Live From Iceland!

Monday, May 23 Update: Arcanum ATV Tour, Sólheimasandur, Dyrhólaey, Loftsalahellir, Reynisfjara

Today started with a fantastic ATV tour with Arcanum. We cruised across the black sand beaches of South Iceland. It hadn’t rained in several weeks, which is extremely unusual, and so we kicked up a lot of dust. But we still had the opportunity to do some hills, flats, water crossings and see some amazing things:

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So, um, I don’t know how much I can say about that last picture. Let’s just say that the plane actually crashed over 40 years ago, and I assure you it is not still on fire today. This was some sort of movie shoot, and more than likely won’t look like this when you see it!

(Note that the plane crash site is currently closed to car traffic; you need to walk almost 4 miles round trip, unless you do something like this ATV tour we did.) Thanks to Arcanum for sponsoring our tour!

[Update: See information about our glacier walk and snowmobile tours with Arcanum too.]

In the afternoon, we headed to Dyrhólaey and played on all of the crazy natural structures around there …

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… including a steep hike up to the nearby Loftsalahellir cave. You’ll pass it on the way to Dyrhólaey, but if you have trouble, the GPS coordinates are:  63°25’19” N 19°9’5″ W

loftsalahellir-cave

Finally, we headed to the famous Reynisfjara beach:

There are beautiful natural basalt pillars by the black sand. It’s a wide open and stunning area.

You’re really close to Dyrhólaey here; the drive is longer, but it’s only 2 or 3 miles down the shoreline:

That’s one of the reasons this is a popular area for tourists; there’s lots to see in a very small area.

The waves didn’t seem so extreme while we were there, but please note that you should not get anywhere close to the water. Many people have an idea in their minds how waves work. A wave comes, and then another one comes. That next wave can be a little bit stronger than the first one, or a little bit weaker. Maybe the first one just barely grazed your toes, and the second one will cover your ankles.

The waves here are different. Here’s what Safetravel.is said early in 2016:

“The conditions in Reynisfjara (the black sand beach) are VERY dangerous now. Every 10th-15th wave is A LOT bigger than rest and way more powerful than at other beaches around so don’t go too close to the water and be careful!”

So forget what you think you know about waves, and be extra careful here. In May 2016, a man died after a wave swept him out to sea. Here’s the picture South Iceland police released to show where he was standing:

He was taking pictures while standing on the small rock in the middle of the picture. Enjoy, but be careful!


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Monday, May 23 Update: Arcanum ATV Tour, Sólheimasandur, Dyrhólaey, Loftsalahellir, Reynisfjara was last modified: December 9th, 2016 by Eric