Iceland Ring Road Dash, March 28-30, 2015

After departing Arctic Heliskiing on March 28 we did not get out of Akureyri with our car rental until 3:30PM. The road across the interior of northern Iceland is fast and it took only 3 hours to get to Egilsstadir. Then we decided to be clever and try to get our rental car into the East Fjords via the most direct but unpaved and unplowed Route 1. This did not work out so well.



Fortunately cell service worked, but it still took 2 hours to get a tow truck out there and we had to backtrack to Egilsstadir to spend the night.

We thus had a 13 hour driving day on March 29 for the East Fjords and south side of Iceland but managed a few highlight stops. I'm guessing Breiðdalsvík is where we saw some interesting murals painted on buildings.




Jokulsarlon was a glacier terminus during the Little Ice Age. Now the glacier has retreated but calves icebergs into the lagoon left behind.





Skaftafell National Park is noted for its summer hiking to impressive glacier overlooks. In March we were able to hike ~30 minutes to an overlook of Svartifoss.


There are basalt columns on either side of the falls, but we did not have time to hike down the icy trail for a closer look.

We drove through a whiteout of blowing snow for awhile and finally reached Iceland's southern tip at Vik.





The famous basalt column cave is on the other side of the point in the first 2 pics above. With some trepidation we drove 6km down a snowpacked road to the beach at Halsanefshellir. Even though it was past 7PM on Sunday with brisk winds, there were quite a few people there.







We only got a drive by pic of 200-foot Skogafoss as it was past 8PM.



We spent that night in Selfoss and drove to Silfra for scuba diving between the tectonic plates. Sorry, no underwater pics of us because both our and the guide's camera had battery failures from the cold. Here we are getting geared up.



Some snorkelers are preparing to enter the water where we did earlier.


After swimming along that fissure, you eventually come out here.



Silfra is noted for having some of the clearest water in the world. Here's an underwater pic from the dive website:
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For those of you who dive, buoyancy control in a dry suit is quite challenging if you have not taken a specialized course in advance.