Day 13 – Campers reunion

So after a lovely two days at Olafsvik, we packed up our tent and headed towards our last campsite in Iceland. This campsite was also, coincidentally, our first campsite in Iceland – Grindavik. We had to give our camping stove back today, so we knew it would still be possible to cook food at Grindavik, and we knew that they had what we needed; a place to wash clothes and a place to charge phones. On the way over, we stopped in Reykjavik to hand the stove back and have lunch that was recommended by a blog called “the ten best cheap eats in Reykjavik”. It was a good place, with only a few items on the menu, but good items. If ever you go to Reykjavik, be sure to go to Noodle Station!

We then continued our journey further south to the campsite, but had to stop when we saw yet another stunning waterfall. It wasn’t the highest waterfall in Iceland, but it still rivalled the others in terms of beauty.

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After we took those photos, Dan displayed some of the courage he had gained since beginning out journey and ventured behind the water with the camera. Immediately after he got back, two American men decided they couldn’t let him have all the fun and did the exact same thing.

After arriving at Grindavik, we settled down at one of the tables and tried to set aside some time to reflect and catch up on writing this blog. It is mainly my words that are finding their way onto this site, but please believe me when I say that Dan brings his equal share to the blog. Not a single thing goes on here that he doesn’t scrutinise (kindly – he has no choice there), and if it were just down to me, you would be given no names to these places and several events would have been missed. That and his software engineering skills are what’s slowly building the actual site itself.

Let me retract from that tangent and go back to what I was saying here.

We were sat down and began reminiscing over the trip for the purposes of this blog, and to make sure that we didn’t forget anything. One thought that we both agreed on was how awesome the company  has been. Sightseeing has been spectacular, and a real gift to be able to see, but people have and always will made trips for me. Its things people say and how they make me feel that I remember, more than how high the waterfall was, as amazing as they are. We both agreed that social media plays an important role here, and we intend to use it as best as we can. As Brits, we’ve spent most of this holiday recommending Grindavik to other campers, and thinking nothing of it, as Brits are the masters at offhandedly agreeing to do things and never seeing it through.

So when I went to the car to grab the washing, the last thing I expected to see was the two Dutch them get out of theirs and greet me. When asking them why they decided to come down here after all, their answer was simple – we told them it was a good place to go. The next hour was spent catching up with them and how the rest of their trip had gone. Turns out their tent situation did not improve and rain was expected. The woman who rented the tent to them was anything but polite about the fact that their tent was faulty, and did nothing but deny that there could be anything wrong with it, and blame the men for putting it up wrong. These guys were in the army once, so a bit of practical knowledge is something they both have. They were telling us how they decided to resolve the situation – put the tent up in the parking lot, kindly ask the lady to go inside the tent and throw several buckets of water on it. Their tent did appear to have taken a toll on them, and they seemed visibly tired from their trip, so we weren’t surprised when they made an early exit to sleep.

The next surprise came from France. Ben and Tiphani made their way through the door, and through their smiles and greetings, again seemed weary and agitated. Turns out, they had tried to book tickets to walk on a glacier, but had arrived only moments after the bookings had ended. They then wanted to see the blue lagoon, and us telling them that you most likely have to book in advance for that did nothing for their spirits. It was their last night in Iceland, so they soon went off in determination to do something, be it sit in a thermal pool or walk on ice somewhere.

Good things tend to happen in threes, so our last came when we looked across and saw the Canadians sitting a few tables down. Again, through our high praise of this campsite, we had influenced their decision to spend the night here. Again they were accompanied by Skyr yoghurt and we sat with them for a while. By this point, however, the campsite had almost tripled in its population, and it became difficult to work our way around other campers when trying to cook and keep our seats. We lost them, and lost the ability to continue talking. After about an hour of cooking just pasta, the Canadians kindle gave up their seats to us and assured us that they weren’t disappointed by the place, even though it was heaving. It was around this time, that a folk band decided to put on a performance outside, so any attempt at trying to have a decent conversation would have been drowned out by the sound of an accordion. We felt sorry that three pairs of weary travellers had made their way down here, just to be greeted by a lack of seating and noise.

It now might be a good time to mention that on this day, my cousin Lizzie got married in Scotland. I am gutted to have missed it, but managed to see her in her wedding dress through video chat. It was wonderful to have been able to see it, and I’m sorry that I wasn’t there. The world doesn’t stop turning back home, and I wouldn’t have wanted it to, but I don’t come from a very large family, so I felt a tinge of sadness speaking to them. It was nice to see that they were having a ball though, getting tipsy and shouting at people behind me, calling women men and the folk band awful. Drink had encouraged a lot of honesty and some powerful dance moves in them, and with the level of noise on both our sides, all I could do was watch them dance and try to copy their moves through the phone’s camera. I doubt I know all of the details that happened that day, and I’m excited to hear them.

At about 11, we were considering going to bed ourselves, when Ben and Tiphani walked back through the door. Turns out the Blue Lagoon was fully booked, and there wasn’t much else to do at that time of night other than go for a few drinks. They really looked like they deserved them. They did well to laugh of the situation and Tiphani’s confidence in speaking English had dramatically improved since we last saw her. It was nice to hear more from her, and they did well to speak English even to each other, despite being so tired. The conversation was starting to become a little fragmented, as always happens when you get to a certain point in the night when everyone should have gone to sleep long before. I don’t know why I did, but I asked them about their opinion on marriage. Turns out they are quite a new couple, so marriage was not on the cards for them yet, nor had they seemed to have discussed it much. Tiphani’s reply was that she liked the idea of getting to change her name, and Ben’s reply was that he liked the idea of a big party.

By the time we returned to our tent, it had been raining for several hours. We slept only a few hours that night and woke up to find out tent soaking.

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