The Iceland Itinerary Is Finalised. Again.

Hot on the heels of the last update plans for the trip have moved forward. I’ve decided on the itinerary, booked flights, the 4WD rental and even finalised all the accommodation. Which yes, does mean that I’ve come to a decision on the dates.

One of the things I was unsure of was simply the mechanics of travelling the 380km from Jokulsarlon to Keflavik in time for the flight, all on the same day. Knowing my luck, the 4WD would suffer some kind of terminal failure, I’d miss the flight and be stranded. The flip side was that, whilst the first version of the itinerary allowed a couple of extra days on the Reykjanesbaer peninsula – where the airport is located – it also spanned three weekends. That was three weekends of potential overtime at work, which ultimately pay for these trips. It was such a quandary.

I was also beginning to make the same mistake as the 2013 trip: Trying to fit in more and more locations. I had already began looking into the possibility of travelling north of Reykjavik based on a number of wonderful landscape shots I’d seen. It was only when I added up the days and cost that I realised I was attempting to do too much.

So, with a few changes, here is the itinerary:

  • THR 22 MAY
    Early afternoon flight to Keflavik International, pick up 4WD rental and check in to a local hotel on the Reykjanesbaer peninsula.
  • FRI 23 – SAT 24 MAY
    Go exploring on the Reykjanesbaer peninsula. In the afternoon, drive the 190km to Vik, undoubtably stopping along the way.
  • SUN 25 – THR 29 MAY
    Based in Vik, spend five days exploring the surrounding area, up to 100km or so.
  • FRI 30 MAY
    Drive over to the next base camp near Skaftafell national park. This is only 190km so again, I’m sure I’ll be stopping a few times.
  • SAT 31 – SUN 01 JUN
    A close base camp to Skaftafell National Park means spending time around, and on, Vatnajokull, Europe’s largest glacier.
  • MON 02 – TUE 03 JUN
    Move to a base 40km east of Jokulsarlon and continue exploring. The move is more out of necessity as the hotel I’m in at Skaftafell is booked after after June 1st.
  • WED 04 JUN
    Drive to Reykjavik, return the 4WD and be out for some evening photography along the harbour.
  • THR 05 JUN
    A day relaxing in Reykjavik satisfying my needs for some architectural photography.
  • FRI 06 JUN
    Tying up last minute shots in the morning and fly out in the late afternoon.

For me, there’s a good balance of time here. In Antarctica I often found there wasn’t much time to compose shots – everything was moving and you were kept on a tight itinerary which, although understandable for certain destinations, is the one thing I dislike about organised trips. Here, there is no clock to watch and with five days in Vik alone, I’ve allowed plenty of time to slow down and work each location. Maybe too much time, but I’ll only know that in a few months.

The surprise is Reykjavik being included at all. I was quite keen to avoid it altogether and simply concentrate on the landscape aspect but, well, I can’t resist good architecture and I’ve wanted Hallgrimskirkja as a subject for a while. Plus, with just over two weeks of near solitude, being in a populated area will make a nice change.

So, the holiday is signed off at work, flights were purchased yesterday, as was the rental of the 4WD. Five sets of accommodation are all booked too and I’ve a good idea of where I want to be and see.

In short, Iceland 2014 is born. All I’ve got to do now is not mess it all up by changing things!

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