In the morning at breakfast, I had an interesting conversation with Tinni about elves. I asked him if he thought elves were real and he did. He told me stories about mysterious incidences of people disappearing and then reappearing with claims that they had seen elves. Being able to see an elf is a special thing in itself. Not everybody can see elves and those who can are called Seers.
We packed up all our things, left the campsite, and it was super jeeping time! What is a super jeep you ask? Just a massive, souped-up jeep, which was provided by South Iceland Adventures. There were nine of us in the jeep, and the owner of South Iceland Adventures, Siggi, was our driver. He was a pretty chill, funny guy. Apparently he’s Helga’s cousin too, which makes him extra cool.
We were driving across the floodplains over some rocks and through the streams, so the ride was pretty bumpy. The first stop on our ride was to a stream just about 30 minutes from our campsite. The whole place reminded me of the Lord of the Rings, because it was breathtakingly beautiful. It’s easy to see from this place how Icelanders could believe in so many mythologies. The whole place had a magical feel to it and was maybe one of my favorites. We were told that this place was where trolls lived, but if they came out during the day, they turned into rocks. This is also where waterproof hiking boots came in really handy. We were hopping over rocks in the streams. I got one foot wet because I was cocky and refused help for a moment, so I slipped and submerged my whole foot in the water. There’s was also a secret waterfall which was nice. I couldn’t get a good picture of it though.
The next stop was to this place at the foot of the volcano EyjafjallajokulI, which erupted 5 years ago. Apparently, we were standing in what used to be a flood basin. Now it was a place for us to wander around and eat hot dogs. Yes, we set out a grill and ate special Icelandic hot dogs for lunch because we’re cool like that. There was also this cave that we all wanted to go into but weren’t allowed for safety reasons. India and I plotted our escape plan to see the cave. We knew nobody would stop us and besides, we’ve already proved that we’re horrible at following directions. But we chickened out at the last minute and kept walking.
After that, we went to a local hydropower plant located on a farm. A carpenter with no engineering experience contracted the building in 2006, and the whole business is family run. They use only 1% of the energy, and they sell the rest to a government organization.
We saw another waterfall, which was super pretty. I liked this waterfall a lot because you could go behind it, although I got pretty wet while doing so.
Almost all of us fell asleep on the super jeep while traveling to the next destination. Where we were headed to I had no idea but it was the best surprise ever. Perhaps one of my most memorable moments from the trip: Siggi decided to scare and wake us all up. He swerved hard onto a black sand beach while screaming loudly. When I opened my eyes, I was looking down into a sand pit, and those of us sleeping all woke up screaming in fear. But it was super funny, and so we forgave him. Then we went on an amazing and crazy speed ride across the beach, doing figure eights and sometimes trying to race the other jeeps. This was completely unplanned, and I think that fact made the ride so much more fun.
Before we landed in our next hostel, we visited Siggi’s South Iceland Adventure business and learned about his backstory and future plans. It was pretty inspiring. He started off with a simple idea and no capital investment. Everybody thought he was crazy, but now he’s built up a good tourist base and has plans for building additions, which includes a hostel above the car garages.
Bonus: As soon as I put my bags in my new room, I ran to take a picture of this horse that was just chilling on the farm next to our hostel. What a majestic unicorn.