My friend, Ginny’s, husband always says he’d rather not think about the places we end up on our travels. That’s because, even with the best planning, we sometimes end up in some rather precarious situations. So a word to my mom: you might not want to read this blog.
Yesterday began as a perfect weather day, for Iceland, in May. Coat, hat, and glove worthy, but with sun and no wind. We knew we had at least a five hour drive (= 10 hours for us) between Klauster and Seydisfjordur in the Eastfjords.
Thursday we had done what became a grueling three mile hike, because of the high winds, to the near edge of a glacier.
On this day, as we began our drive on the Ring Road, we were delighted to discover off a bumpy detour, a short easy hike which took us near lupine lined hills to the very edge of a even more stunning glacier. There we prayed noonday prayers.
Down the road, we had a picnic lunch on the black sand beach at Jokulsarlon where large pieces of glacier had floated on to the sand.
Then we crossed the road to enjoy hot coffee overlooking the lagoon filled with calved glaciers.
Continuing on the Ring Road, we came to a split in the road. Our research had warned us away from what our GPS said would be the shorter route. We took the longer way, despite the protests of the GPS. The Ring Road, now unpaved, took us up and down stunning fjords. We were delighted with sighting after sighting of herds of reindeer.
As the Ring Road turned north, our GPS once again directed us another way continuing along the fjords. But since the Ring Road is the main Icelandic route, we decided to stay on what we thought was the sure and better way.
It turns out that the Ring Road, still unpaved, winds through and up and over a harrowing way through the glaciers. This was not an enjoyable way to travel. In fact, it was terrifying. We found out later that locals don’t go this way.
Near Egilsstadir, the roads improved, and we breathed a sigh of relief. We were only miles from our seaside destination.
But not yet. Turns out we had one more glacier to traverse, and now it was below freezing and snowing. Where had our careful plans taken us? This is not what we had asked for or imagined.
Yet safely we arrived to what the guidebooks say is the crown jewel of the Eastfjords. We have three nights ahead.
A devotional that I am reading offers the perspective of God being the wind at our back pushing us towards our destination.
After all of the places I have felt the Icelandic winds, in this season of Pentecost, I am thoughtful of a God that is the wind that surrounds me, sometimes gentle, sometimes uncomfortable, and sometimes seemingly inconvenient.
Where will the Wind blow me?