Letters from the Arctic pt.4

Saturday Day 4: Snorkeling in Silfra

3ffd12ce-6fbb-4007-b80d-a0a410cd52d1

It was the day of my snorkeling tour and thankfully I woke up not feeling sick. It was a good idea to just go home after my dinner I had the night before to avoid getting sick.

I was beyond excited for this tour because of the amount of history it had to it.

I was going to be snorkeling in Silfra in between the 2 tectonic plates where 2 major oceans are separated.

Silfra is a fissure created by the separation of the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates cutting through Iceland. The Silfra fissure fills with glacial water that has been filtered underground for decades through hardened, porous lava rock. The filtering process of the glacial water makes Silfra one of the clearest bodies of water on earth with up to 120 meters of visibility.

Most people do this tour in the summer for obvious reasons but once I saw the images when I was booking my tours, this one just looked the most magical.

I walked down the street where my bus was going to be picking me up and there was a boy standing on the side of the road so I figured that was the bus stop. I swear some of these bus pick ups were literally just outside of hotels and hostels. There would be no bus signs, nothing, you just stand there on the side of the road and hope that your bus hasn’t passed by yet.

My bus arrived and my driver was hot. He was this bald tall buff dude wearing a tank and a jacket half zipped blasting Pantera on the bus. I was melting lol.

We drove out about 45 min to Silfra and when we got there we had clear instructions on where to go to start getting dressed for the tour. You had to go to a different bus that had the snorkeling suits with different sizes. You then have to go back to your bus and get suited up. Afterwards you then grab your flippers and the rest of the gear from crates that they had on the floor and just wait for everyone else.

Getting ready was easily the most miserable part of this tour.

The floors were all ice because of the snow and the rubber boots in the suits were so thin that your feet immediately start to freeze. It got to the point where we were standing on our flippers to avoid the freezing cold floor. We couldn’t wear gloves or beanies or anything and we were standing outside for a good 45 minutes. They put this rope around your neck over the suit so that water doesn’t get inside your suit and it was pretty uncomfortable.

You get put in groups of 6 and wait for your wave to go which took foreeeever. I was talking to these 2 girls while waiting in the freezing cold. One of the girls was from Canada, her name was Julie and the other from Taiwan and her name was Lien. They were cracking me up taking photos of themselves looking miserable because of how cold they were lol. Lien had a Gopro so she was taking photos of everything in the water.

D59C6D0F-565C-4B62-AEA5-D72E40A349B7

When we got down to the ramp they have you do something disgusting. YOU HAVE TO SPIT IN YOUR FACE MASK. Like, literally spit all in that shit… I guess the enzymes in saliva help from the mask fogging up which did work but it was FUCKING DISGUSTING to me. I know everyone is going to ask ‘WASN’T THE WATER COLD?’ no not at all because once in the water you do not feel how cold the water is because of the dry suit, plus, it was colder outside than in the water. Something shitty that does happen is water gets in your gloves regardless of how much you move your hands around to swim and your hands start to freeze so I had mine clenched most of the time.

There are no fish or anything living in the water it’s all just rocks and shells that reflect light.

While swimming I was just thinking to myself  ‘wow I’m really swimming in something that holds so much history’ even though I was struggling to swim because of how obnoxious the suit was. We swam for about 30 minutes and at that point I was ready to go. My gloves were filled with freezing cold water and I literally ran my ass back to the van while trying not to fall because of the ice on the ground. I was so uncomfortable because of the gloves that I could barely take them off and when I did my thumb was literally frozen to where I couldn’t even move it. Once it thawed out it hurt because of how cold my hands were lol.

Once we all got back to the vans and got undressed they gave us hot coco to warm us all up lol.

We hung out for maybe 20 minutes and then it was time to go which I was kind of glad about. I love the cold I really do but this tour REALLY TESTED ME. Needless to say, the tour was not as easy as it looked in photos but it was worth all the money.

 


 

I got back to my place and showered to go out on the town with Janusz, a polish boy I had met. We were going to go to 101 Hotel to have a drink by the fire place. We both had espresso martinis which I totally needed after all that swimming I did. My friend Jacob had wrote to me while I was in Iceland and told me he used to live in Reykjavik and that he and his wife Debbie actually fell in love in Iceland and every Friday night they would go to 101 Hotel and have drinks by the fire. I thought it was the most romantic and endearing thing to do and so I definitely wanted to toast to them and their love. I met them at a wedding recently and we all just connected and they’ve instantly become such a big part of my life.

Janusz and I sat by the fire and talked and got to know each other and it was just fun to be able to do this with someone I just met and since he lived in Iceland it was great to have him guide me around the town. I don’t think I’ve ever met a random stranger who was as kind as he was to me.

Afterwards we went to a restaurant that was across the street that supposedly had good Icelandic food. Definitely did not disappoint!

IMG_1364

We ordered puffin for appetizer which was very tender and kinda sweet but very good! I had whale for my main course and that was a shocker because it literally tasted like steak. I think the fact that it was grilled really helped but it literally tasted and looked like steak.

Once we left the restaurant, we instantly hit the bars. He took me to a gay bar called Kiki which is the main gay bar in Iceland. It was cool but definitely not Vegas and I kind of felt like anyone goes there not just gay people. We kind of pub crawled after but once we left Kiki it started to snow! It was the first time I was actually in the snow while being in Iceland and it truly was like a dream. I felt the need to dance in it through out our escapades lol. The saying is definitely true about the rain and snow in Iceland…. It all comes at you sideways! So while you’re trying to walk, you’re getting wacked in the face with snow to the point where you can almost not even see lol.

IMG_1393

I don’t normally make it a point to get drunk but I told myself I was getting HAMMERED since it was my last weekend in Iceland and I sure did get hammered. Janusz was taking me all over the place and we kept ordering more and more drinks. One thing I noticed is that most of these bars and clubs don’t have a DJ they just play music on a track which was different. Most of the songs coming on were either early 90’s or the super gay pop songs you grew up listening to. It really depended which bar you were at because some other bars we went to were playing early 2000’s songs from when I was in high school which realllllly took me back in time. It really made me happy hearing all the variety of different music I hadn’t heard in years but it was also interesting to be hearing it all play in a foreign country lol.

Soon it was 2am and time to go home. Before we parted ways Janusz told me he wanted to take me to the waterfalls and to the Reynisfjara Black Sand beach where Game of Thrones season 7 ended. I was STOKED because the beaches were not a part of the Game of Thrones tour and I was super bummed about it since I really felt that the beach was calling my name. I wanted to go to the beach so so bad but didn’t want to go alone after seeing what the roads looked like in the country when I was on my tours. So he said he would go with me and I felt like I actually would really like that. It helps having someone who knows their way around the city just in case anything happens. I know I was being a wild child but driving in Iceland definitely requires a lot of caution and focus because of the weather conditions in the country. Driving in the city is fine because they pump hot water into the roads so that there’s no ice to slide on but once in the country, you don’t get that luxury.. I would be seeing these itty bitty ass cars driving through plows of snow. So yeah I was not about to do all of that alone because the responsible me was like ‘bitch don’t even try it without someone because if something happens YOU’RE IN A FOREIGN COUNTRY’ and so I listened to the voice talking to me in my head and took Janusz with me lol.

He walked me back to my place and we said goodnight.

Sunday was a very important part of my trip and easily the most spiritual..

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s