TODAY we are in Reykjavik Iceland. It is overcast, as usual, and the wind is blowing at 35 miles per hour. I am venturing out by myself today as Dennis is still confned to the cabin.
We left the ship early, about 8:30. We were allocated into groups of 10 and then put into “super SUVs” These were huge vehicles whose tires wee about 3-4feet high. There were black tubes sticking out of the truck and attached to the tires. Our driver explained that he could raise or lower the pressure in the tires from inside of the cabin. We set off on the ring road N1 and headed north. We drove through desolate countryside for about 1.5hours. We then turned off the main road onto a side road that led to a glacial waterfall, Barnfoss. The water was rushing down through large rock crevice. The water was white. The rock crevace became larger and larger and went under a bridge. It was beautiful but very windy and cold.
We re-boarded our SUV and continued north. Shortly our driver left the road and drove over rock strewn fields This truck we were in handled the terrain easily although the passengers were a little terrified Sometimes we were at a 45 degree angle. We finally got back to the main road and turned north. We could now see the glacier. Our driver was on the radio with another driver. He said the other driver was having a problem and we had to go back to help. He turned the monster truck around in the road and we went back. The other van had run out of water and was overheating. We gathered up all the water bottles in our truck and put them into the engine of the other truck. We started of again but the other van soon stopped. We were beside a small stream. The drivers got out and filled water bottles and put t into the radiator.. We were then on our way to the tunnels.
This glacier was called Langjokull meaning long glacier. There was an outpost at the bottom of the glacier. We were offered waterproof jumpsuits and shoe covers. Many people did not have on waterproof clothing. I was dressed appropriately so I didn’t need the extra gear. We then boarded a large vehicle that held about 60 people and began the drive up the glacier. There was a lot of ice melt because the weather had been warm. We were told that the major problem in the cave was going to be water which was dripping from the ceiling and collecting in the floor of the tunnels. We got out of the bus and the snow was blowing and stinging your face. We saw an opening in the glacier. We were led into the opening. It was quite dark in this portion. I don’t see well with reduced light so I couldn’t see where I was putting my feet. One of the guides for the caves came back took my arm and led me into the first large cave. Here we were outfitted with crampons which really helped in walking through the connecting tunnels. We were constantly headed down which also didn’t help with keeping your balance. We soon reached another large chamber which is where I had our guide take my picture. We continued down another tunnel and came to the chapel We could hear beautiful singing. One of the other guides was in the chapel singing beautifully. The sound resounded all through the tunnels . There are 900 feet of tunnels and they go down to about 200 feet. The temperature is a constant 32 degrees. This is a temperate glacier. The temperature never goes below 32 as opposed to an arctic glaciers where the deeper you go in the glacier the colder it gets. We were in the caves for about 1 hour. We then took the big bus back down to the base camp and got into our monster truck. Everyone was wet but most of us had on waterproof gear so the water was just on the outside of our clothes. We then headed back across the high country and went to the national park and then returned to Reykjavik.
What a wonderful exciting day. There are other man made caves in the world but this cave is the largest. It was dug by 4 men who worked on it everyday for 14 months.