Iceland. T minus 21.

Things have been quiet around here the past week or so mainly due to the fact that the majority of the core decisions were made some time ago, leaving me with worryingly little to do. That said, with 21 days to go, it is now time for the customary mad rush to get all the last-minute tasks completed.

That’s not to say I haven’t been continuing to plan the trip. In fact, after my last post about how much planning is required and how it can sometimes seem too much effort, it would appear that I have spent yet more hours on Google. And it has been worth it, but more of that later on.

Months ago I mentioned that Evernote plays a key role in any trip planning I undertake. The browser plug-in that allows you to copy all or part of a web page with a single click, combined with what is likely Windows 7 best feature – the snipping tool – means that I can quickly gather all manner of information for later use. But, as much of a geek that I am, I’ve never been too keen on relying on electronics when out in the field – simply because I am usually quite literally a field. So one of the remaining tasks is to distil all 84 Evernote clippings into a printable document. For me this apparent duplication of effort is usually fairly handy as the process forces me to consider how to group shooting locations, the logistics of getting between them and, if nothing more accurate, then at least a vague idea of the time required at each location. It also allows me to remove some of the more impractical ideas that ended up in Evernote as I get a better idea of the final itinerary.

The other tool I’m relying on now is the Reminder app on my phone, tablet and iCloud. Not because it is a particularly wonderful app, but it is always with me on one device or another and synchronises seamlessly. I’ve had an ‘Iceland 2014’ list for some time, but with three weeks to go it is now that it will really get a beating. Right now there are over a dozen outstanding tasks and more are being added as I think of them – usually in the oddest of places.

One of the larger outstanding decisions – and one that has come about from the continued research – is whether to take an entire day out of my time when based in Vik and go on an organised hike. Usually I would much prefer to go exploring by myself but I had this notion of going to see Eyjafjallajökull, simply known to the rest of the World as E-15* and the volcano that erupted in 2010 causing all the havoc. Like most places in Iceland, you could go yourself, but I’m tight on time and so having someone do all the planning seems like a good option. Google, unsurprisingly, came back with countless options but the quirky humour of the Eskimos Iceland website piqued my interest. A few emails later and the notion of getting to the top of E-15 has been replaced by a more general hike, but one that passes across E-15 and includes some other photogenic landscapes. Of course I have checked and there will be lava fields still warm from the eruption and the requisite steaming ground too. It sounds like a great way to see some hard-to-get-to landscapes. The fact that it is described as ‘challenging’ and ‘requiring the use of ropes and cables’ in some places only makes it more appealing.

The decision really is whether I can afford the time. I only five days based in Vik before heading east along the coast but I’m happy that that gives me a bit of slack just in case Iceland’s notoriously unpredictable weather decides to be playful. Taking a day of that to go hiking leaves me no time to reshoot locations should I need to.

Still, last minute rushing about aside, I’m really very excited!

 

*E-15  – E with an unpronounceable combination of 15 letters after it!

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