My good friend, Jenn, and her wife went to Iceland for their honeymoon earlier this year. I’ve asked her to write about their experience as my first guest poster. Although it has taken me entirely too long to get this posted, here is what she had to say:
Cold, Wet, Miserable and the Best Premarital Counseling We Could Have Asked For!
-Myvatn hot springs
-Laugarvatn hot springs
-The historic sites
-The Brennivin (local spirits)
-The pyroclast (a geology-geeks dream)
The sucky parts:
-The fact that in April a lot of stuff is closed or is only open limited hours
-Stripping and washing in front of strangers to use the hot springs (I kept my eyes on the ground the whole time)
-Did I mention the rain?
-The GPS in the van did not work very well
-”Camping cards” do not exist
-Our camper van company was NOT marked on any signs at the airport.
Where we stayed (in our tiny camper van):
-Thingvellir (2 nights)
-A closed campground on the east coast (nope, there was no gate blocking us from getting in so we parked and stayed)
-Myvatan next to a Pizza Parlor and near a cute picture of a cow in the view of a dormant volcano
-Selfoss Guesthouse (4 night)
Things I would have done differently:
-Not rented a camper van
-Waterproofed my hiking pants
-Waterproofed my wife’s backpack
-Brought extra gloves
-Brought more snack items
-Had a smartphone (though my wife had hers)
Things we were glad we brought:
-Insulated food jars (aka a thermos)
-dehydrated meals (recipes at the end of the blog)
-Hiking pants that were at least water resistant
-Power inverter (like a power strip that plugs into the cigaret-lighter of a car. We didn’t have to worry about converting to European prongs or voltage.)
-My wife’s smartphone
-A waterproof map
-Gravel insurance (we spent $100.00), but after a semi threw a rock and cracked our windshield, we were glad we had it. The windshield would have cost us $1,000 dollars otherwise.)
Things we should have left home:
-Extra camera gear (give or your take your passion for photography)
Things that made it harder:
Boy did it rain! It rained or snowed almost every day we were there, and there were numerous times we were soaked to the bone and had to make do. Also, the wind made it harder, because when cooking outside it took forever to even get water to boil. Basically, we spent our first few days cold, wet, greasy and muddy. It also didn’t help that in April things are still shut down from the winter, though there are websites to help with that.
Things that helped:
We were both glad we packed base layers, my dehydrator meals, oatmeal, cereal, and the commercial freeze-dried meals so rather than living on gas-station hot dogs, we could eat filling food! Also, my wife being able to drive a stick shift in a snowstorm helped, because she got us up some steep roads and over the mountains in the eastern part of the island. My wife’s smartphone was a life saver as it helped us find places to stay because the GPS in our van was not worth shit! And our insulated food jars helped us have hot meals more often and kept our coffee warm!