Update by Nial from July 10: We started off the day with with some fresh Icelandic skyr. Ilaria claimed the honey was fake but Will and Nial proved her wrong. After Deba and Nicole’s hour-long naps in the van we arrived at our first destination: Gullfoss, aka Big Waterfall. Jack and Marcus dodged very intelligent tourists with selfie sticks in the walkways while Elena and Adam enjoyed the views.
After some lunch, we journeyed to the original geyser named Geysir and saw a couple bursts of hot water and steam as Maria and Naia watched from a safe distance. Then we got back into the van to head get a quick ice cream on the way to whitewater rafting. We slept and sang all the way to the river. Much to Marcus and Will’s joy, Sarah and Addy loudly sang their new favorite song “Hear Me Out” from the band 14 Stories.
Rafting was incredible. While we didn’t see any arctic foxes, we still had tons of fun. Marcus volunteered to be an example for the guide and was pulled into the raft as we all laughed. Despite not being able to do the cliff jump because of Bold Earth’s fair and balanced safety policies, we cheered on the other rafts as they completed the jump. Then we hopped back into our boats.
After rafting, we returned to the rafting building, dropped off our gear and hopped in the sauna. Packed in like sardines, some of us then got in the shower then rinsed off. Then we went back to the campsite, had dinner and our evening meeting and then went to bed under the midnight sun.
Update by Deba from July 11: We woke up at 6:15 a.m. to the ever-shining sun. We ate some breakfast after Marcus cut bagels for everyone with Big Will. Then the group got into the vans, ready for the day’s journey.
After trying to stay awake, I soon passed out on Addy’s shoulder. Adam played the ukulele with Maria. Will shared his digestive biscuits, which are cookies I had never tried before and we are all now obsessed with them.
Soon we arrived at the largest dairy farm in Iceland (it was pretty small), and this is where we would set out to sea kayak. We put on our wetsuits, and some got stuck, including Nicole who couldn’t get her hands past the tight wristbands. Ilaria felt chilly as always, but was laughing the entire time. We rowed in groups of two and went into a stunning glacier! Nial and Will raced across the lagoon, but Naia and Erica won.
We got out and set out for the second part of our journey to Diamond Beach, a black sand beach with icebergs everywhere. We all cracked jokes and admired the adorable seals. This day was a fun one, but also where we said goodbye to a new friend that I felt like I knew for years. We miss you Erica!