I had a rough morning with barely any sleep. I woke up with the rain hitting my face, because the tent flaps came undone and the wind was very strong. Showering the night before was a bad idea, because my hair remained damp until the early morning. I had a plan to wake up at 2:30 am to see the stars, but I fell asleep at 2 am and got up at 3 am to use the bathroom. I’m not sure what happened in that one hour, but from what I saw, the sky remained light out the whole time. It’s made me convinced that night doesn’t exist in Iceland during the summer time.
We went on a 6 hour hike, which I think was approximately 8 miles long. It was made really difficult by the fact that a lot of the trail was uphill. Tooleman, the Bucknell professor, got lost at one point, and they had to send out a search and rescue team for him. He later showed up, but apparently he was looking for our group for hours. Of course, the Bucknell students gave him hell for it and we had lots of laughs about it. On the last night of the program, Tooleman admitted that this was his new most embarrassing moment.
In the second half of our hike, Helga told us to all be quiet and try not to talk. This was my favorite part of the hike, because it gave me an opportunity to really enjoy the sights and sounds of nature. We walked along the stream and saw some beautiful mossy cliffs. In the background, you could see the glaciers. I took a lot of pictures, because it was one of the most beautiful sights I’ve ever seen. I say that for a lot of things on this trip, but all of it rings true for me. We got to a clearing and took a breather while we waited for those behind us to catch up. Still, nobody talked and I’m not sure how long the break lasted. Maybe 30 minutes to an hour. It started to rain, but I just laid in the grass, turned around, and fell asleep. The short nap was so peaceful and calm despite the rain.
After our break, we climbed to the top of a steep mountain. The climb was one of the most physically demanding activities I’ve ever done. It was worth it though, because at the top, there was an amazing 360 degree view of everything. The cliffs looked like they had spires all around, and you could also see a wide view of the floodplains at the bottom. The sight is definitely on my list of top 10 views.
It continued to rain pretty hard, so a lot of people stayed in the main cabin to chill and play games. Over half our tents couldn’t handle the strong winds and they collapsed. This included my tent as well, and I was honestly so relieved and very amused by the whole situation. The collapse of the tents was like the answer to our prayers. Outdoor camping is only fun for one night, and then you just feel disgusting. Instead of digging our stuff from out of the tent, we just carried the whole tent to our new cabin to escape the strong winds and rain. I slept very well that night.