27th April 15 - Day 4
Now at this point of time, we've been monitoring the weather conditions for our route to the East towards our Airbnb cabin near Egilsstaðir (East Iceland), there is a snowstorm in the north that lead to roads being closed and deemed impassable.
We had to make a decision to either head to the East through avalanche warnings and terrible road conditions and be stuck in the the North or turn back through the south to reach Snaefellsnes Peninsula in the West in 2 days. We decided to give up our lodging in Egilsstaðir, refund our Airbnb in Akureyi and turn back. We booked ourselves a room at Höfn Hostel in the South-East that a couple of my friends from unit were staying at too.
So after that's settled we left our lodging in Hvolsvöllur for our drive through the majestic South towards Höfn as our end point, the furthest east we will be travelling.
Our first stop would be to reach the town of Vík to hit the gas station as the next 350km would probably be scarce of any manned stations so always fill up when you have the chance. Prepaid gas cards are useful when the machines are unmanned and they dont take your credit card.
Reynisfjara is a black pebble beach and features an amazing cliff of regular basalt columns resembling a a rocky step pyramid, which is called Gardar. Out in the sea are the spectaculary shaped basalt sea stacks Reynisdrangar. The area is rich birdlife, including puffins, fulmarsand guillemots.
According to folklore, two trolls attempted to drag a ship to land but were turned to stone as daylight broke, turning them into into the Reynisdrangar stacks.
The view of the North Atlantic Ocean.
Now i wanted to capture as much of Iceland on colour film as possible but i have to say my favourite photographs from this trip has got to be the Black and whites i shot on the 400TX (favourite b/w stock to push/pull/all-rounder) I processed these b/w rolls with Kodak HC-110 (Dilution B) - Ilford Ilfostop - Ilford Rapid Fix.
Svínafellsjökull, is a breathtaking outlet glacier of the Vatnajökull glacier, Batman Begins and Interstellar (Dr Mann's Planet) were filmed here too. Here are some beautiful textures i shot of the Glacier.
Jökulsárlón is a large glacial lake in southeast Iceland, on the edge of Vatnajökull National Park. Situated at the head of the Breiðamerkurjökull glacier, it developed into a lake after the glacier started receding from the edge of the Atlantic Ocean. The lake has grown since then at varying rates because of melting of the glaciers. It is now 1.5 kilometres (0.93 mi) away from the ocean's edge and covers an area of about 18 km2 (6.9 sq mi). It recently became the deepest lake in Iceland, at over 248 metres (814 ft), as glacial retreat extended its boundaries. The size of the lake has increased fourfold since the 1970s. It is considered as one of the natural wonders of Iceland.
Also check out the less popular but equally mesmerising Fjallsárlón that is nearby. Make your way down to the edge of the lake and put your hands on some century old glacier melt ice and just.. chill for a second... It was definitely my favourite spot of the entire trip, see it at both sunset and sunrise for a different experience, the following shots are actually shot on 2 different days as we stopped by it the next morning on our way back. I would recommend the sunrise or the mid day sun.
I've gotten questions from people and friends asking me what my favourite camera is, well this is my favourite camera, there's just nothing like the experience of shooting with my Rolleiflex. This is the object i'd save in a fire, this is the camera i'd bring on all my travels if i only had one choice. Rolleiflex Automat MX, Schneider Kreuznach Xenar 3.5/75mm
Plus if you have a couple hundred bucks (got mine for about $500 on KEH bargain grade what a steal) lying around and you want a great TLR, this is it, check out KEH.com for deals or maybe even your local eBay.
Fjallsárlón - The wind was crazy here, i could barely stand still but i managed to get a couple of shots and also some through the car window.
This was our last stop for the day, according to the plan, we were supposed to fuel up in Höfn and drive up to the East but we booked with Höfn Hostel instead, Snowstorm is still not letting up. I was kinda disappointed that we were going to give up the North as i was really looking forward to Goðafoss but i shall save that for the next trip.
Did i also mention how beautiful the rest stops and viewing spots are?
We checked into a 4-bed private room with Höfn Hostel that night, which was pretty affordable considering we booked the last remaining room in that morning. We met up with my Army friends there for a little bit, made some noodles and crashed for the night. It's going to be a long day of driving for me tomorrow, the only stop being a hike at Skaftafell up to Svartifoss in between the 370km drive from Höfn to the Hella where we will be sharing a farmhouse stay with said army friends.