Journal

Kusam

In June 2013 I made a last minute decision to head up island to Sayward to take part in the Kusam Klimb, a 23km run over a 5,000ft mountain.  The scenery is amazing, from dense yellow cedar forest at sea level to frozen lakes and snow banks at the top of the pass.

 The frozen lake surrounded by hemlock and cedar and blanketed in mist.

The frozen lake surrounded by hemlock and cedar and blanketed in mist.

Although I succeeded in dragging myself and camera over the summit, it was the toughest race I have ever entered and at the finish line made a mental note to never do it again.

So here I am on the edge of a new year with a confirmation page for 2015 race registration on my screen and my finger hovering over the enter key ...

Breakwater

This morning I awoke to the howling of the wind and the drumming of raindrops on the skylight.  At last, the possibility of some wild and wet weather during daylight hours.  So I grab a cup of coffee while waiting for the "sun to rise".

With a reasonably high tide and a south east wind I headed for Ogden Point breakwater reckoning that if the wind is strong enough there should be some waves getting blown across the walkway.

 Ogden Point Breakwater  D800 1/400sec f5

Ogden Point Breakwater  D800 1/400sec f5

Mother Nature did not disappoint and a few committed joggers, the occasional walker and a photographer (me) braved the sea spray along the stone causeway (my second shower of the day).

 Ogden Point Breakwater D800 1/500 sec @ f5 ISO 400

Ogden Point Breakwater D800 1/500 sec @ f5 ISO 400

 Clover Point Breakwater  D800 1/640sec f8

Clover Point Breakwater  D800 1/640sec f8


Hvita

In stark contrast to the barren volcanic ash and lava lands of Hallmundarhraun runs this glacial river, Hvita.

It was getting late in the evening and I wanted to see Husafell, an area of multi hue hills from where a route south through a valley, Kaldidalur would take us to an overnight camping spot close to Reykjavik.  Unfortunately the road degenerated into a gravel track suitable only for 4 wheel drive and we could go no further than the junction where the road split north and south.  So, as we stopped to re-assess our route I got out the van to look around.  The landscape was desolate but beautiful and peaceful.  It was like standing at the edge of an adventure into untravelled lands.  Yet cutting through the harsh lava rock and ash was this river of glacial meltwater, the mineral blue a contrast to the dusty monochromatic rock.  As a few heavy clouds rolled over and rain drops threatened, I quickly set up the camera to capture Hvita's turbulent flow through the landscape.


Underhill.

With the cinematic launch of the final part of J.R.R.Tolkien's the Hobbit this week, I decided to upload my own rendition of a hobbit hole.  The dwelling is not really called Underhill, nor Bag End but is Glaumbaer which I think sounds Tolkienish enough.  There are a number of these turf houses around Iceland and although small inside, with a fire on the hearth they offer snug accommodation from the harsh winter outside.