Joined May 2022
  • Day17

    The green one

    October 19, 2022 in Iceland ⋅ ☁️ 45 °F

    Last day!!! Guess what we did. Went back to the city one last time. Because those two beenies Chels got. I just had to get one. Soooo comfortable and warm. And all too cute. 😝 of course I got one without the fur. The name of it is called Mjúk. Sounds like Puke but it means SOFT in Icelandic. We drank some more coffee at Café O-lé and a very crispy chocolate croissant. Chatted for a bit with some wittiness we met (apparently beards are not widely accepted in the cong.) so I will not be moving here in the future. No, that’s not why. It’s because of the crazy weather and the last of sun in the winter. And Icelandic is a hard language!!
    After spending time downtown we went back to the camper van rental place around 2:00. Cleaned out our little home and handed back the keys. We were about 10 mins early for the shuttle to the airport. As I was finishing up with the workers inside Chelsea was going to load our bags up into the van. She asked our driver. Which van do you want me to load up into. There were two identical vans, parked in the shuttle spots, sitting just outside the doors. The woman says the Green one. Well they are identical vans. So, both identify green! Chelsea asked again. The woman says the green one and walks away. Chelsea is confused So she waits a bit. When the woman comes outside again and the bags are still in the same place and looks at Chelsea like she is confused. Chelseas asks again. They are both green, can you point to the van you want me to load up into? Still not pointing she says “THE GREEN ONE”. And then walks to the back of the van and opens up the doors. Apparently the license plates were worded “Green One” and “Green Two”. And the lady was in shock that Chelsea couldn’t figure out what one to load into. Chelsea should have been able to 1 know that she was talking about the license plates and should have know to walk around back of them to see them. 🤦🏻‍♂️
    She drove us to the airport and I didn’t have much confidence that we would arrive at the right one. She wasn’t the brightest person we’ve met on this trip.
    At the airport I scurried to the bathroom, as the curry was hitting me hard (minor detail that you didn’t need to know). Chelsea check in our bags herself (printed her own tags and put them on the self serve conveyor belts). We went through the security line where there was no line and headed for our gate. We sat and sat and sat. Our boarding never started but we were keeping an eye on our gate. Then all of the sudden the digital sign says boarding is closing. It never even said boarding started like every other gate in that terminal. So all of the sudden everyone who was waiting around ran over to the gate and got onto the plane. It was 30mins that boarding took place. Only about 20% of the people knew that. Everyone else got on in the last 10 mins of closing. The workers didn’t seem to notice or care.
    The flight was nice, we had our row for ourselves. Got back to Newark late, to our hotel where we had pizza delivered and passed out on the most comfy king bed.
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  • Day16

    “In the city, oh, oh”

    October 18, 2022 in Iceland ⋅ ⛅ 43 °F

    Today we spent our last full day relaxing in the city. It was simple and even Chelsea said that it was her favorite day. We went shopping so I guess that makes sense. We hardly bought anything but just walking for store to store and seeing all the unique Icelandic stuff was fun. We also got a few coffees at the best coffee place so far. Cafe O’le. 🤤
    My mouth is still drooling. Chelsea got a couple of these adorable winter Beenies with animal fur on top (Arctic fox and raccoon). Then we went to play some disk golf at there top ranking course. After this, we check into our Airbnb so we can wash all of our clothes for the trip home tomorrow. The dryer didn’t work very well as it was a small condenser one that took hours to dry a load. Soooo yeah. We ended up packing semi wet clothes in my bag which is even worse then having dry dirty clothes. We got some takeaway Thai food and then back to the Airbnb for the night. It was nice to feel normal watching a movie and relaxing on a couch.
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  • Day15

