Sunday, August 18, 2013

mooooonshiiine!



Our final day in Canada started at just after 7am when we woke up at Ian’s place. I was still a little ‘high’ after taking anti-histamine tablets for my apparent allergy to cats! I know from past experiences that drugs which state – ‘May cause drowsiness’, actually knock me off my feet and cause dizziness light-headedness for me for up to 24 hours. I had to take them to stop my nose running and sneezing, but I wish I didn’t now!
Anyway, we made it to the airport and are currently sat awaiting our flight out of Canada. It’s been a good morning. We managed to carry our 78kg worth of bags to the subway station and onto the airport bus where we sat opposite a girl carrying a unicorn! 

Yeah!
Then at the airport I paid $2 to get a trolley, which was a great decision as we had two sets of security and customs to go through after checking in. We attempted to check in with one of the machines, but it asked $200 for bags! We knew we didn’t have to pay, so queued up and spoke to a customer assistant, who checked us in and didn’t even enquire about the bags! $200 saved!


After that it was the American border checkpoint. I was told I had a problem with my finger prints and had to go to the ‘special’ area, for criminals and drug mules! Luckily, there wasn’t any need for a rectal examination and it looks like I simply wasn’t booked out of The States when I left Alaska in May. After that was sorted out we were greeted with a singing baggage handler who, whilst loading our numerous bags onto the belt, sang a song explaining what he was doing and where we should go next! A really nice way to make people smile at the airport and one in which I’m sure the guy gets a lot of extra tips!

I dunno why they ar ethere



I need a shave
 Finally we went through the actual security check and were let into the gate area. Buffy had been given a Starbucks gift card at one of the wedding showers earlier in the month and so we found Starbucks and grabbed a juice and a bit of food each – well deserved after what had been a busy but productive morning – a unicorn, baggage fees, heavy bags, a bus and a train, dodgy fingerprints and a singing baggage handler – it’s all in a day’s work for the International Gypsy of Mystery. Next stop is Boston for a couple of hours and then a long afternoon flight towards Iceland.    

It’s now sometime between 6pm and 11pm depending on where we are – which is somewhere above the ocean. I’m going with 10.30pm Icelandic time as that’s where we will be next. It’s been an ok flight so far. We have been lucky enough to get seats with more legroom than Wembley stadium, just behind first class. We were a little surprised when the lady next to us pointed out that we had no TV screens and she was really upset, talking about asking for her money back.....but the stewardess appeared like magic and pulled the hidden screens from beneath the seats! Nice. The only other thing of note was when I managed to knock an entire cup full of Pepsi all over myself – luckily I had one of the airline blankets on my lap which soaked most of it up – but I still have a slightly wet arse and my cheeks are sticking together with cola! I also had to change my T-shirt, but that needed doing anyway after wearing the old one for most of the last three days. Ho hum, just another travelling tale! That’s it for now – the next input will be from Iceland! Takk!
Waiting for.....


This!!

Well we are now in Iceland and it’s been a hell of a day......
We had a nice stay in ‘Home Guesthouse’ last night right near the airport and I ran back to pick up a hire car early this morning. We have a tent and sleeping bags with us but had booked rental sleeping mats from a company in Reykjavik. Unfortunately when we arrived to collect them there was no one home! We had no phone to call the company and so visited the hostel we are staying in later in the week to use the phone and finally we went back where a bloke turned up half an hour later. A bit of a bad start but things got better as we drove out of Reykjavik and into the stunning countryside. The place is amazing with stunning views over lakes, wide open valleys and lots of weird stuff like the thousands of rock piles next to the road. In fact the whole place is a bit weird including the radio stations which changed from what sounded like Icelandic Nursery rhymes to 1920’s Charleston style music.

The day continued in a great vein though – We visited the worlds original Geysir at ‘Geysir’ – obviously and the amazing three tiered waterfalls at Gullfoss with rainbows shimmering in the water spray.

A face at a waterfall

and another face!
Then onwards we passed through more stunning landscapes like the old lava rocks covered in lichen which looked mouldy and otherworldly. Another two amazing waterfalls – one which was 70 metres high and fell into a deep pool below, with a path you could take to walk behind the falls themselves. We took the path and stayed dry out of the rain till we were soaked by the spray! A second waterfall a few miles up the road took us up a steep path to an outcrop that is shaped like a face looking into the heart of the falls themselves.  
A final two hour drive took us east along the coast past a huge archway that leans out into the sea and a couple of new friends....


It had just started to rain when we passed two hitchhikers. We decided to give them a lift as they were heading to the same place as us – So in they jumped – Robert and Tommy from Alabama and North Carolina – a pair of identical twins who were hiking their way around Iceland – as well as carrying 100% fruity flavoured proof moonshine which they passed around as I drove (I only had a tiny sip!)! A great couple of blokes who helped us pass the final hour of the day quickly and we thoroughly enjoyed their company. 

Gullfoss

and again

Volcanic stuff!

Waterfalls everywhere

We are now in a campsite at Skaftafell, with a huge glacier looming behind the campsite and a cloudy grey sky looming above us – A brilliant, busy and bonkers first full day in Iceland!
Twisty arch thing

Buffy on twisty arch thing

HUGE ARCH!!

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