We have it all planned out. Money will be saved by camping at least half the trip. We will brew our own coffee with our newly bought french press, stop at a grocery store to stock up on food and cook our dinners with our camp stove. Today, we set out with the best of intentions.
After leaving Reykjavik, we soon meet up with Hwy. 1, The Ring Road. It circumnavigates the exterior of the island and is where we will spend the majority of our time for the next two weeks. The scenery quickly changes from sprawling city to what can only be described as a cross between The Moon and J.R.R. Tolkien's Rohan. Treeless, mist covered mountains tower over endless fields of green pillowy moss dotted with black volcanic rock. It is so pretty here and I am already dreading leaving. After a short drive and some confusion as to how to pay for our first tank of gas, we reach our destination. We bundle up, because it's a wee bit chilly, bordering on pretty darn cold, and start the 3km hike to a geothermal valley where we hope to lounge in a hot river or as they call it in Iceland a hot pot. We share the steep trail with other hikers and several shaggy sheep. The higher we get the hotter the ground and stronger the sulphur smell becomes. The river is more luke warm than hot, but still pretty amazing. We stay in longer than we should because we know the 5 minutes it will take us to dry off and get redressed will be torture. Pete gets out first and I cheer him on. When its my turn I shriek like a 2 year old. It is the coldest I have ever been. On our hike down we get our first taste of the notorious Icelandic winds, it almost knocks us over, reminding us of our day in The Badlands. By the time we get to the car we are cold and exhausted. Neither one of us want to say it, but we are both thinking about how fantastic a warm soft bed would be. Camping in this wind would be miserable.
After devouring a cheeseburger, we curl up in the bed of our tiny riverside cabin and promise each other that we will DEFINITELY camp and cook tomorrow night.