Now that the two, primary base camps have been chosen and dates selected – largely based on the availability of accommodation, I’m now beginning to consider the side trips. Of course, in my world nothing is ever quite as easy as it would appear, so this week has been set aside to deciding whether I should land at Keflavik, hop in the 4WD and head straight over to Vik – the original plan – or if I should hang around on the peninsula, spend a couple of days there and then heading over to Vik. Unsurprisingly, it’s a surprisingly big decision.
Ordinarily it wouldn’t really matter: I want to see both areas and given the few days difference the weather isn’t really going to change significantly – at least none more so than Iceland’s weather does anyway. The issue is not so much with what happens at the beginning of the trip but more to do with what happens at the end.
The last big base for photography is Jokulsarlon, located roughly halfway along the southern coast and approximately 420km from Keflavik. In the original plan, I drive back from Jokulsarlon to a guesthouse near the airport and then spend a couple of days driving around the peninsula. Doing it in this order has the rather handy advantage that, should something happen – such as the 4WD breaking down or absolutely perfect light descends over the glacier and lagoon – then I have the slack time to stay without worrying about missed flights etc. Visiting the peninsula first means either no slack time or additional days and cost.
Reading this far you’re likely still wondering why this is an issue, after all I’ve already mentioned that the weather is not really going to change. The problem is to do with the days I’ve picked: As it stands the trip falls over three weekends. As I use the overtime earned by working weekends to pay for these trips, it would be really handy to travel midweek and only be away for two weekends.
I’m tempted to throw all caution to the wind and finish up at Jokulsarlon and drive directly to the airport – after all, there’s nothing like living life on the edge…