All through last night I kept waking up to see if the Aurora was active, unfortunately it didn’t show. So after what was a chilly and restless night, I decided to move on.
The first challenge however, was actually trying to find the track that lead back to the main road. It was about 6am, pitch black night, on a pitch black surface, I was working on instinct looking for any tyre tracks in the car headlights that look like they knew the right way! I travelled in about 3 circles, at least keeping my bearings on the wreck which had to backtrack towards to try again! My spidey sense was failing me.
I was thinking that at this rate I would have to wait a couple of hours for daylight to arrive! Fortunately at the next pass around I caught sight of a well travelled area and got myself on it! I managed to (mostly) find my way along the track. There are short wooden markers with yellow ends showing the direction that the track runs, however, plenty of them are missing or knocked over (I wonder why!) and so not visible. There was the occasional course correction needed on the way…
After a 20 min and 20kph snail crawl and using The Force to help guide me, I made it back to the main road. Today could start at last!
This is my second hobo day, and I have only 2 things on my agenda for today; to see a glacier, and to see the Northern Lights.
The first item was easy; keep traveling in the same direction I had been for a few hours and the glacier at Jökulsárlón lake should be visible from the road.
I passed another glacier on the way, however when I arrived at Jökulsárlón it was obviously the right place. This is one of those places that pictures can’t do justice.
From the road you can see Breiðamerkurjökull, a huge glacier which over the years has receded from the sea and is leaving a lake behind in its stead. The Jökulsárlón lake is increasing in size as the glacier recedes and at 814ft deep is the deepest in Iceland.
Large chunks of ice break off the glacier and sit in the lake until they either melt or flow out to sea.
This area is amazing to me, having not seen icebergs before, and, as if icebergs the size of houses isn’t enough, there are crystal clear lumps of glass smooth ice on the shoreline, thirst inducing slush covered ice floating along the outlet to the sea, and a serene tranquility of peace and silence around the place. I’m not the person that feels it. On the shoreline watching the glaciers are people talking softly or whispering so as not to break the silence. Apart from the breeze and lapping of the water on the shore, the sound is only broken by the icebergs cracking and splashes of breaking pieces hitting the lake.
I sat on the bank of the outlet for a while watching ice pieces flow past, vie for position, and manoeuvre and bump around each other to get to the sea.
The time spent at the lake was made better when earlier, I’d made a quick stop about a kilometre from the main parking point. I had a wander down to the waters edge, and, out of view of the general public was a family of Seals practicing their swimming display. They saw me, took a mild amount of interest and watched me as I sat and watched them, and then they went about their chores.
I left Jökulsárlón feeling very refreshed, (that may have been the piece of ice that I picked up and ate) and nicely relaxed. I made another push to get to my next destination. Although this was another hobo night, I wanted to be close to the town i would be staying in for the next couple of nights.
So, I headed further along the south of the ring road which turned northwards to travel along the east. Night was starting to fall and there had been reports of a strong Aurora event tonight. I was hopeful as I headed up into a mountainous region in the east.