Iceland, 2008

I had been agonizing over this trek as much as dreaming about it. It was a lot of money that I spent, and as my flight was coming in to land, and I saw all the barren ground outside my window, I worried a little despite all the pictures over the internet I had seen, the brochures and tour book, and all the planning I had done in the run-up. The Keflavik area is rather barren, at least the spot I saw from the air looked it. Plus, it was a rather dull, overcast and drizzly morning.

Picking up my car initially was a bit of a challenge, but not too painful, and as I drove off, the adventure of it finally kicked in and my worries slipped away. Actually, I had prepared a CD of music especially for this trip that I had not listened to in it's entirety until Iceland (hours and hours worth), which I slipped into the CD player, turned it on and up, lowered the window, and drove off. Maybe an hour into the drive, I saw what I thought was smoke in the distance. I'm a dope, yes, for thinking this, but it didn't take too long for me to realize that rather than signalling the presence of factories, the smoke I saw was actually steam escaping through the rocky ground, and that some of that steam was passing through Iceland's electricity grid. Iceland, after all, is quite vulcanic, or so I'm told.

That morning, I bathed in a hot river, which would also be one of the last things I did when I left the island. Tramping on glaciers and camping next to them also (oh heck, drinking them too), admiring geysirs, the weird and other-worldly landscape, and even the rather meaty and devilish skuas soaring so gracefully through a windy sky, is it any wonder that I'm planning on a return Summer 2010! I think this time it will be on two wheels, if not just two feet. Should I bring along my folding kayak?

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