Driving into the eastern part of Iceland…. Pure beauty… The area leading into the fjords was absolutely beautiful. After passing the Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon, the tourists seem to vanish and you pass very few cars on the road, especially along the fjords. It has a remote feeling that I fell in love with… The above picture captures it perfectly, I had to pull over to take it! One thing I did come to realize while traveling up the eastern side of Iceland, is that the weather is absolute crap over there. I can see why the western side is more civilized. It seemed as if the East coast was always being pounded on and off with rain. Driving up the fjords, you are constantly either moving towards the ocean, or moving back in land. Each time you approach the ocean, you would find yourself in rainy weather. Once you were back inland, though, the rain would cease. I was surprised how much the weather varied from the coast to a couple miles inland…
While on the eastern side of Crete, I saw for the first time in my life (wild) caribou! I got really excited when I saw a road sign warning to watch out for caribou! I had had no idea that Iceland had caribou! What a great surprise! My eyes were constantly scanning the fields and hill sides, desperately hoping to see some! It turns out there was no shortage of caribou and you’d have to be blind to miss them! We came upon quite a few large herds of caribou along the roadside, and I was able to get plenty of pictures to my great happiness! These are small cows, the large bulls (is a male caribou a bull or is there some other term for them?) would be further back from the road and I didn’t get any good pictures of them unfortunately… But I was happy just the same!
While driving through the fjords I was watching for any animals I might see. The remoteness of the area gave me high hopes of seeing Iceland’s wildlife. I wasn’t disappointed! In one fjord, well back from the ocean, I spotted two seals out on rocks in the water. Unfortunately, they were quite far out, and even with my zoom lens (its not one of those nice super zooms…) I was only able to get this shot… I love seals, though! I think they are so adorable and was so happy to see these guys on my trip as well!
After our glacier hike, our only goal for this day was to travel East, and make it to the town of Egilsstadir where we would stay for the night. Along the way, we had one stopped plan, to see the waterfall Beljandi. Unfortunately, I had plotted the wrong side of the river on the Google map I used, so when this was plugged into the GPS, it took us down the above road to the wrong side of the river… The roads were rough, I really wouldn’t try this in a car, and we found ourselves crossing a field when the road just ended and there it was on the other side… I say we were on the wrong side, because once we arrived at the river area, we had to park a ways back and walk through the damp wet grasses to reach the falls. Once there, on the other side of the river was a road that led into a parking area with picnic tables and all… Whoops… Oh well, we got there anyways, but I would highly recommend if you decide to see these falls, you find the road that brings you to the North side of the river, not the South side!