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Greetings again from Iceland!
The project (click here for previous installments of Brian’s Project Iceland photography book endeavor) has reached the halfway point, and I must say everything has been different than I expected. I don’t mean in a good or bad way … just different. It just goes to show you that no amount of preparation can prepare you for what you’ll experience on a trip of this magnitude. To be honest, there’s a part of me that wishes I hadn’t made any schedule at all and just winged it day to day. So far on this journey I’ve walked well over 150 miles, averaging about 10-12 miles a day. The longest hike I’ve done so far was a 45-mile hike over the course of three days and two nights from Lake Myvátn to Ásbyrgi. The scenery was diverse and amazing, and the fact that it never gets dark here allows me to hike at any point in the day. I try to do most of my hiking in the evening when the light is better for photography.
Photography-wise, everything is as good as can be expected. The good days here are unbelievable. I often actually run out of things to photograph, and have to leave a perfectly nice sunset. That’s strange. The bad days here can be frustrating. My time here is primarily focused on capturing great images, and those days where the weather is too rainy to shoot – or even scout – I’m usually stuck inside somewhere. Such days mostly consist of watching weather reports, eating, and just waiting out the storms. in fact, as I type this, I’m waiting out a stretch of particularly bad weather. Luckily, the Fosshotel people have taken wonderful care of me in their hotels – and on those bad weather days I’m not able to go out, I’m as comfortable as can be.
This week, I’m heading out to a little coastal village in the west fjords to participate in an annual festival they have there. I’m excited to get to be a part of this cultural event, and hope to come away with some more history and fun stories for the book. After the party, it’s off to three nights of isolation in the remote areas of the west fjords region, Hornstrandir. While there, I’m really hoping for some nice weather and a chance to photograph some more puffins – and hopefully the arctic fox as well. Then, it’s a slow week exploring the western side of the country before heading back into Reykjavik to prepare for my second long hike of the trip: the Lammanalaugar. This hike will be close to 65 miles when all is said and done … and I’ll be completing it over the course of five to seven days.
The first month of the trip was great. I saw some incredible places, met some amazing people, and came away with some solid material for the first half of the book. Now, here’s to hoping that the remainder of the trip is as productive and amazing as the first half!
Thanks for your continued support, and for following along and participating on Facebook. If you’re following the home game version of the trip with the spot tracker, I’d be curious to know how that’s going – because I can’t see my own route. Believe me, there have been a few times I’d have paid to be on a computer to see how far off I was, or when it was exactly that I missed the turn that would’ve put me in my location 5 miles sooner …
That’s all for now. Thanks again, and happy shooting!
Brian Rueb is a north state writer, photographer and educator. A large selection of his images is hanging in the HDR imaging gallery at 2531 Victor Ave (corner of Victor and Cypress)