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19 December 2015
Iceland – Part 6

In today’s episode, I am only beginning to discover Iceland alone. These landscapes and loneliness inspire me and at each stop I take the opportunity to make a self-portrait. This country has so much beauty to offer that I absolutely want to try to capture some of it.

DAY 9 Borganes – Þingvellir – Vik

I wake up very early, around 6:30 am after a rather cold night. Luckily the municipal swimming pool of Borganes opens at 6am and I only have to put on pants to go there. Happiness can be summed up sometimes in a simple hot shower.

Today I want to go to Þingvellir then drive east to spend the night in Vik. The road promises to be long. I decide in addition to lengthen it by not going through the tunnel taken to come, but by going around the shore. And what a good idea I had! The road is sublime. I would believe myself at home, on the shores of Lake Geneva with the snow-capped mountains in the distance. There is hardly anyone on the road. I stop to take a self-portrait where I dominate this view. Horses graze at the edge of the cliffs. I’m enjoying every moment.

 

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The road continues and this time I find myself in the middle of fields, in the deserted countryside. There are still horses. I absolutely want to try to approach them to photograph them. I take my tripod and approach slowly. While I thought they would run away, they get closer, curious. They try to taste my tripod but it does not have to be good because they go back to graze the grass and lose interest in me. I take this opportunity to make a self portrait in their midst (something I still can not believe).

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When I repack my gear, I notice that one of the horses has not moved for a while. He is waiting. I photograph him from every angle, caress him and decide to baptize him Robert. I would be fine staying longer with my new friend but new adventures are waiting for me.

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Arrival around Þingvellir, I change mood. The place is very touristy. There are full buses coming from Reykjavik to Golden Circle (a tour of the 3 remarkable sights near the capital) of which Þingvellir is a part. This national park is at the meeting point of American and Eurasian plates. You can walk right in the middle of the two.

I decide to go first to one of the places spotted thanks to the internet. It is THE spot of snorkeling. The water is so clear that you can see up to 30m deep. It must be equipped with a special combination because the water temperature is around 1 ° C. I choose the angle of view that suits me and where I want to be. And of course this one will force me to ask for help because it is impossible for me to run all this distance in 10s. I wait patiently until a group of divers go back to ask them to trigger my device. It’s in the box very quickly. Nature did all the work.

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I take a tour of the park and I miss the fault Almannagjá and the waterfall Öxarárfoss. There are really too many people and I took a liking to solitude and calm. I prefer to trace my path. And finally I land at Geysir, the famous spot of geysers! I discovered there the biggest souvenir shop in Iceland! Beside it the geyser looks ridiculously small. But it’s still impressive to see this powerful jet out of the ground.

I continue to ride long hours to reach Vik. The day begins to be long. I find a little corner to stop for the night.

DAY 10 Vik – Fjaðrárgljúfur –Skaftafell

This morning the weather is still not good. I do not know how far I want to go to the East. Maybe return to Jokülsarlon. I leave early, even before breakfast. At the exit of Vik, I see a hitchhiker and I stop to take her. Her name is Beth, she is Canadian and wants to go to Höfn. I propose to drop it off at the Skaftafell information center, where it is most likely to find someone to take her there. We discuss a little. An idea comes to my mind and I propose: I want to take pictures in Fjaðrárgljúfur, but again I need someone to trigger for me. It’s perfect, she wanted to visit this place!

As she walks around, I install my gear. When she comes back I discover that last week we had missed the most interesting point of view that is a little further from where we stayed. I move my tripod and my camera. Beth is a wonderful assistant and a great help. I can tell her what I want on the screen and she directs me so that I get it. It makes me win many trips back to the device (my fear of highs is still there even if with the creative euphoria it is less violent).

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We take the road again and I stop at the tourist center of Skaftafell to give news to my parents and drop Beth. I hesitate to continue to Jokülsarlon. I realized that by going too far, I will lost all energy in the evening to do anything. I still take this direction but after 5 minutes I see sublime snowy mountains at a reasonable walking distance. I stop and decide to go there. Too bad for icebergs, I prefer to see something new. I put my dress over my jeans (my outfit all week, it would have been worth a photo) and I start walking. On the way I meet two people who confirm that it’s a less than 20 minutes walk.

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I’ve never seen that. It was not snow but ice. An expanse of ice under my feet. Breathtaking. I can not walk on it because of the lack of equipment. I see in the distance small colored dots that move, I deduce that it is here that take place the walking on a glacier tours.

I turn around and go back to Vik direction. On the way I stop several times to make self-portraits. First in lava fields covered with moss, then in a field of dunes with sensual forms.

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I arrive late to Vik but with enough energy to go in search of the wreck plane I had seen many pictures before coming. I take strength with a simmered dinner on the stove and I start walking following the tracks of 4×4 in the middle of the black desert. It takes a good 45 minutes to reach the wreck on foot. Silence reigns around. There is nothing but gray skies and black sand as far as the eye can see. I lose all my landmarks. Then, finally, behind a dune the top of the plane roof makes its appearance.

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The silence, the late hour, gives a strange atmosphere. I am intimidated. I turn around without daring to approach it and then finally I take out the camera. I take some shots before putting on my dress and putting my tripod for my self portrait. The photo is quickly taken. It’s almost frustrating after such a long walk. But fortunately because soon two huge 4×4 come. Their passengers totally break the solemnity of the moment by running everywhere and pulling out reflex, iphone, and even drones! I wait for them to leave to try a last angle of view and finally I pack up. It is almost 1am despite the sky always clear. The road is endless in this way because I see in the distance my car that does not seem to grow at all as I advance. I go to bed. For a few hours I already had the impression of dreaming.

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