It was so nice to get up and not worry about packing and getting our suitcases ready to go.  The itinerary was changed up a bit.  We spent the morning exploring more of the beach and the Ice Lagoon.  In the afternoon we went to Skaftafell National Park – to see another waterfall.  The rain held off until the end of the afternoon but I was very disappointed because we weren’t able to see the National Park’s vibrant wildflowers.  We had already had a full day and it was getting late.  We returned to the hotel for our dinner at 7pm.

I haven’t said too much about the other members of the tour.  By this time in the tour, you sat next to people you enjoyed and stayed away from those that were annoying.  We got along with most of the people but I think there was a lot of dissension among many of the group.  One lady, we called “the New Yorker” was very abrasive and always in your business.  Everything she discussed had to do with her and her travels.  Another lady, from Pennsylvania – Pittsburgh, was very outspoken on everything.  She was bossy and loud and irritated quite a few people.  Then there was the doctor from Los Angeles.  He was a stand-up comic – always joking.  He sat up in the front by himself for the first 4 days until people complained that he wasn’t changing his seat. He was one of the few who was always late returning to the bus.  Shawn and I also sat in the front for several days until the guide said we were suppose to rotate our seats.  No one had heard him discuss that but even after he declared that was what we would do – no one paid any attention and sat where ever they wanted.  Shawn and I discovered that some seats had more leg room and some had very little. Of course we liked sitting up in front because we wanted to get off the bus quickly.  Some people took forever to gather all their gear and amble off the bus.  One lady from Maryland talked nonstop about photography.  At every meal, it was all about her and her photo club and how strict they were.  She didn’t go anywhere without her tripod.  Shawn and I had to laugh because one day it was soooo windy you could hardly stand up straight and we were surprised she didn’t take her tripod.  Her husband only shot with film.  He had a huge box-like contraption and only set it up at certain locations because it took about 20 minutes to take a photo.  He had a lot of people taking photos of him taking photos.  There was a couple from Oregon.  The husband was very knowledgeable and friendly but I don’t think his wife said more than two words.  They enjoyed their cocktail hour before and during dinner.  There were three husbands on their own without their wives and one wife without her husband and at least 6 single ladies. We sat a lot with a couple from South Carolina.  The wife wasn’t a photographer and so was bored to death with the night time conversation of photography.  Her husband was nice but never said much. She had grandchildren and other interests besides photography so I enjoyed talking to her.  You can perhaps get a sense of the group’s diversity.  They were all extremely well traveled and were not shy telling anyone who would listen where they had been and what tour they had been on.

There was a lot of photography competition and the guide encouraged it by doing photo critiques .  I didn’t show any of mine and only attended one meeting.  I tried to work on my blog every night and I just didn’t want to take the time to go to the meeting.   Usually we arrived around 6pm, ate at 7pm and were in our rooms by 8:30pm. exhausted by the day’s activities. Here are a few photos of our morning at the beach and lagoon:

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Ice at the black sand beach

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Beautiful chunks of glacier ice coming into the shore
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Feisty terns protecting their young. You had to walk the bird gauntlet to get from the beach to the lagoon.
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We found these three tern chicks on the hood of a white car. They never flew off no matter how close we got. Two of them were having a grand time jumping on the car antenna.
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A precarious position!
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Taking a flying leap!

Between taking photos of the  ice and the terns, we had a busy morning.  Shawn and I had been at the beach and then walked over to the lagoon.  Shawn went off on his own closer to the water while I battled the terns who kept dive bombing me.  I had a plastic bag and kept waving it at them to keep them away.When I next saw Shawn, he was covered in bird sh….t!  He spent the next 20 minutes in the restroom trying to clean off.  He wasn’t the only one to get sprayed but he was the worst.  We decided to walk back across the bridge to the beach.  Shawn went ahead while I stayed at the edge of the tern flurries trying to get a good close up shot but it was difficult.  I finally joined Shawn at the beach and after a few minutes Erik, the guide came to tell us that the bus was going to the other side to wait for everyone.  Of course, he didn’t make that known to all so when most everyone was on the bus, two people were missing.  They had been at the beach looking for the bus where it was actually suppose to be waiting. So we sat waiting on the bus an extra half hour.

We returned to the hotel for our lunch.  Our next site was the Skaftafell National Park.  Here are a few photos from the park:

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Laki volcanic area. Site of one of the largest volcanic eruptions in recorded history,

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The Seljalandsfoss waterfall. I didn’t get up close as there was so much spray. It is fed by the melting water from the icecap. There is a path behind the waterfall but no one wanted to get soaked.
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Wildflowers
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The one time I had my umbrella when it was raining and we put it to good use waiting for everyone.

3 thoughts

  1. Have enjoyed reading about your adventures. By the way, a very nice pic of you and Shawn. Looking forward to seeing you soon.

    Love – Jeanne

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  2. I love your “color commentary” on the other passengers! The pictures are stunning as always. You and Shawn look good in your picture together.

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  3. Nice photo of you and Shawn! Loved the photos of the birds on the car. You should post them on FB. The passenger commentary always interesting. How many people were there?

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