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      October 2011 > Andalucia to Iceland part 19: Flying with the Swans

Andalucia to Iceland part 19: Flying with the Swans

Svartifoss, IcelandThe next morning, we wake up to a pale blue sky and complete calm. The storm has passed. The distant landscape is still looking a bit smudged, though, which is bad news for Linda’s photography. A blue sky is bad enough for her (boring!), but combined with a hazy atmosphere...

However, she consoles herself with the thought of close-up photography of waterfalls, and anyway we’re both pleased not to be walking in an ash-storm. It’s actually a delightful day as we set off up the side of a ridge, heading high into the National Park. Crossing the ridge at the top, we drop down into the next valley and find our waterfalls.

The first one, Svartifoss, is the star attraction here but, for once in Iceland, this is not because of its height or width, but because of the backdrop of black, hexagonal basalt columns (above). We pass further waterfalls down-stream (we’re already getting blasé about waterfalls in Iceland) and soon we’re back at the campsite realising that our Inntravel work here is done.

The swans are gathering. These are Whooper Swans, which migrate for their winter holidays to warmer climes, such as Britain and Ireland (not places we would consider for our winter hols, but if you’re an Icelandic swan ...) We begin to drive back through the wetlands of the Eastern Fjords, where the lakes and fields are stained white with hundreds of swans.

Whooper SwansLinda has something to tell me. She’s going to fly south with the swans, leaving me to get the van back to Andalucía - 4000 km without either a Tom-Tom or a Lin-Lin. I could end up anywhere ... We haven’t fallen out and I’ve been changing my socks quite regularly. She just wants to get back to her new enormous printer which she hasn’t had a chance to use yet.  Well, if a girl has to choose between me and a printer ... I can understand that! 

Linda’s main camera, which costs about the same as a Ford Fiesta, is full of ash. We spot a professional-looking photographer (he’s got a tripod) shooting some rapids (so to speak) and ask him the name of a photography shop in Reykjavik, where Linda can get her camera cleaned. Apparently, Icelandic camera shops are absolute experts in cleaning sensors. They have to be.

It’s time to say good-bye. I drive Linda to a small airfield where a tiny aircraft will fly her to Reykjavik, from where she’ll catch a flight to Alicante. We feel quite emotional. After two months in a not very large metal box with someone, you’re bound to feel something... Although two months in a metal box with me is probably the reason she’s going!

After leaving her, I set off for the unpronounceable ferry port of Seydhisfjordhur, reliving our first days in Iceland on the way – bobbing fishing boats, brightly coloured simple churches with wooden spires and, of course, waterfalls. I come over a very high stretch of wilderness, which I don’t recognise – there’s no-one to ask the way and, even if there was, I can’t pronounce where I’m going.

Eventually the next fjord, with the ferry sitting comfortingly in place, appears far below me. The pretty coloured wooden houses are reflected in the perfectly still waters. Even I can make a photo of this. After years of accompanying Linda as she takes photos, and watching her teach groups, I think I understand all there is to taking a photo – aperture, speed, ISO, lenses, filters – but I still can’t take one. Linda says that I’m not motivated enough. I’ll show her...

Posted: 03/10/2011 09:01:32 by | with 0 comments
Filed under: Iceland, nature, photography, walking, wildlife

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