    Last call

    October 17, 2022 in Iceland ⋅ ☀️ 39 °F

    Today was a Beautiful day. No wind. Like not even 1 mph. Sunny and warm. There wasn’t even a need for my jacket. We spent the day driving through the Snæfellsjökull National Park. It wasn’t epic like the other sites we’ve been to. But peaceful and not many people. This will be our last day our driving around as we will not be going into the West Fjords due to the weather delays. But I think that’s ok. We’re both kinda tapped out as far as energy. After driving around the peninsula we head back to the capital Reykjavik, got a beautiful sunset and ate at the best restaurant we found so far. A tapas place that had us feeling like we were home. As the whole place was full of Americans and tapas, very Ashevillian.Read more

  • Day14

    Stooooop it

    October 16, 2022 in Iceland ⋅ 🌬 36 °F

    The wind has been crazy. Soooo annoying. It’s driving us crazy. I asked Chelsea this question: “Would you prefer doing these hikes and seeing these views on a cloudy, dreary, rainy day or prefer the wind?” She chose the rain. It’s relentless, it truly is. Today many roads were closed as people were thrown into ditches. One road we were supposed to take had wind speeds up to 45 m/s or over 100mph. That’s a Cat 2 hurricane. This has been forcing us to go to different areas, take different routes and forget some locations all together. The locals say that this isn’t normal. But we’ve had two storms while we’ve been here. So it definitely seems normal.
    So today we took it easy, slow start meaning we had good coffee and just hung out. Finally at 12:00 we got moving back up to the peninsula we wanted to visit earlier. Our driving time was doubled as we had to take a gravel road for about, 75 - 85 miles. We made just one planned location but about 7 total stops. The wind was from the N so it was really cold. But this one waterfall/mountain mix was so beautiful it was worth roughing it. We could only hang out for about 15 mins before we couldn’t feel our fingers or even tell if we had a nose or a chin anymore.
    Our last stop was to our campsite which is a hostel. You camp in the parking lot 😂 and use the hostel facilities. So we went inside this warehouse, I mean hostel, called “The Freezer” as it was very cold inside. Watched the meeting, made dinner, read a book, watched motorcycle racing, played ping-pong with some other travelers, and then went out driving in search of some more aurora action before bed. Aurora forecast said they were really good at that moment. But, they were mostly nonexistent. Next day, calling for less wind. Let’s see!
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    Traveler

    To live there must be difficult with the weather like that

    10/17/22Reply
    Traveler

    Expect the unexpected..happened on most of our trips! 🤗

    10/17/22Reply
     
  • Day13

    Gone with the wind

    October 15, 2022 in Iceland ⋅ ⛅ 32 °F

    We have been driving soo much to avoid this blizzard directly in our path. So we went back to the S where we were before and hit up the golden circle. The first stop was to see how bread is made by burying a pot in the 100°C ground. They gave us bread straight out of the ground and smoked trout to eat.
    Next stop was the worst. And I mean the worst experience we’ve had traveling so far. It was a 4.5 mile hike in thick mud. You couldn’t just walk in the mud. You would slip and slide. But we persisted as the worst of the worst parts were only 2 miles of this hike. When we got to the river. It was extremely blue. Like unreal blue. We were mesmerized. So despite my commonsense I took the drone out. The wind forced me to fly it in “sport mode” meaning it flys really fast. Without putting it on this setting, it wouldn’t move forward into the wind. So, I wanted to fly the drone under this foot bridge that was 4’ wide. And yes, you guessed it. I hit the bridge and the drone went deep into the water never to return. We tried for 1 hour to search before we gave up. Soooo all, yes ALL, of my 4K footage of this trip is gone. Gone with the wind.
    We didn’t want this to ruin our trip anyway. So after a few tears we went back to the van. With words we can not say about how we felt about the wind and the mud. Back at the van, we semi-gained our composure and moved on to another fart field. With 2 geysers. We watched one go off 3 times and went back to the van with frozen fingers and chins. Then on to the biggest waterfalls we have seen yet. They were pretty. Awe inspiring one could say.
    Then, pizza!!! Yum yum yum.
    After this. We had to drive back to our campsite where we rented a “pod”. But the 1 hour 50 min turned into 2.5 hours because of the wind. At one point I almost just pulled over to sleep in some construction area. The wind was so strong that gravel was flying sideways into the road and of course our van. It was raining gravel! I thought for sure this time, the van would surely flip. It did not. We are still alive.
    Anyway. That brings us to today. Let’s see how this goes! Not sure what we will do yet. But let’s start with coffee??? Yes. Let’s start there.
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    Traveler

