Part 1, Iceland 4×4 rough roading tour…A geothermal hot bed…

We apologize for the poor quality of today’s and tomorrow photos of Iceland. It was pouring rain, the windows in the vehicle were fogged up on the inside and rainy on the outside. 

The highlight of the day was when the driver took us through the river traversing back and forth, water splashing up the sides and even the truck. It was a rough ride but fun, none the less. I couldn’t take a photo of the water splashing, which wasn’t visible with the windows closed. I quickly took this shot out the window when he stopped for a moment. We were deep in the river at points. Bouncy!
This was the 4×4 vehicle we used on the off-road tour of Iceland. Excuse the black lines on the edges. It was raining so hard the automatic lens cover got wet and wouldn’t fully open.
As we drove away from the port we spotted this KFC sign which read, “Svoogott.” Could that translate to “so good?

It was hard to believe that nine seniors, some older than us, decided to partake in the 4×4 off-road rough riding excursion up the high volcanic hills of Iceland.

Few trees grow in Iceland, most of which were destroyed during volcanic activity millennium ago.
Iceland felt barren in parts.  We could only imagine what winter would be like.  No thanks.

The vehicle, a souped-up combination of a Ford F350 with the back portion welded together with a Ford Excursion. The tires were huge with a “lift kit” making the vehicle so high, it was challenging for some passengers to get up and into.  

The view of Reykjavik from atop a high hill that we reached off-road. Lots of bouncing!
Another view of Reykjavik in the rain, fog, and clouds.
Final view of Reykjavik from our high vantage point.

Of course, after all of our various physical challenges these past few years it was a breeze for us. The idea of bouncing in the vehicle for three and a half hours didn’t intimate us after the roads in Africa including off-road riding on safari. 

It was raining hard when we took this photo of three fat or fluffy sheep.
Had it been a sunny day, a rarity in Iceland. It is clear or mostly clear only 14% of the days year-round. For the weather in Iceland, please click here.
Geothermal activity in Iceland is unbelievable. See this link for more information. The country/island of Iceland uses this energy to heat their homes and as a source of power in many other aspects.

It was pouring rain when we took off, the nine of us and guide/driver, a tall, fit 20-something, good looking Icelandic man with good English and thick accent. He shared many stories about Iceland with us including the fact that the island is a geothermal hot spot, considering the world’s most active volcano lies therein.

In many areas, the steam rose from the ground due to the activity of the tectonic plates. Overall, Iceland is an island where earthquakes and volcano eruptions are expected.
Evidence of volcanic activity is everywhere in the terrain.
Many of the hills are covered in green vegetation in summer and snow in the winters.

I’d had some preposterous notion that we’d see the volcano but it was too far away and the government wasn’t allowing anyone near it. It could erupt at any moment decimating miles of life in its path.

I asked the driver/guide to stop the vehicle for photos of Icelandic horses. They have short legs and a gentle disposition. No other types of horses are allowed on the island to avoid disrupting the purity of the species. Once an Icelandic horse leaves Iceland, it can never return.
Please click here for more information on Icelandic horses.

Had it not been pouring rain and so cold, we’d have more enjoyed this experience. The windows were fogged so badly it was nearly impossible to see the sites he pointed out as we drove off-road to various points of interest.  

After the first few hours on the tour, we stopped at a local shop for a break. These light fixtures are certainly appropriate for Iceland.
I caught Tom off guard at the shop. He was actually very cheerful.
Us girls are picky about the photos we share. Had Tom not badgered me, I wouldn’t have posted this one.

I was frustrated when I couldn’t take good photos while hindered by the fogged up windows on the inside and rain on the outside. On a few occasions, in desperation, I opened the window for less than 30 seconds to take a shot, aware that the people behind us were annoyed by the draft. 

While we were in the river. This reminded us of crossing over rivers and creeks when to rode from the Masai Mara in Kenya to Tanzania to see the tail end of the Great Migration a year ago October.

Tomorrow, we’ll be back with photos of downtown Reykjavik and interesting landmarks that surprised us.

While we were moving fast on the river after Tom wiped off the window for me.
For a minute we were on land only to return to the river a moment later.
After we left the river, we headed back to the highway to return to Reykjavik. Tomorrow, we’ll share better photos of the city.

Photo from one year ago today, September 9, 2013:

Dining out at Sails Restaurant in Diani Beach, Kenya. This platter was for Tom only. For details of the date, please click here.