Geysers and Gullfoss

It’s been so windy today, we could hardly stand up at times. John’s comment was… ‘I couldn’t live here!’ The Beast from the East was a definitely a little fluffy pussy cat in comparison to the wind here today. That said, at least it didn’t rain, although we had a few snow flurries.

We got up early to try and beat the tourist buses. I hadn’t slept well anyway because of my cold. We packed some Skyr, blueberries and bananas for breakfast and set off. The landscape looks particularly barren at the moment because we’re here between seasons… the snow has mainly gone but the grass is still yellow and hasn’t turned green. After a 40min drive on empty roads, we arrived at the geysers. We knew we’d arrived because the fields were steaming.

There were only 2 other couples there when we arrived. The main geyser is Strokkur, which the guidebooks say erupts every 7-8 mins. In practice that wasn’t always the case, sometimes we’d get 2 or 3 eruptions one after the other, making us all laugh. At other times, our hands were freezing as we stood with our fingers poised on the buttons of our cameras and phones, waiting for the next show. The water would tease us, with waves rolling backwards and forwards. Finally a bubble would form and grow, and then the geyser would blow, sometimes 30 metres high! What a spectacle!

Once we couldn’t feel our hands any more, we headed back to the car, with Gullfoss our next stop, about 20 minutes away. The wind was howling by now and we put extra layers on and set off up to the waterfall. It’s the biggest waterfall I’ve ever seen! It’s difficult to tell from the photos. This has to be my most challenging day of photography. The wind was so strong we struggled to stand, and my tripod was in danger of blowing over! So much for long exposures, fast shutter speeds were essential!

We took some pictures at the site nearer the visitor centre before walking further up the path, clinging on to each other so we didn’t get blown off the wooden walkway.

It was worth walking further so we could see the gorge, with the water crashing over though. The water was a beautiful turquoise.

As we walked back and approached the car park, lots of tourist coaches were arriving. We watched people getting off with thin coats, unsuitable shoes, and no hats and gloves, wondering how far they’d get in the gale force wind.

On our way back, the road crossed the river and could see another gorge, so we stopped again for a walk and to attempt the long exposures that I couldn’t do at the waterfall. The wind was lighter, although still pretty strong, and I managed a few shots.

We had planned to have a wallow in the Secret Lagoon, but I’m feeling pretty rough because of my cold, and John wasn’t very enthusiastic because of the wind so we decided against it. Instead we stopped at a restaurant in greenhouses full of tomatoes, in which the main course, desserts and drinks are all based on tomatoes. It was lovely.

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Then we headed home to relax. John snoozed while I had a look at my photos and read my book. Tomorrow we have a snowmobile trip to some ice caves. I hope I feel better. This cold is getting me down. John has just cooked my dinner though, and I’m sipping a G&T, so it;’s not all bad 🙂

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