    Oh no!!! Not the drone!!! What a tragedy!! 😭

    10/16/22Reply
    Traveler

    It’s not the drone I care about. It’s all the lost footage. 😬

    10/16/22Reply
    Traveler

    Oh man I’m so sorry! Interesting way to make bread though.

    10/16/22Reply
    Traveler

    Ahhh man. Yeah. Super cool. You guys would love it. Hannah would make Some yum bread too

    10/16/22Reply
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  • Day12

    I dont want to leave

    October 14, 2022 in Iceland ⋅ ⛅ 39 °F

    The place we stayed at was sooooo nice. Comfortable and cute. I wanted to stay forever. Especially because I think I have a new calling in my life. Chelsea slept in while I went to the farm we were staying on and shoveled horse poo and cleaned the horse stalls while they were out. After they were clean we brought the horses back to their stalls as it’s too cold and windy for them outside. The blizzard (yes, another one) that is approaching is too much for them to stay outside. These Icelandic horses aren’t just any Icelandic horses. They are show horses. The Airbnb owners train them, win prizes for them then sell them all over the world. By the way. They can cost anywhere from $10-15k to the one who’s stall I cleaned who just sold for $100,000. He is being shipped to Switzerland on a plane. The horses air fair only cost between $2,000-3,000. I think that’s a pretty good deal!
    Next we drove along the N coast weaving in and out of the fjords. Chelsea at one point drove on a 45+ mile stretch of gravel with what seemed to be 3’ deep potholes (really only 3” but it felt like a lot). The speed limit was 80kph but I think she never got above 60 as it was in rough shape.
    We saw the most amazing rock formations on the ocean and finally made it to where we wanted to camp. Well, unfortunately because of the fast approaching blizzard we continued further S near to the capital. Where we would check into our cute campsite for the night at 8:30pm. It was a long driving day but a fun one for sure. The first day all the roads were actually dry of snow, ice or even rain. It also wasn’t crazy windy. So the driving was mostly relaxing. Minus the hour long pot hole road.
    At our campsite we got an alert from the aurora app that they might be strong after midnight. Well, we set an alarm, peaked out of the camper to see some activity. But it was quite cloudy outside. So we drove around the farming roads till we found clear sky. They were the best ones yet by far! Check out the video and pictures. We were dancing and cheering for the 1.5 hours we watched them. Finally drove back to the campsite to sleep around 2am.
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    Traveler

    Wow! They were active!! What a sight! I thought I saw some purple in there. Must have been high kp index that night.

    10/15/22Reply
    Traveler

    Yes. They we’re calling for 4-5. But I’m not sure what these ended up being

    10/16/22Reply
    Traveler

    What a treat!

