Day 8: Glacier Hiking on a Volcano

We left at 8:15 am to go see a documentary about the eruption of the EyjafjallajokulI volcano which was really interesting. The documentary focused around this farming family who was living at the base of EyjafjallajokulI when it erupted. I always love documentaries and bonus points if I get to see the documentary at the site of the exhibition. After we finished, we took a short ride to a farm to have a biofuels and biomass class. When we arrived, I was really surprised to see the farmer from the documentary and his son there. Turns out, we were visiting his farm!

I really enjoyed the biofuels and biomass class especially since this is an interest of mine although not something I know much about. The farm we were on grows rapeseed, which has a pretty yellow flower. The rapeseed plant can be used not only to produce rapeseed oil (canola oil) which can then be processed to biodiesel, but also it produces other byproducts like animal fodder, straw, and glycerol/glycerin. I tried the animal fodder, and it tasted kinda pooey but hey, it’s green and sustainable! I think on every GREEN program, they also make the bus driver drink the biodiesel before pouring the rest in the bus tank. Luckily, I pushed my way through the crowd and got some pictures!

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Close-up of the poop machine

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Whose eggs are these?!

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We stayed around after the class to hang out with the animals. A few of us went into the barn with the cows and stayed there for awhile. Some of the cows were pretty funny and one of them kept licking me. In the corner, there was this completely mechanized milking machine which was super interesting to watch. The devices that attached to the cow’s udders were automated. However, one of the devices couldn’t find the nipple, so it kept trying over and over again in different positions around the udder. We watched in anticipation for it to attach, and it was like watching a game of find the nipple. When it finally did attach, we all cheered. I didn’t realize how smelly the cows were until I got back on the bus and got a whiff of manure from my sweater.

We went to go see another waterfall. We looooove waterfalls. I can’t remember how many I’ve seen on the whole trip now. Although I was feeling sore from all the hiking, I still climbed all the way to the top of the waterfall and took a lot of pictures.

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Looks like a man is spitting out a double rainbow

I was super excited for what came after lunch. It was glacier hiking time! We put on crampons, and I felt pretty dangerous with the spikes on under my feet. It was quite a strange sensation walking on the ice, but it didn’t take me too long to adjust. The crevasses are the scariest part. You could fall very deep into the glacier if you’re not careful, so you have to watch where you step. There was also this cool glacier tunnel that we all walked through.

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The tunnel
The tunnel

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Everybody passed out on the bus on the way home. Seven days of getting up at the crack of dawn definitely hit all of us hard. I woke up in the middle of the ride to close my mouth before I started to do something embarrassing like drool everywhere. Of course, when we got back, we couldn’t rest just yet. We had to finish our capstone project before the big presentation. I’ll talk more about the capstone project in the next entry.

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