Iceland road trip: Waterfalls and northern lights

Day 2 (Part 2)
waterfalljodieAfter a wonderful morning riding Icelandic horses, we grabbed some hotdogs from a drive-through hotdog place (very common in Iceland), and continued our journey.

Before we knew it, we found a beautiful waterfall. We waded through the American and Asian tourists with their iPhones and selfie sticks before taking our own photos and jumping back in the van to find a less busy area to explore. You’ll notice the further away from Reykjavik you get and the further North you drive, the fewer tourists you’ll get.

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We soon came across another large waterfall. Again, we didn’t stay long due to the massive amount of tourists, and the fact that you have to pay to use the facilities…

But Reece did take some spectacular footage of the massive waterfall. It was a long walk up the mountain to get there, but it was worth it:

We soon hit the road again for another while until we took a somewhat unknown route off the main road to what was rumoured to be Iceland’s first ever man-made pool – heated naturally by thermal water.

unspecified-8After a rocky hike through waterfalls and rivers, we found it. A large, open pool with pure mountain water lapping the edges. There were a few people in there who looked anything but warm. The water was probably about 25 degrees – freezing considering the air outside was closer to 3 degrees. But my lovely boyfriend and I decided to have a free wash (sorry guys).

It was so cold! We became a spectacle, an amusement if you will, for fellow travellers remarking at how warm the water should be. My teeth chattered in an involuntary response.

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Stunning photo by Reece!

That night, we found ourselves driving through the dark, desperate to find a campsite – but to no avail. We were growing tired and hazy without even coming close to the next campsite. We were forced to turn off the main highway (the ring road) and on to an unmade country road. We didn’t see a soul for almost an hour when we finally found a slip road.

Due to there literally being zero light, my brave other half jumped out the van with his head torch to investigate the road before driving further down. Within 10 minutes we were parked, not entirely knowing what we were going to wake up to.

1am: “Jodie! Wake up! They’re here!”

I jumped up with a start to find Reece standing outside the van. I could only imagine an angry farmer kicking us off his driveway, or an officer telling us we were blocking the road. Instead, we were greeted by the Northern Lights.

A road of green pulsed rhythmically above us. It wasn’t super active, so they weren’t all dancing and pink and purple. But boy, was it a surreal site. Absolute silence. Absolute darkness. Absolutely bloody freezing… Yet what a show the Northern sky put on for us.

I have never felt so humble as I did that day. But how lucky and fortunate we were in experiencing everything Iceland is famous for within 24 hours. Iceland – the dreamland my mind often escaped to for more than four years of my life. Such an overwhelming gift of stunning and unbelievable experiences.

If I only I had the slightest clue what day 3 was going to bring…