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Welshot Do Iceland Again – 2015 – Day 4

Fire and Ice, Eclipse & getting stuck!

Well it's here, the day where the Sun disappears and seemingly all hell breaks loose because the moon gobbles up the sun. It was an early start to the day as we wanted to catch the sunrise and icebergs down at Jökulsárlón beach. 

There were already a few photographers down the beach when we arrived. Aron knew the best spot for us to claim as our own. The sun had already begun to show signs of rising at about 4:30am with the sky a mixture of red and burnt orange. 

As soon as we hit the beach we went our separate ways claiming our icebergs and viewpoints. 

Just before the Sun decided to eventually wake up, the colour of the sky changed and across the other side of the road, the white mountains were transformed with the most glorious pinky / blue hue.

It wasn't until about 7:30 that the sun showed itself above the horizon. A frenzy of photography followed trying to get the ice looking as though it was on fire. I have to admit, I was left a little speechless at the whole experience, a perfect way to start a day!! I even realised how lazy of a photographer I am!! (Yep I've admitted it!)

After the Icebergs were well and truly "in the bag", we returned to the hotel to pick up those who wanted a lie in and took in some breakfast. Well, we tried to return, Aron unfortunately managed to get the van marooned on the soft black volcanic sand. We tried to get the vehicle released, but the more we tried the further it dug itself into the sand. We had to wait until a friend of his brought a suitable vehicle to get us out.

We returned out to the beach soon after breakfast. The eclipse had just started when we left the hotel. We wanted to be on the beach again, so that's where we headed.

None of knew what to expect, true the light started to dip. The sun started looked like pac-man. We set up our cameras, with the knowledge that it was possible our cameras might get damaged if we exposed them too long to the sun light. I changed my battery as the camera indicated it needed changing and promptly put a fresh one in. What could go wrong? 

Just as the eclipse got to about the expected 95%, my camera just switched itself off. I was also aware of another photographer walking past me.The battery was fine for all of two seconds, even though the camera said it had full charge. I took the battery out, put it back in and it worked - I grabbed a few images, but in the meantime, the photographer who walked past had walked right into my shot, you can imagine the names I called him! 

I quickly changed lenses so I could at least get a sun in eclipse.

On the final image of the eclipse, the camera died again. It was so strange, could it really be the end of the world approaching?? I began to pack up my stuff. Just as I was zipping up my bag,  I heard someone question "Finished?", I looked up and was the ignorant fecker of a tog almost insisting he has my space on the beach, I just slowly zipped up my bag, looked at him firmly and retorted "I'm finished when I've walked away pal, and while we're at it, have some respect for your fellow photographers, you ignorant f*@£wit". I told him what he had done. He was clearly shocked someone dared to have a go. He beggared off quite swiftly. I really wanted to hit him with my three legged thing (tripod) but I refrained.

From the beach we went back to the Jökulsárlón lagoon, but a slightly different location from that of the day before. My mission here was to get a shot of the seals that frequent the ice. Unfortunately time was tight here and the seals had retreated to the far side of the lagoon. 

As time was tight, I decided to abandon the seal hunt and return to the bus.

The next stop on the agenda was Breidermerkurjökel. Another outlet glacier but with the added bonus of Ice Caves. It's something I'd always wanted to do, just to experience the Ice from within it's mass.

We couldn't get the bus all the way to the glacier, so we went as far as we could and started to hike the rest of the way. 

I know we said to Lee before we left, that we wouldn't put ourselves in any danger, but.......

Aron did say the caves were closed a couple of days before as they couldn't guarantee the stability. Aron checked it out and said if we went in one by one, but not hang around, it would be fine. So some of us did, and OMG we weren't disappointed. 

Here's a short clip Aron shot.....

Once finished at the caves we began our hike back to the bus. Everything was great until we started our journey back on the bus. It's fair to say we did go a little off road, but at one point the bus just couldn't make it back up the hill track where a small stream was running down it. The wheels just churned up the ground until only three wheels of the bus were actually on the ground but well bedded into the track, the fourth was just suspended in mid air.

Aron had to call for help, the second time in one day!! It all added to the adventure and gave us chance for coffee and vodka!!! 

After all of the fun of the off-roading and getting stuck, we made our way over to the furthest point on our South Coast trip. The destination was Stokksnes,  somewhere Kris Williams always wanted to visit. It was clear why. Whisky Black Sand Dunes leading to a spectacular mountain view. 

From here we had more vodka ( well it was cold ), made a few friends on the road back from the beach.....

Sue had said earlier she hoped she had the chance to photograph the Icelandic horses. So that was another tick in a wish list done!! 

Then made our way back to our hotel (we did stop for dinner first). By the time we got back to the hotel, we were so tired we all just went to bed!! 

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