The crew found out what breathtaking was this day, riddled in amazement by the geologic dream structures of the Black Sand Beach//Reynisfjara: basalt pillars to jump from and climb, perfectly rounded beach pebbles to trace with our fingertips, and a massive cave to keep all of us from being blown into the sea by the blustery winds of the day. Big warning signs were posted up all over with the same message of BEWARE, THE SNEAKER WAVES that gobble up life without a pinch of remorse, but we were much too amazed by the size and power of them to worry, so instead we bounded up and down the once lava beach for hours as tourists looked at us like we were crazy for not being more bundled up. We had excitement to keep us warm.
Beginning our hike in a vast field of blue lupine, marching and bounding to the story of the ‘Lupine Lady’; all slightly delirious from endless sunlight and never knowing when is good to rest. Up we went, curling through the hillside to Seljavallaug, the geothermal pool, giggling the whole way. The hidden pool lies pocketed in the valley along a gurgling river with majestic mountains in the background which look like they should house the most fairytale-worthy kingdom and castle. Our jaws swept across the rocks when we saw the water and all that surrounded it. We spend our time participating in swimming contests against each other and reasons for more endless laughing until morning.
I’m not sure if any member of our eclectic crew ever expected to live out this kind of magic in our lifetimes--the kind of magic we maybe dreamed up when we were children watching pirate films, but forgot once we started to age. Freedom and sea breeze filling us all up with spirit and laughter and joy. We knew how badass it was going to be as soon as Hayat effortlessly mastered a Trucker’s Hitch knot with her worked hands. Ollie, the boat’s Viking captain, gave us permission to climb up anything and wherever we wish as long as we didn’t have too much to drink beforehand and as the late hours went unnoticed by the eternally lit sky, we explored against the harsh sea mist throughout the waves of the Westfjords for hours.
Never had we belly-laughed like we did over our midnight feast of freshly grilled salmon and olive bread; our new Icelandic friends and us, trading stories about home and our lives. Climbing off that boat, back onto the harbor docks, we said goodbye with new and permanent laughter lines.