    10/16/22Reply
     
  • Day11

    My’vatn again

    October 13, 2022 in Iceland ⋅ ⛅ 32 °F

    So we started this day off like we start every other day. We woke up in a campervan. 😂
    Actually we went to the only grocery store in town (more of a convenience store) for more supplies where we ran into our gas station owner friend again. He was actually watching us waiting for us to notice. Kinda weird right?
    Then off to try climbing another dormant volcano. We came here the day before but the road was closed and we didn’t feel like another long hike. But we wouldn’t have time to wait for 2 feet of snow to magically disappear, so we parked at the road closed gate and walked to the normal parking lot for this site. An extra 1.9km each way. It’s a steep hill and it’s full of 24” snow at some points. Under the top layer of snow is a sheet of smooth ice. I’m starting to see a pattern. Unfortunately, Chelsea did fall once even as careful as she took her steps and she hurt her knee and hip (starting to feel like an old woman) …..at the top of this volcano there was supposed to be crystal blue water. It wasn’t that bright or colorful but it still was beautiful. I’m just glad it wasn’t full of snow or frozen ice like everything else.
    This morning was also made up of driving to two other locations for drone footage that I couldn’t get yesterday because of 35-45mph windows. Now this day. 0 wind. Yes. That’s ZERO with a capital Z. So our hike up to the volcano lake. I only wore a sweater and was starting to get over heated. The sun is sooo strong here when it’s out. If felt so nice.
    We left My’vatn and continue W. Where we went to a huge waterfall called Godafoss (waterfall of the gods, I think) and I believe the story is that it got its name by people throwing their false gods down the falls at one point. These falls were very large but at this point it was getting windy and cold again. So we only stayed for about 20 mins.
    We next went to Husavik where we thought we would watch a sunset and enjoy more geothermal spa baths. But when we got there it was cloudy as all get out. So we backtracked and went to the most populated city in the N where there is a Kingdom Hall. We didn’t visit the hall. It looked like it’s in a rented building with many businesses in the same building.
    We found an amazing seafood restaurant and an Airbnb with a hot tub and cold bath (we didn’t get in the cold bath). This Airbnb was in the middle of nowhere and tucked up against the bottom of a Mtn. We were looking forward to seeing more northern lights but the clouds never parted ways for us.
    Still thought it was a very cute and cozy place. And a nice break from the camper van.
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    Traveler

    That waterfall is amazing!

    10/15/22Reply
    Traveler

    Glad the next pic was of Bryant. I was worried there for a minute!😂

    10/18/22Reply
     
  • Day10

    Lake day 🛶👙🚫

    October 12, 2022 in Iceland ⋅ ☁️ 45 °F

    Wednesday we had a sleep in. Again. The roads and campsite were covered in ice. We watched people falling left and right. 😛 Drove around the lake (Myvatn) waiting for the coffee shop to open (at 12:00noon) That was nice. After this, we wanted to try out some 4x4ing (with our 2 wheel drive van) to get to a dormant volcano so we could hike to the top. We were 1.5km short of the trail head because of all the snow….. So we parked and walked through anywhere from 4”-16” of snow with the top layer of snow being crispy ice that could either hold you or not. Every step now and then would result in a heavy drop that would get snow down your boots. When we made it to the bottom of the volcano we noticed the wind start to pick up. And boy did it ever. As we hiked up. It got so strong you could barely breath. But we did it! At the top it was even worse. I hope the video shows a glimpse of what it was like.
    Next, I took an outdoor shower with some geothermal water and visited the close by fart field. Chelsea stayed in the van cuz it was way too cold and windy.
    We went for gas to get our car filled up and bought some scotch that Iceland and Scotland did a colab on. Made friends with the owner of the gas station. (Young guy our age) here we also saw a baby cow in the back of a 4Runner.
    Watched the sunset at an overlook from our camper-van while we shared a scotch then after dark went to some thermal bath spa awaiting the aurora show that would be so dim your eyes can hardly tell the difference between them and a soft cloud.
    After this, we went to a local hotel to have a beer before bed where we met the gas station owner and spent a couple hours talking with him and the bartender about the tough local life that the Icelanders have. Drove the local to his home and then back to our campsite for us. 90% of the grounds were closed because of ice and snow so we were all packed in like sardines. Nice and cozy, having van neighbors 2 feet away on either side. 😅
    Slept great by the way!
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    Traveler

