Over the course of the next few weeks, I’ll be posting a tastefully-edited version of the journal I kept during the time I spent in Iceland. You can find all the entries and more on the “Iceland Transcribed” page.
Between traveling and getting the flu, I haven’t been able to write for a couple of days. So, to pick up where I left off…
After leaving Seydisfjordur, we drove (and got lost) for several hours, and found a place to camp around midnight. I was feeling the oncomings of a sore throat, but was too tired to care as the three of us tried to find a way to sleep inside the tiny car.
It didn’t work.
At about three in the morning, I woke up to Toronto complaining about being uncomfortable, and Toulouse, our driver, couldn’t sleep at all. They set him up in Toronto’s tent (which was literally a tarp over a sleeping bag) outside, and after Toronto left for a run (because she’s the human Energizer Bunny), I pulled my sleeping bag outside, put on my heaviest jacket, and slept for a couple more hours.
The cold ground wasn’t comfortable, but it didn’t rain, and that’s the important thing.
When morning came, I woke up sore, cold, crampy, and with a very sore throat. Not a fantastic start to a journey, but what can you do.
The three of us ate breakfast a nearby hotel, and those waffles aren’t anything special but they tasted amazing to me.
As we continued south, Vatnajokull came into a view, a gray-white mass peeking through the mountains. After a couple more hours, we stopped at Ice Lagoon, where chunks of the glacier are being washed out to sea in aquamarine waters.
With blue sea and sky, the white pieces of ice and the grainy black sand, it was a photographer’s paradise, and I’m no photographer.
Dad would have loved it.
I felt bloody awful though, and slept until we got to Vik. They went swimming at the pool, and I paid the 350 ISK fee to use the showers, then sat in the car and read (and coughed and fevered – is that a word? It is now). Toronto insisted we find a place to stay and I agreed, figuring 4500 ISK for a hostel was worth my health.
I took a very long, very hot shower, sipped my way through a pot of hot water with lemon and honey, and ate the couscous Toronto made for me.
My fever broke that night, and in the morning I felt ever so slightly better. Tensions were growing between Toulouse, who is anxious and dependent, and Toronto, who is headstrong and expects people to not need their hands held.
As we were rearranging the car to accommodate Toronto’s friend, who was hitchhiking to Hella, I spilled water all over the backseat and Toronto yelled, “Everything is fine, stay calm, and someone get me a damn cigarette!”
Later, she gave me a hug and said she wasn’t mad, but Toulouse was stressing her out, and I could feel the tension on him, too, as we drove from Vik to Hella.
We dropped Toronto’s friend off, had tea and a pastry, and continued to Reykjavik. We agreed to drop the car off early, since Toulouse didn’t want to continue traveling and I was too sick to carry on for another day.
I swear we spent another hour getting turned around and trying to find the drop-off for the car (which was unlabeled, but inside the domestic airport), and we spent another hour getting everything squared away – namely, the debts to each other.
On a whim, I invited Toronto to hike in the national parks with me in a year or so, and she said she’d love to. “I knew when I saw you,” she said, “this chick is gonna be around, and I’m gonna be at her wedding. I just knew.”
I hope she’s right.
Toronto rented another car, and somehow finagled a driver to drop me off at my hostel, sparing me a very long walk. The two of them chatted, and at some point he asked me why I was traveling my own for so long.
“I just wanted to,” I said, which has become my go-to answer.
“Enjoy your stay in Iceland,” he said with a wink as he dropped me off.
I could feel my brain short-circuit. I haven’t even considered flirting whilst overseas…
I napped for four blissful hours, showered, ate dinner, and slept for another twelve hours.
I feel a little better today, but still “floaty” and disoriented, as well as still coughing. I just had lunch, so I’ll see how I feel after another cup of tea. Today is National Gay Pride Day, and I want to experience at least a little bit of that!
Mom is setting up another scavenger hunt for me. Should be fun!