Jul 08 2019

Liftoff

Published by at 4:07 pm under Travel

June 29–30, 2019

Saturday 29

The shuttle picked me up fifteen minutes early and for some reason, there was no traffic between here and San Francisco, so I accidentally got to the airport four bloody hours early, instead of my planned three. Molly appeared about an hour later, so time passed more quickly after that.

Eventually we boarded. We were sardined into Icelandair’s wee seats for the eight-hour, forty-minute flight. There were few food options on board (and for purchase only). I thought the “spicy vegetarian noodles” sounded almost appetizing, more so than the “turkey pretzel triangle,” but the former turned out to be one of those Cup-o-Soups.

Sunday 30

I can never sleep on planes, but with the help of Ambien I dozed for about an hour, while Molly read. We arrived at the Keflavík Airport at around 6:30 in the morning.

[Photo by Molly]

We immediately went to rent a car at Avis. To my horror, it was this big honkin’ wide thing, a Range Rover Discovery Sport which at least had the benefit of good clearance to handle the rough roads we planned to take.

I’d been concerned about how we’d function during a full day after a sleepless night, but I needn’t have worried. Molly stayed awake at the wheel, and expertly navigated us out of the city and toward the Snæfellsnes Peninsula in western Iceland. We couldn’t check into our lodging, about three or four hours of straight driving hence, until 4:00 in the afternoon, so we meandered. Whenever we’d see a gravel side road that looked promising, particularly one marked with a stylized sort of cloverleaf symbol (designating a natural or historical sight), we took it. One such street took us to a lovely little falls called Fossárrétt. (Foss is “waterfall” in Icelandic.) I could picture fairies frolicking there of an evening.

Once we spotted a waterfall and went to find it, but ultimately it hid from us. But that’s okay; there’s no shortage of them, with one seemingly around every bend. Still with a couple hours to pass before we were allowed into our AirBnB home for the next two nights, we drove by and overshot it, instead visiting a fissure in a cliff (called Rauðfelsdsgjá, or Red Mountain Cliff) through which a stream runs and a waterfall does what waterfalls do.

Four o’clock finally rolled around and, heavy lidded, we got to our cheerful AirBnB on an Icelandic horse farm (the only kind of horse here) in the middle of nowhere, with a long view of the ocean from the room. The place is called Stóri Kambur. It was very windy so the grasses were constantly rippling dramatically.

The view to the rear is of the snow-covered volcano, Snæfellsjökull.

After a lunch of trail mix, our dinner consisted of peanut butter spread on things glutenous for me and gluten-free for Molly. At 7:45 I brushed my little old teeths and conked out, eye mask in place to keep out the sun that never fully set. Every time I woke up—11:00 p.m., 3:00, 4:00—it was still shining bright. Despite the light, I was so tired I snored like a sailor (assuming sailors snore), and Molly had to put in earplugs.

3 responses so far

3 Responses to “Liftoff”

  1. Molly says:

    *You* wanted the big honkin’ wide thing. That was your explicit request to Avis, don’t you recall?: “Dear Avis, please give us the honkingest car you ever done seen.”

    That is a nice photo of me in Rauðfelsdsgjá! I had not seen it before. You’re getting so good with your wee camera.

    I’m excited to read more blogs!

  2. elise Laird says:

    Did not know that you snore…or that sailors snore, so, thank you.

  3. Elana says:

    So purdy! I’ve got a honkin’ wide thing whenever you want it!

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