandic government & environmental policy and law, jolly & reassuring in the face of "changing conditions on the ground", patient with the lot of us - she is the "Kim Gaffett-equivalent" in Iceland.
i've been to a waterfall, an Icelandic forest where the dwarf Birch trees are 50 to 60 years old. Hiked up to the edge and circled the edge of a volcanic crater in snow - exilarating. We've been to a seal center where research is going on to learn more about harbor and gray seals, and visited an 184? curch made of turf and driftwood - the wood is all original and brought to the shores from the Gulf Stream current, and the current from Siberia.
We did not end the day where it was planned, as the winds were too great to travel the third mountain pass. The wind was blowing 30 to 35 m/s which is roughly 67 - 75 mph. Together with icy roads and the high-profile vehicle it was determined that it was I advisable to continue, so we took an alternative and went somewhere else. Love the flexibility and spontaneity. Wind said to lessen in the morning, by 8or 9 - before sunrise.
Another unexpected end to the day: the substitute hotel has a hot tub in the back. I decided to practice relaxing. True, after about 7 minutes I was wondering what I was supposed to be doing...but, being reassured that the purpose was to "do" nothing, I lasted another 10 - 15 minutes. All journeys start with a single step/soak
No sign of aurora/northern lights, yet, but scudding clouds, whipping winds, plunging waterfalls, black lava mountains dusted with snow, and an international communion of new friends lingering over dinner at a long table defies descriptions of beauty, awe, and appreciation.