Dream of an empty Iceland, 5 days in pyjamas and DELTA

Hello,

At the outset, I want to point out that this is written as it happened. There were three of us guys, and we had the vocabulary we had. I tried for authenticity. So there’s a couple of swear words. As for grammar, I’ve been writing this blog for a very long time, it’s hard to say how many days, just a lot, so if you’re a complete grammar maniac, there will be mistakes. I also want to point out that we were there at a time when only teachers were vaccinated in our country. Vaccinations were not as accessible as they are today. A few more words about the documentary videos. The vast majority, if not all, are in portrait, as I primarily shot them for mobile viewing. All photos are taken with Nikon Z7, for which I thank Nikon for lending it to me. I’ve also used ND filters to blur water or puffs from VFFOTO, for which a big thanks as well. Actually, without them this road wouldn’t have even come into existence, I was testing their wide angle system there.

BEFORE DEPARTURE

“I don’t like flying, what did Maros make up again?” I asked myself, the day before my flight to Iceland. “You know what the situation in the world is like, and that flying too”. Just a day before, I had a completely different plan for three weeks. I had an agreement with a construction company, it was supposed to “work” in the yard. However, the reopening of flights, the volcano and Philip’s news totally occupied my mind. “But you knew you can’t go to Iceland by car, Maros, and you have a boy at home, and you know that without him you’re already unwell after two days”, this was running through my head all the time, to the point of madness. But the call of Iceland was too strong. OK Philip I’m going, I said after two days of thinking and refusing. A total rush began. PCR test, ATG test, all in English. Buying, registering on the Icelandic side that I’m coming. Arranging transport to Poprad, from Poprad to Katowice. Fortunately, everything worked out.

FROM

The day of departure came, and I was very soft again, it’s always like that with me. I’m with my family almost all the time and when I have to go somewhere I’m nervous, and it’s hard to leave. And it was no different now. “What kind of bullshit did you come up with? Where are you going again? It was still swirling around in my head.” However, the adventurous part of me drove me on. The clash with Filip went off without a hitch. The journey to Poprad as well, a routine check at the border. Fortunately, we had all the necessary documents in order. Since Poprad, in order not to take any risks, I was wearing a protective mask FFP3, yuck, you can’t breathe through it. Before the airport outside I took a break from it for a while, but from the airport it started again. At the airport we had an appointment with Jirko /hereinafter referred to as Juraj, I pronounced him/, who was coming with us as well. As I was saying, I don’t like to fly, but I promised myself I wouldn’t get as stressed as I did last time. I pretended to be calm, but you can’t fool the body. A terrible headache, cramps in my abdomen caused that despite sitting at the window I didn’t take a single shot above the clouds. I was afraid to even drink the water, lest I accidentally catch the abomination. I can’t do it though, down the drape and at least take a small sip, for refreshment. After landing and a few steps my body started to slowly get back to normal, my head hurt, but it was better. “On the ground, it’s on the ground, I’m blown away”. I don’t want to start describing how well thought out the Icelandic side is, how many helpful people guided us after our arrival, it just works. I saw people around me who didn’t know English, yet they knew what to do. It all made sense, and it was simple and logical. After passing another PCR test, we were put on a bus that took us in the direction of the hotel. Unfortunately they sent George with us, despite our best efforts to convince them that Covid had already overcome. However, he did not meet all the conditions required by the government. He was missing some letters and numbers. So they put him in a quarantine hotel with us, which he took very badly and I’m not surprised. In the hotel it was about the same, despite the quite complicated action, everyone knew what to do, and everything went smoothly. 21:29 Icelandic time I was in my room. Shower, a few letters home, FFP3 down and sleep.

1st day in pyjamas

What am I going to change into? but I won’t go out for 5 days. Only three times a day do I open the door to knock. Breakfast, lunch, dinner. So I decided to stay in my pajamas. When will I be able to afford it if not now? After two hectic days and a stressful flight for me, it was also a good fit. I set up my “office”, poked around the TV, linked up with my laptop and rode some new unfamiliar wave for a while. I actually don’t have to do anything all day. That is, in addition to IG, FB, listing home and Netflix. I wasn’t bored, it suited me. The highlight of the day should have been the result of the PCR test they did on me yesterday at the airport. Around noon I got a negative test result. What a roar as the stone fell from his heart. Subsequently, Juraj was released from the hotel. Somehow, mysterious to me until now, he contacted the Red Cross and they somehow got him out of it. Since Nikon loaned me the Z7, I started to modify it to my image. No, it’s not about any modification, it’s about being able to control it quickly and accurately in the field. But all slowly in peace, three minutes I hold the camera, three minutes the mobile phone and three minutes the PC, and so on and so on. A couple of phone calls home and I’d blown the day completely out of proportion.

2nd day in pyjamas

Well clear classic, I look at the clock and 04:28, when I add two hours of time shift, I slept half an hour longer than I usually do at home. At home, I get up at about 6:00 every morning. It also makes me angry, because somehow the sleepy time goes faster. Nothing to be done, I got up. I’m beginning to feel that a rest would be enough. Bed, PC, I’m getting just about sick of everything. Such an unusual thing, there is always a rush at home, everything goes very fast. Work, family, work, family. Here it’s exactly the opposite, there’s nothing to poke at all day. So I’m just filming the view out the window on my cell phone for the umpteenth time. I stare at the ocean in the distance. Two lamps protruding from the roof caught my eye. However, it’s a fine minimal, I started frantically running around the room. Grabbed the tripod, got out the camera and ND filters and I was having fun. Yet I found some entertainment, my mood lifted at once. I’ll send Filip a video, he just said that he has a window view of Petržalka, that it’s not fair, that I see the ocean. 😀 Holt should have learned better. Towards the evening I’m still playing on my PC and mobile, whatever I have to do, and I’m going to bed with a movie.

