In continuation of earlier blog DTI 9: Icebergs and Glacier Walk
While planning my Iceland itinerary, I surely wanted to visit Katla volcano glacier as well as experience the snow mobile thrill. the earlier night’s 125 kilometer drive Westward, day 6 was the most exciting day of the trip for me.
Snow Mobiling is not commonly available in the world. Out of the available ones, Iceland is supposed to be the best of all. This is where many famous films like the Bond film and others were shot.
Various sources had mentioned that advance booking is a must for snow mobiling. We booked ourselves for snow-mobiling, the earlier day and the earliest slot available was at 12.30 PM.
When we reached the booking office, I learnt that, for snow mobiling, we would be taken to a glacier top. I expected that. But what I did not expect was that the concerned glacier in this case would be the one formed on the top of Katla Volcano. This is one of most scenic and romantic glaciers in the world. That was where I wanted it to be. Some times lady luck works in your favor too! Two of my ambitions were to come true in one stroke!
We had a special one-piece-gear covering us from top to bottom, heavy gloves, boots and helmet. It felt like we were astronauts in space suits.
A special mountain vehicle took us to the top of Katla glacier and we were soon seated in snowmobiles!
Snowmobiles are two-seater bikes. They don’t have enclosures on the sides or the top. It has two skis in the front and two wheels at rear. For most of the fun time, Pushpa and I drover together with her sitting behind. Nishi shared another with the instructor.
We drove like James Bond for 2 hours and 20 kilometers on Katla Glacier! Ascending and descending, driving on a uneven snow surface, curving right and left, set the heartbeats ablaze!
It was difficult to accept that we were on the top of Katla glacier, formed by 2010-11 volcano eruption. We were not just standing, we were snow mobiling like in action movies. Surely a first for me. For a pause, when we were standing in the center of the glacier, it gave a different sort of fear when the instructor told us that as per the seismographic studies, the land and ice below us was expected to explode again any day now!
After snow mobiling, we had enough time to visit Dyrholaey. Puffins, the beautiful birds are found at Dyrholaey coastal area in South Iceland. Puffins, the lovely seabirds are synonymous with Iceland. They are normally seen for 3 months till mid-July. Though it was off season, there were thousands of them flying across. They were either enjoying floating in the cold seawater or gossiping on a pinnacle like stone formation.
Nishi was quite excited about the puffins. She wanted a closer look. But I still wanted to try if we could find anything closer than we had at Dyrholaey. The next day we went to two other places where Puffins were known to be sighted. At the sea coast of Vik, we found Puffins flying around the mountain. Some of them flew together in hundreds, as if to show their camaraderie. Some were in a bow and arrow formation!
Our hunt, to see the puffins from a closer angle, continued. 15 kilometers further down we visited another place where the birds were known to be closer. They were resting in groups on the mountain reefs.
Then we understood that the puffins can be sighted only from a small distance and cannot be watched from as close a distance as the penguins we saw in Antarctica, South Pole.
Vik coastal area is also famous for its black sand beaches, again an outcome of volcanic eruptions.
To be contd……………