Day 5 of Our Iceland Road Trip

Today we traveled from Egilsstadir to Husavik. However, we deviated from the Ring Road for a very special waterfall.

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Here are sights on the way toward Dettifoss.  First a really nice one named Rjukandafoss, where we captured our first rainbow:

Continuing on:

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Today’s lunch stop:

This is Dettifoss, which seems to be in the Icelandic equivalent of our Grand Canyon.  This is the Waterfall of waterfalls!

Two other magnificent waterfalls were nearby:

Here are more sights after the waterfalls but before Husavik.  The lake  below is called Earthquake Lake, as it was formed as a result of a series of earthquakes in the winter of 1975-76.  In the thaw of spring 1976, the melt water didn’t drain as usual, but left a large lake.

At this stop, Jay birdwatched, while I photo’d mushrooms

When we finally reached Husavik, we were tired and dusty from all the gravel roads, but the waterfalls were well worth it. Here’s our dinner stop, and as we were eating, the fog began to lift.

We’re spending tomorrow in Husavik also, so hopefully we’ll have better photos then.

Day 3 Puffins (Cont’d)

Here are the REAL photos of the puffins from Grimsey Island.

As I mentioned, terns and puffins share cliffs — and sometimes gulls do too, so if you see any white birds, those are either terns or gulls.

Puffins are not especially graceful on land…

But they ARE beautiful!  Notice how the parents hold the fish they’ve caught for their chicks?  They have ridges in their beaks, so they can dive and catch a fish, store it across the beak — and repeat the process until the beak is full.  Makes a very organized offering, don’t you think?

Here’s looking at you!

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Day 3 of the Icelandic Cruise

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Today we’re on Grimsey Island.  You’ll notice that the blue dot on this map is as far north as we’ll go.

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It’s a very small island with a summertime human population of less than 100 and a bird population of probably more than 1,000,000!

We were taken to the Island by tender.

In addition to having fascinating wildlife, this island is significant for tourists because the Arctic Circle passes through the middle of it. So, the first item on the agenda was to document the crossing!

Then, we headed toward the nesting sites of Arctic Terns and Puffins. On the way, I got a shot of the Icelandic sheep.  This breed is tough (as all Icelandic animals must be) and it produces a really warm, dense, and practically waterproof wool.

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Cute animals, but I passed on buying yarn because it is very rough on the hands, and way too warm to wear in Cambria.

So, on to the birds.  Please note, however, that I am using only a cell phone camera.  Today’s post will give you an idea of the nesting sites, but the REAL bird photos will be posted after I upload the shots from Jay’s big camera.

If you see white birds in these photos, they are Arctic Terns.  And the white, messy spots on the cliffs are their nests.

The terns and the puffins often share cliffs.  The terns take the lower perches, and the puffins dig burrows at the top of the cliffs.  They mate for life and return to the same burrow year after year.

And, here are my best “puffin” shots from the cell phone: The two women are Tauck representatives completely in puffin mode, and the last one is a fuzzy souvenir San Simeon Travel gave to each of their tour participants.

“Real” puffin photos will come in the next post.  ‘Til then…