Saturday 17th March 2001

Friday Saturday Sunday Monday

We arise at 9:00, and breakfast in the same room we had left four hours earlier. 

The hotel was full of handicapped lads meeting for a championship to be held that day. All hotels in the capital would be full with this event.

Today's plan was to do the "Golden Circle", heading inland visiting Geysir - with Geysers, and Gullfoss with waterfalls.

Before departing I whinged at the travel agent. I may as well have directly booked flights and hotels... but then you don't get the discounts!! All very frustrating!

We're off

We use 2 metre radio for car to car communications - a TF prefix is used. Radio does make 2 car convoys a lot easier. The trailing car, complete with 3 GPS navigation receivers, can tell the lead car that they've made a wrong turn!

Žingvellir National Park

Islandic SceneryAfter an hour's drive we stop at the Žingvellir National Park. Ž has a th sound.
We have snowy mountains, pylons for Andy, and rocks for Jack to explore.
 
Andy and Dave look on as Nick photographs a tyre. Nutter!Clean CarFor the record, the hire cars were delivered clean and shiny. A few hours later our cars would look like any other we saw in Iceland.

The mountainous scenery soon bores me. The studded tyres are really fascinating. 

We stop at a car park by the main road. Jack and I explore the volcanic rocks, fissures and solid packed snow. Jack insists on walking along the edge of the cliff.

Jenny in action with a whipJenny's new toyJenny Bernie Play radios. There's a 'sked' with Roger in Cambridge.

As Jennifer cynically said: "Were you able to say anything useful?"

 
BernieRick, Jack, Jenny, NickThe National Park has many chasms. Rick and Jack discuss insects, while Bernie and Jenny play radios. 

Bernie's proud of his long wire aerial!

 
JackPennyJack looks under rocks for insects, helped by Penny.
 
PylonWe discover that Andy has a fascination with pylons. "These ones are of special interest," he says, "these are guyed."

Geysir

The air has a sulphurous smell, but not overpowering. It's amazing to immerse hands in hot water emerging from the ground.

Boiling water venting at Geysir Eruption. Boiling water explodes from the vent.
Steam.  Recovery. The water recedes then agonises for another 4 minutes.

Boiling hot water gushes out of the rock every four minutes.

There's a touristy restaurant there that does an excellent toasted cheese salad sandwich. 

There are sheep toys are for sale, but no Sheepie Mugs! I was disappointed!

Jenny, Andy, Dave and Rick drool over a four wheel drive bristling with aerials and a TETRA radio. Jack asks "Why?" 

Gullfoss

We visit the Gullfoss, "golden waterfall", where hundreds of tons of glacial water cascade down some 32 metres into the 40-70 m deep river gorge.

Gullfoss Gullfoss
Gullfoss

Return

We travel back over Hengil, almost 400m high. It starts to sleet, then snow. 

I play with the car - it really is a weedy little Nissan car - sweet. Forget 5th going up any hill!
The car's fun really as it's a challenge to keep to a reasonable speed. The main complaint is worn wipers. Next time find the make, model of car and bring over new wiper blades.

The government has a decent road reporting system. Matrix signs at the roadside report air and surface temperature. There's the Public Roads Administration web site that also reports volume of traffic on a stretch of road.

We're welcomed back at the hotel. The travel agent had called, confirmed the booking: we have rooms for the rest of the holiday and we don't have to worry about paying. 

Evening

We head off for down town Reykjavik. 

Jenny parks opposite some erotic dress shop. "An accident " she says.

We look in the shop windows, covering Jack's eyes as appropriate. 

We find the One Woman Vegetarian Restaurant. Chilly, Samosa, Chick Peas - All good and spicy.
For afters an excellent choice of Carrot cake or Pecan Pie or Banana Squidge or Chocolate gunk!

A relaxing evening! 

The city is cosmopolitan, but not modern in the sense of plastic tack false replica modern. You get the feeling that the shops and staff have been there for years, and will be there for years. There's a feeling of permanence. 

Aurora, and Bar

Jenny, Bernie, and Andy depart, looking for the Aurora. (Cloudy, but, yes, very much visible.)

Jack's in bed. The remainder of us unwind in the hotel bar. We encourage a conversation from a lad looking after some of the handicapped players. We tried to understand what the game was - bit like bowls - anyway his team lost - or was it roller blading ice hockey - no it was 10 pin bowling...

Once more the holiday journal falters into a drunken haze...

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