Monday, April 18, 2016

The day after

I head out for my 6:30 am walk and although some drifts are up to my knees, there’s not a whole lot of snow. Just enough to cover everything nicely. By noontime it’s melting already. The sun is intense when it decides to make an appearance.   

In the afternoon I take a longer hike, up Seljalandsvegur, off onto the hiking trail, around the avalanche wall and down into Tungudalur. The snow is melting fast though and I’m certain it will be gone soon, at least in the village. 

Sunday, April 17, 2016

April snowstorm

 At 6:45 am there’s still no real sign of a blizzard. It got cold and a bit windy and there’s a light dusting of snow on the ground. 

At 7:30 am it starts, the clouds rush in from the ocean like a tornado and visibility is zero. The wind whips the snowflakes around so much that all you can see is white. 

The wind lets up for a bit around 8:30, allowing me to take a pleasant morning walk. There’s a good layer of white on everything now, and the town is sleepy and pretty. 

At the harbor I see two girls crawling out of a sailboat from Holland, and exchange a few pleasant words with them. They’re faces are so brown from the weather, making a stark contrast to the white snow and their winter hats. They’re definitely stuck here until tomorrow, it’s certainly not sailing weather.

The storm rages on all day with varying intensity. It’s a north wind and that means the wind whips in all the crevices of my poorly insulated bathroom, making it feel like a walk-in freezer. I plug the power outlets and cover the windows, but I still dread having to use the toilet. 

I venture out at the height of the storm for some spectacular pictures, and promptly drop my camera in a snowbank. It’s a true whiteout, I can hardly see a few feet in front of me. 

I don’t really feel safe venturing more than a few blocks from home. There are a few cars out and about, but no other people on foot. I have to get my camera back into safety and assess the damage.

I spend the rest of the day watching the storm from inside and working on the painting project. Although I was getting used to the sun and warm temperatures, this is really pretty! The days are so bright and long, and then all this white snow. I can’t wait to get out tomorrow for a longer walk and see the transformation. 

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Preparing for the storm

It’s Saturday and I enjoy sleeping in today, lying in bed until I can’t stand it anymore (which means about 7 am) and then starting out the morning real slow with a cappuccino, a whole lot of tea and top it off with a cup of coffee. Then I’m sufficiently motivated for a morning jog. I head straight up the northernmost avalanche wall, and jog behind the other walls, then head up Seljalandsvegur and off onto the hiking trail. It’s real cross country terrain today and a lot of fun and I’m gone well over an hour. Didn’t drag my camera along though.  

After breakfast, I need to get some shopping done. We’re expecting a blizzard tomorrow so I need some entertainment to pass the stormy Sunday. I head to the paint shop and buy all the fixings to paint one wall in the guest room. Then I make a lamb roast that will feed me for a week.

With the chores done, I head outdoors one last time on my bike before bringing it in for the storm. I don’t like to keep it outside when the temperatures dip below freezing. I ride into Tungudalur again and around the residential area behind Bónus. On the way home, I stop and watch the local soccer match for a bit. Actually it’s more entertaining to watch the spectators. Icelanders don’t like to get out of their cars. They drive up onto the hill overlooking the soccer field, roll down their windows, often even keep the motor running, and watch the game from the comfort of their cars. Even in the summer when the weather is dry and beautiful, there will be plenty of drive-in spectators. 

In the evening I watch the ocean and the sky for signs of the approaching storm.      

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Day of selfies

Last night at around midnight there was an amazing display of northern lights. I didn’t spend a lot of time taking pictures, just snapped a couple and admired them for a few minutes, but the alarm clock at 5:30 am is relentless and I need to get to sleep. 

It’s foggy in the morning when I take a nice long walk on the beach, examining stones. This beach doesn’t have a lot of shells, except a few molluscs, but the stones and jellyfish and other things washed ashore can be quite interesting.

Later the sun comes out, warming everything up so I bike into Tungudalur and just sit on the dry deck of the campsite and bask in the sun, with my ever-present thermos and snack.