The South shore trip in Iceland was on the Friday before the Saturday marathon. Once again, up too early for a quick breakfast and take some food as there were more than ninety people and two buses scheduled for the trip. We thought since the hotel breakfast was included (we have decided that something included in the price should not be listed as free) we could take a couple of extra pieces of bread, cheese, ham, butter…etc and make small little sandwiches to take along. This way when the crowd descends on the small restaurant, we will get to eat. Linda and I packed enough food for us and a little more.
The bus left on time and the sky was typical of Iceland – any weather combination is really possible. The sun was shining and a few clouds were around when we arrived at Seljalandsfoss, just off the number one highway. This was the place where it is possible to walk around the to the back of the water fall. Just magnificent. It was also the place where we had spent the first night of last year’s Iceland trip. It is amazing the difference in traveling with a tour rather than alone. We had spent lots of time exploring the falls without interruption last year, and with the tour groups, the many tour groups, everyone is jostling for position for better photos and few are actually enjoying the site or the experience of the place. This is an amazing area with more than three water falls and beautiful hiking trails, glacial run off from the Eyjafjallajökul glacier – that’s the one with the volcano that erupted underneath last year causing all the problems. We then stopped at a very successful farm where the farmer thought he would suffer tremendous losses from the eruption and the ash cloud from this and left, only to return and find the damage wasn’t that bad and the ash had helped with his crops. Though he did have to move his animals. The place looked great and there was an excellent view of the glacier. You could still see lots of ash covering the glacier and unfortunately increasing the speed that it is melting. Along the way we could see great views of Heimaey Island.
Our next stop was a beach of the keyhole islands where the beach was black sand, there were basalt caves, an excellent view of the bird sanctuary and the real keyhole island. A short WC stop for most.
From there we went to Vik, a moderate sized town. This also had a black sand beach and we’d been there last year where Colin was soaked by a large wave. This year we went there quickly away from the bus crowd and were able to have a comfortable lunch on the rocks watching the waves come in . On the cliffs were hundreds of Puffins and I was able to get a few photos of them. I wanted to check out the food so I found some hot dogs and some chocolate.
On the return end, we stopped at Skögarfoss, with the big climb up to the trail we started to walk last year and found out about a beautiful four-day hike we’d like to do between the two glaciers. Other’s have done it and taped it with amazing results.
We returned to Reykjavik and the sports complex to pick up our race kits. Any thoughts of downgrading to a half marathon left me when I saw how long the line up was for the half marathon and the information and requests booth. I was now committed to the full marathon on Sunday. The carbohydrate dinner that was included seemed crowded and small, so we left for dinner in town.
We liked the fish and chip place so much we returned and had a wonderful meal.
At the hotel, Linda and I made sure that we drank lots of water, attempted to determine what clothing to wear, put it out, attached the timing chip to the running shoes, and slept in preparation for the forty two point two kilometers.