Day 2: Vik to Höfn
We woke up early naturally so decided to do the hike to the DC-3 plane wreak on the beach hoping to get there as daylight broke and beat he crowds. It was a 45 minute hike in – totally flat. We started our in the dark but it got lighter and lighter as we went. Another couple overtook us and a couple passed us on their way out.
Sólheimasandur plane crash
On 21 November, 1973 the United States Navy Douglas Dakota made a forced landing on a sandur in Vestur-Skaftafellssýsla and was abandoned. The crew survived, but the cause of the crash are somewhat unclear as accounts differ as to whether it was due to a mechanical failure, the plane running out of fuel, or a storm. The fuselage of the aircraft is what remains. The plane was one of four Douglas Dakotas based at the US Navy base in Keflavík, which was an important military base during the Cold War. The planes, which had previously served in the Korean and Vietnam wars, all met their ends in Iceland, as the three other planes were damaged during take-off. The base was closed in 2006 when the US Navy left.
To our disgust there were Germans camping right next to the plane and their tent was in the way of photographs from one side. The couple that passed us on the way in gossiped with us about how rude they were. Not only was it rude to other tourists, they broke the Iceland tourist rules regarding respecting nature. Yes their toilet paper was visible. So gross.
Josh managed to climb to the top and get some good shots. It was worth he trek but the wind was so strong and so cold I was exhausted and had a massive headache by the time we got to the car. It had also started to rain making us colder.
Josh drove the car up to lighthouse for some awesome views along the black sand beach. I stayed in car after the rain started lashing at him as he got out and his coat nearly blew off the cliff!
Back to our Cottage to pack up and walk back down to Reynisfjara Beach for sand and selfie.
There was a great view from the Vik Myrdal church.
The road today took us through Moss covered lava fields to Fjadrárgljúfur Canyon where Josh to fly his drone for the first time as the wind had died down dramatically.
The surprise activity of the day was a Glacier Walk at Vatnajökulspjódgardur.
Well only a surprise to me really and I was taken aback. When I saw harnesses and cleats and ice axes I freaked out. The tall red bearded Viking that was running the show simply said ‘Are you stressed?’ Hell yes! I didn’t envision climbing an ice wall ala Game of Thrones, especially as I had a skirt on over my leggings. Anyway I calmed down after I saw every tour group was putting cleats on at the very least and the clientele seemed very touristy being mostly Asian and Indian.
Turned out to be lots of fun and josh was loving it so that made me happy too. Last year on his birthday he suffered through archery at Winterfell Tours so this year he took me beyond the wall!
This spot was magical! Piece of the glaciers break away and drift out onto the beach where they bob and sway and melt. There are huge ones and tiny jewel like ones. Blue ones, white ones and crystal clear ones. We even saw a seal swimming among them.
We capped the day off with the most wonderful seafood dinner at Pakkhaus in Höfn.
We literally fell asleep as soon as our heads struck the pillow!