    Your wife is such a cutie..I hope you know that my friend! 🤗

    10/14/22Reply
    Traveler

    I absolutely do 😊

    10/14/22Reply
     
  • Day9

    On top of the world

    October 11, 2022 in Iceland ⋅ ⛅ 27 °F

    This day was stressful and rewarding in equal parts. Woke up early for a long day of driving that would end up being even longer. Remember that storm we experienced in the SE? Well the NE got it too, but with snow and sleet. Well, the roads still weren’t even touched until later this day. We were doing good staying on the main road until we needed to cut off from driving the coast up to our destinations. At one point we came 30miles or so from the coast rd and came to the base of a mtn that was one sheet of ice. All up to this point it was gradual incline and the ice was only in patches But lay a head of us now is a steep mountain pass. We attempted once and got stuck 250 meters from the base. Then we waited at the bottom deciding what to do when another tourist pulled up. We chatted about the mtn then they took off and made it to the top. Granted they had 4x4 but that gave us hope. We tried again. Made it a little higher before I backed out of it and thought about backtracking and adding 2.5 hours to the trip. At this point 4 other 2 wheel drive cars pull up (two of which are vans like ours). Two make it up to the top (well we assume they do, as you can’t see the top ). So we go for it. Fully committed with our little van with all but snow tires, And what a view…. Going down the other side was not as bad but after the mtn pass things cleared up a bit more. We made our two stops one being a hike up a mtn of 60+ flights of stairs (Chelseas idea). Then after the second stop we headed to our final resting place (of course our campground). But as we kept going. It felt as if our elevation just kept climbing. Up and up and up. It got more white and more frozen. But we finally made it. After 7.5 hours of driving we were able to pass out and get ready for the next day. The town were staying at has a population of 270 and this is one of the most visited places in the N of Iceland. They have one bar, one gas station, two restaurants (one that is closed for the season), one grocery store (very small), but 3 campgrounds and idk how many hotels!) So we hit up the only restaurant open for fish and chips and went to the frozen tundra of a campsite. More to come.Read more

    Traveler

    Baby seal on that black spec!😘

    10/13/22Reply
    Traveler

    How is the drone working?

    10/13/22Reply
    Traveler

    When it’s not 100mph. Working great! The footage has been unreal. Can’t wait to edit a video. 😊

    10/13/22Reply
    Traveler

    🤩

    10/14/22Reply
     
  • Day8

    Breaking wind

    October 10, 2022 in Iceland ⋅ ⛅ 37 °F

    We finally made it to Diamond Beach and the glacier lake that feeds large chunks of icebergs to the ocean and breaks apart on the black lava sands beach. We spent waaayy too long here. Chelsea was in love. I guess they are right, diamonds are a girls best friend. Especially since it took 3 attempts to make it here! By the way. We ran into that cute French couple that gave us their shower that one night. They are sooo adorable. Even tho they think we are stalking them.
    After this we went back to Hofn where we ate for the first time “fast food” that cost $60+. Everything here costs loads of money. I guess even quick counter service food also is too. Prolly because it’s real ingredients. 🤷‍♂️
    Then moving on to Vesturhorn where you usually get iconic mirror-like reflections on the beach of the large scenic mountains in the backdrop. Expect when you visit the day after a wind storm. 😅 To make this located even better are the black sand dunes. With golden straws sticking up as they blow in the wind.
    The wind was still very strong from the day before. To give an idea, the air temp was 34 or so but it felt like 22,23. So strong was the wind that instead of driving 100kph I was doing 60-70. A few times we even dropped to 50kph.
    It was scary, the camper van would (without warning) get blown to the left or the right. Thankfully their are hardly any cars on the road affording me to drive in the center of two lanes.
    We finally made it to our camp site then we cooked our first meal inside our red van on top of a mountain awaiting the northern lights (predicted to be a 5 on the KP index (this is good)). As a result we were dancing on top of this mountain overlooking the city in 30-35mph winds. Chelsea was dancing in my sleeping bag dragging it along the wet gravel. But it was totally worth it. Next days another long one. Can’t wait to tell you all about it! PS, we survived.
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    Traveler

    Totally cool..no pun intended!!🥶🤗💜

    10/11/22Reply
    Traveler

    😂

    10/12/22Reply
     

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