"Do you like hiking? We could go for a nice hike." "I'd love that, I love going for hikes."
Hikes. NOT SEVENTEEN KILOMETRE TORTURE TESTS ALONG THE SIDE OF THE EXACT SAME GLACIER THAT TRIED TO SWALLOW ME WHOLE THE LAST TIME I STEPPED FOOT ON IT A YEAR AGO.
It began innocently enough. Neither of us actually knew what we were getting ourselves into, we just knew that beginning at the crack of dawn (again 10am), we had less than eight hours of half decent daylight we could play with, which isn't a lot of time for two photographers in the most ruggedly beautiful country on this planet, and at least one of them, a little out of 'limited daylight, 17 kilometre hike' shape. But straddling the side of a muddy stream, or marked trail as the information centre below called it, we climbed, and pretended to stop for photos when we were out of breath, legitimately out of breath, not just out of breath because we were looking down on glacial carved mountains with bright blue ice cutting through them. There was no moment on the trip that felt anything like standing over Skaftafellsjökull from nearly straight above it at the highest point we could see. It made us laugh out loud - words weren't forming. It was unbelievable beauty, it smacked you in the face as you looked across the glacier to a waterfall extending down pouring onto the ice from the mountain hovering over it.
Beating total darkness back to the parking lot outside the visitor centre by mere minutes, it was back to our gorgeous guesthouse for the night, where I met my second favourite lady of the trip (we're talking about Sigga, the owner of the Skogar Guesthouse), whose photo I promise you'll soon see over on a blog that belongs to the better photographer of the trip (we're talking about Morgan now). Relaxing our tired bodies in the outdoor hot tub, we wasted away for hours in conversation of long distance relationships, solar energy, and the northern lights with our new best friends from Mexico/Germany. A more perfect unwinding we couldn't have imagined.