Reykjavik and the Golden Circle Tour
29 July 2017
I couldn't believe it. I missed my bus yesterday. It rained much of the night on Thursday, so naturally I had trouble sleeping. Got up around 330a and packed up under the protection of my shelter tarp. Then I walked down to town and stripped down to soak in the hot spring. It was hugely popular when I arrived a few days ago, so I avoided it, but it was empty yesterday morning. I was naked and had the place all to myself with hundreds of folks sleeping a football field away. It was me, the rising sun battling the thick clouds, and the still-persistent rain. I stayed for an hour before putting on my rain skirt and running to the bathhouse. Used my shirt to towel off and took refuge there for almost an hour and a half waiting for the bus. I walked out at about 705a just in time to see a bus fording the river across the parking lot. Couldn't be mine, I thought. Took me a few minutes to realize that it actually was mine. My ticket said 720a departure time. The freakin' bus had pulled away 20 minutes early! I'd been up since 330a and missed a 720a bus? What in the actual f*ck?! I was absolutely livid. Missed my flight as a result of this bus leaving early. No service or internet. Trapped in the middle of nowhere with no connetion to the outside world. I tried hitching for about two and a half hours, but there were very few cars leaving and none headed to Reykjavik, of course.
I was way stressed, especially because if I wasn't able to reschedule my flight to Greenland before it departed that evening, I'd forfeit the whole fair. Instead I was able to get internet service from one of the other tour buses and reschedule my flight. With that, I had to rework my trip to Greenland. I'd hoped to YOYO the Arctic Circle Trail, but there are only flights headed to Greenland every few days, so I had to scrap that plan. Instead, I worked it out as a one-way and had to buy a flight back to Kangerlussuaq from Sisimiut. All told, that bus cost me $350. Part of me is excited for the flight back over the ACT, but not excited enough to be ok with what happened Friday morning. It's really challenging to travel alone in a foreign country, and at times like this- lonely.
Caught the 330p bus back to Reykjavik and arrived around 530p last night. Explored the city more and picked up some seafood for dinner. Cowboy camped in the park among the trees. It was quiet, but littered with trash and obviously a haven for unsavory activities. Fortunately nobody bugged me.
I've discovered many things I want to see and do in Iceland, but so much of the country is very difficult to access. It's kinda like the country got together and said "Yeah, we want tourism, but we want to keep them confined to just a few cool spots." The Laugavegur is incredible, and the handful of spots on the Golden Circle - Gullfoss, Geysir Geothermal Field, and Thingvellir National Park - also incredible. But I'd love to check out Dettafoss, Storurd, and a bunch of other places I haven't even heard of yet. It's a bit of a tease when you think about it. The whole place is a never-ending thread of amazing; I have no idea where to even begin. Instead I just took the easy way out and scheduled the Golden Circle Tour today. It's a total tourist trap, but it hits the highlights with minimal effort, which is cool. Really dislike this kinda stuff, because the timeline is rigid and there is never enough of it. Wouldn't do it again, but I don't regret it either. All in all, a great trip to Iceland! And way stoked to head to Greenland tomorrow!