Well back off the volcano.
It was awesome trip, even if I did get home at 2:30 AM.
Got picked up at about 2:00 pm and we had a even bigger super jeep than the first time. On the drive out had a chat with the other passengers, had 2 from England, 2 dutch, Gummi from Iceland and myself. I didn't recognize him at first (only met him once) but he is the brother of two people at work :)
I slept a bit on the way out and a bunch on the way back. But we soon passed some familiar waterfalls on the south cost that are frozen, we didn't stop but it did look cool with all the ice around them.
We soon turned off and started the trip across the glacier. Part way up it started snowing and getting cloudy.
I knew that the big jeeps used a low air pressure in the tires to ensure better traction. What I didn't know is they do this several time, they lower the tires to about 5 PSI at the bottom, then on the way up they stop and let more air out. As we climb the air pressure drops and the pressure in the tires increases. So by the time we got to the summit we where running on tires with just 2.5 PSI in them. On the way down we stop and put more air in the tires.
We got onto the actual glacier and started climbing for the summit by the time we got there we where down to less than 10m visibility but our driver kept going by following his last path on the GPS.
At the top 1499m we where right over Katla cone, we had 700m of ice between us and a BIG volcano. Katla is the big one that is mechanically linked to the volcano that is erupting right now. In history when one has erupted the other has followed suite shortly after. Shortly in a geological way ie +- 50 years.
We got to the first rift and it was blowing cold and snowing but we where a hour and a half early. So we drove around to the different vantage points and took pictures then hopped back in and warmed up...
We drove down to where the lava falls where and they are all frozen over. But it is interesting to see new mountain still steaming and with the odd glowing crack right beside big Ice sheets. During this time the snow stopped and the clouds cleared off :) but it stayed cold -12 with heavy wind chill. I am glad I brought a toque and scarf, but couldn't find my warm gloves so fingers got cold fast. Especially as I had to take them off to push buttons on the cameras.
We finally drove around to the new rift and it was way more active than the first and new lava river was just starting, we saw a lot of it form over the night. starting from a little protrusion and growing to a wide path of lava down to the steaming ice.
One spot we stopped we where to close and got told off. 'stay 200m from the lava' we where close enough that that cold wind was nice and warm! It was cool seeing the leading edge of the lava as it pushed out and small rocks tumbled down the side revealing the glowing interior.
After it got dark the picture taking was harder but the scene was spectacular. Mom would love to have been there, She has always wanted to see a volcano and this would have been perfect. You had the jets of lava pulsing and splashing up the sides of the cone. The sound was cool also almost like a heart beat, Tumpsh, Tumpsh, Thumpsh as each jet shoots out and the sizzling in the background of the cooling rock.
We then headed back to Reykjavik we stopped at the summit and looked at the norther lights, it was a strong green display with no purple or white. Saw several curtains of lights dancing and pulsing. Didn't try to take pictures, others did and got some nice pictures.
PS. Title is a quote from Susan Ivonavich from the TV series Babylon 5"
PSS> There are more photos on flicr, see link in page header!
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