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Iceland expedition - July 2014

 Sunday 13 july

After an exhausting trip by plane, we set up the tents on the camp site. We ate sandwiches in an hostel room were we weren’t supposed to be (but the receptionist let us use the place to eat while it was raining). Then we went to Reykjavik center by car. We took a picture with trolls, fought vikings and took care of chickens. What an usual day in Iceland ! Then we went to the city hall to have a look to a huge 3D map of the island, and also relaxing in front of a wonderful movie (about Iceland). Eventually, we went to the beach. Lucky we are, we finished this nice first day under the sun. We are waiting for tomorrow.

PS : We will try to send news every time it is possible, but it will depend on the wifi availability of the places we will stand.

 Monday 14 july

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 Tuesday 15 july

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 Wednesday 16 july

We packed up our tents and our luggage while Agnès, Félicien and Pierre bought food for the next three days in Landmannalaugar. When we arrived in the national park, we drove in a huge puddle at “full speed” (But carefully ! => The animators ^^) while listening good music. On a volcano we met rangers with two awesome dogs (one of them was like a fox !) At the camping, there was a hot spring and we played “Ninjas !” inside. Then we took a crazy cold shower, it was an awful shock. But we comforted ourselves with a big raspberry cheesecake.

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 Thursday 17 july

We had a walk among the volcanoes and lakes around the camp. We saw beautiful landscapes, volcanoes were covered with moss and dark volcanic rocks with bits of red soils. At 3pm we were back at the camp ready for our daily hot bath in the hot springs next to our tents. We also realized an analysis of the spring’s water. We ended the day by filling our bellies with a good risoto.

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 Friday 18 july

We woke up at 8:30. There was a powerful wind wich nearly broke our tent and a heavy rain. We couldn’t get out, so we watched a movie about Vikings, called “The 13th warrior”. We decided to leave Landmannalaugar for the afternoon to find a better weather. We went to Stong where we visited a Viking farm. Further, we found a beautiful waterfall next to a « Basaltic Organ » (a geological formation) where we had dinner (in a little cave !).

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 Saturday 19 july

oday, we left Landmannalaugar at 10 am in direction of Skaftafell. We stopped at Vik because we needed to buy some food. The trip was quite long but we arrived at Skaftafell where the camp is surrounded by glaciers. It’s awesome !

 Sunday 20 july

We woke up under a shining sun and blue sky. Then we left for a hick of 5 hours in order to see an ice tongue. Once we reached the view point located with GPS coordinates, we took a picture of the ice tongue to compare it with the ones of previous years. After the walk, we washed our clothes for the first time ! For dinner, we had a wonderful lemon cheese cake and an awkward Icelandic cake…

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 Monday 21 july

We woke up at 8:00. Then we left Skaftafell in order to discover an amazing icebergs lagoon. We also saw some birds and seals. Later we played on the beach where stranded icebergs were. At 12:00, we left the beach and we ate our sandwiches on moraines, little hills created by the retreat of glaciers. After lunch, we took a zodiac to admire the icebergs from closer in a less touristic place. This experience was unforgettable.

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 Tuesday 22 july

Today we packed up the camp before going to Vik. During the trip, we looked for a horse rental in vain. Once we reached Vik, we went to one of the most beautiful beach in the world where we saw puffins, little seabirds with red beaks. Then we went to the souvenir shop to buy Icelandic gifts. When we got back to the camp, it started raining as expected for the most rainy place of Iceland.

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 Wednesday 23 July

We woke up early to take the 10.00am ferry to « Heimaey », a small island south of Iceland specialized in fish industry. We climbed an active volcano and a very steep cliff where we observed seabirds.

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 Thursday 24 July

Today we took our time in the morning to rest after the long journey of yesterday. So, we went to Skogafoss, a huge waterfall. After that, we looked for a ranch to rent horses. We finely managed to have a reservation for the end of the afternoon. In the meantime, we went to a wild valley surrounded by ancient volcanoes. We heard about hot springs in this valley, but as much as we walked inside, we were very doubtful about this information. But we finally found the hidden hot spring and took a bath without any other people, but under rain (we got used to). But thanks to the ranch owner, we ride Icelandic « five-gaited » horses under a little bit of sun in the end of the afternoon. So we tried the Tölt, a strange gait, where the horse moves both legs of a side at the same time (not that comfortable for men).

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 Friday 25 July

It is time to leave Vik and go back to Reykjavik. But before that, we really wanted to say goodbye to the Puffins. So we went back to the beach where we went on the first day and enjoyed watching those birds taking their breakfasts. On the road, we also decided to have a look to the third part of this famous beach that we did not see. It was a really good idea ! We saw Puffins next to us, some Seals, and also a wonderful rock arch. Then we drove back to Reykjavik, found back our sweet campsite, and put up tents in few minutes like pros ! We got used to the adventure.

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 Saturday 26 July

It has to happen… Our last day in Iceland. In order to don’t be sad, we decided to spend our last on the beach. Thanks to the Icelandic Gods, it was one of the best weather we had during our trip. So we had a look to a strange but friendly handball game with disguised people, we played volleyball, football, we took some hot and cold baths and even had a nice barbecue. Sea, sun and honey beers (but alcool free ^^). Or « How to don’t be sad at the end of a trip ? ». After that we went downtown to do some shopping, and went back to the campsite to rest a bit before going to the airport.

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Gaël AMIARD, Sophie Ammann,
date de publication : 14 juillet 2014,
date de dernière mise à jour : 22 août 2014

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