Iceland road trip: Wild horses and a diamond ring

Day 3
unspecified-20After a stunning theatrical display in the clear skies the night before, the pleasant scenery we woke up to was quite unexpected.

The slip road we were forced to nervously park up on wasn’t someone’s driveway, or a farm. But a road delivering us to the shore. It was a road people used to take their boats to the ocean!

We quickly admired the beautiful pink skies of the morning before jumping in the van and making our way back on to the main road.

Driving up the country road, we trundled over large bridges that were heavily restricted with signs you had to purposefully drive around.unspecified-8

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We wove through mountains when suddenly I saw something out the corner of my eye…

Horses! A whole herd of them racing our red van on the road! My heart in my mouth, I grabbed the phone and started filming them. They seemed to have come over with excitement by the rare view of a vehicle on this desolate country road – they didn’t seem scared, they were playing!

We kept our distance as they wove across the road, and finally rested at a roadside lake, which was crystal clear. Another truly magical and unexpected gift Iceland gave to us.

Icelandic horses jodiehart.co.nz

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It was another few hours before we stopped at the next location we had marked on our map, Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon. A lake famous for its icebergs. We soon found it and walked 10 minutes around the lake to distance ourselves from the coach tours.

iceland lakeThe water was blue… Like, turquoise. The ice that had broken off from the glaciers on the far side had floated to the shore where we stood. The icebergs squeaked as they pushed against each other.

The hollow crackle of the glass-like ice expanding and contracting was haunting. Large chunks were scattered over the stones that we walked over.unspecified-13

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The icebergs floated gracefully around the lake as they headed to the mouth that moved out to sea. I was in absolute bliss as I took in the scenery, and listened to the unfamiliar sounds of Iceland’s nature.

I turned to my romantic man who took my hand and smiled, before getting down on one knee…

It wasn’t until he pulled the small yellow box from his coat pocket that I realised he wasn’t joking. It wasn’t until he opened it to reveal that my assumption of it being a necklace was wrong, as a glistening ring stared back at me.

“Will you marry me?”

Unfortunately in my total excitement and shock, I can’t remember the romantic speech beforehand. But this question I heard loud and clear. I answered as quickly as I could, suddenly worried that he was going to say ‘nah, just joking!’:

“SERIOUSLY!? YES! YES, I DO!”

ring iceland proposal
Please excuse my dirty fingernails. I obviously wasn’t aware we were going to be taking close-ups of my fingers today…

I cried a lot. Now all the photos I have immediately after this moment include a loo roll in my lap:unspecified-5

If I’m honest, I don’t remember a huge amount about the rest of the day because I was up in the clouds. My hand with glistening diamonds on it are the only views I remember seeing from the van that day.

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That is, apart from the hot pools! The natural springs of Iceland are common, and are often piped into pools. You usually have to go deep into the mountains to find these man-made sites. We were brave to strip down to our swimming things in what was probably about 2 degrees, and jump into the pools that were closer to 30 degrees! We were admired by passing tourists who were not quite as brave, and whom left as quickly as they arrived.

We set off back in our van, only to find ourselves off the main road, a little lost, and on a gravel road that forked. (I knew we should have paid extra for the SatNav!)

Turning left at the forked road: After almost 25 minutes, the road led us to a farmer’s house. The farmer was still ploughing his field in the darkness with a flood light attached to his tractor. So we turned around quickly.

unspecifiedTurning right at the forked road: Took us to the end of a PIER. I am not exaggerating in the slightest. Due to the total lack of light, we had no choice but to stay where we were – now stranded. Unable to drive forward due to the OCEAN being in the way, unable to reverse the kilometre back to the fork in the road, and unable to do a three-point turn in the total darkness. A little nervous, and hoping we weren’t causing any trouble to locals, we turned the van off and hoped the sun would rise quickly this time.

Staring at the clear, sparkling rocks on my left hand I was lulled into a deep sleep by the sound of the lapping ocean – just a mere metre away from the van.

What we woke up to was a strong reminder of how close to Iceland’s nature you can get without realising. Beautiful of course, but clearly dangerous too.

We reversed the van aaaaaaaaall the way back up the pier, away from the ocean that had thankfully retreated revealing the icy seabed.

iceland_jodiehart_sunrise

Then, my FIANCEE and I began day four with a huge sigh of relief that we didn’t get caught in a storm, washed away, or trapped on the pier by other vehicles. (Which, I had a nightmare about! But this turned out to be a rather unfounded fear, since there was no one in sight for miles. And miles. And miles… And miles.)

*Special thank you to my glorious FIANCEE who took all the amazing photos and video on our trip* tehe.

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