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Iceland in winter Day8 waterfalls, black sand beaches, and Reykjavik
 
 
(Click on the images for a larger version.)
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We awoke to a beautiful sky
 
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and a big breakfast at
 
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Hotel Laki.
 
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Although Hotel Laki provided basically the same breakfast items we'd had the entire trip, everything was fresher and tastier; particularly the breads.
 
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I would imagine this is one happening place in the summer.
 
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But in the winter it was only Ilaria, myself, and a couple other guests.
 
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Our goal for the day was to
 
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make our way back to Reykjavik where we could drop off the rental car.
 
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This being the end of a long trip filled with bad roads and fierce weather, we were happy to find a sunny sky, not too much ice on the road,
 
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and a great
 
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big
 
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snow plow
 
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clearing
 
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the snow away.
 
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But even on a nice day
 
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you can end up
 
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sliding off the road in Iceland.
 
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We stopped for some petrol.
 
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And I took the opportunity to photograph an Icelandic snow plot up-close; look how it towers over the gas pumps.

We also bumped into
 
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Kobe and Sarah!
 
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Since there are only a few sites in most areas and usually only one gas station per town, I guess I shouldn't be surprised we kept bumping into each other, but it still felt uncanny.

From the few brief conversations we had, I really liked them both, so I hope we bump into each other some other time in some other part of the world...
 
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After Ilaria made a perfect
 
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snow angel. Kobe and Sarah recommended we
 
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walk to the
 
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beach.
 
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How beautiful is a black sand beach
 
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with snow
 
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and footprints...
 
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We hit the Ring Road and stopped at Skógafoss -- one of the many waterfalls on the way back,
 
Skogafoss rainbow
and Ilaria showed her superior
 
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rainbow photographing skills.
 
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The next waterfall
 
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was less impressive
 
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and we'd had enough waterfalls by this time.
 
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We stopped in Selfoss to buy our most expensive tank of gas of the trip ($70).
 
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After a quick stop at an American establishment
 
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We made our way back to Reykjavik.
 
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Our Suzuki Vitara
 
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had served us well
 
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on our over 2700 kilometer trip around Iceland.
 
Map of Iceland day 8  1
 
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We spent the afternoon walking around the city,
 
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relieved that we'd made it around the Ring Road
 
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without totaling the Suzuki
 
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or ourselves.
 
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We knew that Iceland in the winter was going to be an adventure.
 
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But it surpassed our expectations of how adventurous and potentially dangerous the winter life of Icelanders can be.
 
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But they certainly
 
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have an
 
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amazingly beautiful country.
 
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That night we left our hotel (Eric the Red; not the best hotel of the trip),
 
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and headed down Burgerjoint road to
 
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Saegrefinn
 
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to get some tasty
 
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fresh fish for dinner (and not too expensive either).
 
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The only disappointment of the trip was that we never saw the Northern lights. Most nights were too cloudy and the nites with clear skies had no Northern lights. In a final attempt, we woke up in the middle of the night, drove out of the city to a dirt road where it was completely dark (and scary to Ilaria), but alas the Northern lights would not reveal themselves to us on this trip.