3rd day in pyjamas

Oh why can’t I just sleep for 12 hours straight. I’ll give 6, max 7 intermittently. Sleepiness would come in very handy here. They take care of us here with a smile. Breakfast, lunch and dinner. Everything tastes great and there is just enough of it. I’m not gonna wake up, but I’m not gonna die. I watch Juraj with my eyes as he posts photos on IG, or sends them to us in communication. Just let him do well, let him take some pictures, let us have something to envy. I still feel good, I don’t experience any problems, so hopefully the PCR test will understand in two days. It’s ugly outside today, it’s raining for a while, snowing for a while, not much to take pictures of. Every moment I’m thinking of what to drink, tea, coffee, tea coffee, nothing tastes good to me anymore. Still, it seems to have pretty much run its course now, as I’m over halfway through my planned days in quarantine, it’s getting better. I’m so much calmer when I realize that. My friend who writes short stories gave me one to read today, which he’s going to a literary contest somewhere, so I’m having a lot of fun, I’m puzzling over the characters, and he’s quite enjoying it. I’m glad he takes my observations to heart. Young may the tale make you happy. In the evening, a classic movie to fall asleep to, and hajan till morning.

4th day in pyjamas

Today I am somehow already awake from the morning, there is a nice light between the buildings, so softly as if reflected from the windows, from the glass. That got my blood pumping, and I immediately started “cleaning up”. Table under the window. Tripod on the window, and through a small hatch above the fixed window about 2.1 meters high, I set up my tripod and take pictures. I try to capture people in the most beautiful light with shadow. I look for lines and interesting lighting conditions on buildings. Games of shadow and light. I can digest like this for maybe two hours. Until the light is no longer totally sharp and unphotogenic. I know, true street photographers take me under the black ground that shooting street photography on 300mm is barbaric. But how am I supposed to shoot it through a 20 cm hole from the sixth floor of the hotel? But streetkarians will have to let their appetites go. I really enjoyed and enjoyed my shoot, to the point where I was surprised at times how much I enjoyed it. In between, I filled almost the whole day with procrastinated work duties. I promised myself back home that I would do some things in quarantine, and I only got to them now, but still. Today, I’m starting to fully realize that tomorrow is D-DAY. Either I go to the wilderness to take pictures of the volcano and Ine beauties, or I’m stuck here for the next two weeks and that would be a bust. I have no idea how it’s worked out further in the event of a positive test, whose I can stay here, or if I’m still free. I don’t even want to know, I’m going to be negative and basta. In the morning I still joke about it in my head, but now in the evening as I write this, my throat is tight. I can’t imagine being positive. It’s fine here, they take care of ours, but enough is enough. I came here to take pictures, not to make stories from the hotel. I have also received information on what time tomorrow and where I will be tested. They come knocking on the door between 9:00 and 10:30, and they test on the bottom floor. I’m not even packing out of superstition, I don’t mean to offend. I’ll start packing after the test, when it’s no longer in my hands, “as if it were now”. So you still find a movie to watch at night and sleep.

5th day in pyjamas

D-DAY is here, I’ve been nervous since this morning, just running around not knowing what to do with myself. Tests should be between 9:00-10:30. They also brought breakfast early, a clear sign that they were testing me today. All my plans could fall apart in a second. Ugh, that’s a load. Coffee, shower, classic, hopefully I’ll fly out of the hotel today and head towards freedom. OK it’s 9:00, I’ll be going for tests any minute. Coconut why am I going through this? However, it’s not in my hands. I did the best I could. Protection, hands, distance, disinfection. And now I’m sitting here and I’m almost convulsing with nervousness, weird. Totally new experience for me being closed. I have not been that affected by lockdown in Slovakia so far. Yes we were at home, but we have a house, a yard and a big garden. I didn’t realize it so much until here, pat days in my pajamas in one little cubbyhole. The greatest joy in my day is when they knock on my door and serve me breakfast, lunch or dinner. I have everything here, but compared to what’s outside, it’s actually nothing. I feel as if I’m about to be taken away to execution, at any moment someone will knock on the door and the gallows will be ready at the end of the corridor. I’m making a list with Philip about taking us to the gallows. At the end of the corridor there will be 5 guards with batons standing and around her, ready to act. At least for a moment my nervousness is gone. I was clicking around the Internet, the Champions League was on, and normally I would have read it, and I tried, and after the third line I realized I didn’t know what I was reading, so I turned it off. Philip writes, they’re already taking him. A few minutes later they took me too, and on the way I met Filip as he was on his way back. I got back at about 9:30. Everything again thought out in detail, and fast. Spacing, hygiene, he wouldn’t even let us touch a button in the elevator. Island GREAT!!! Hats off to how it all works here. Now all I have to do is wait, and it’s going to be a long wait, to pack, not to pack? I decided yes, however, I’m already over testing. It doesn’t matter anymore. I’m packed in a minute, and we pass the time by checking out with Filip and Juraj, who is already waiting for us in front of the hotel. I don’t know what to do, I’m napping, I’m clicking on YouTube. In it, Philip writes that it is free. That it beeped. Awesome, bomb, and where is my result? I’m already biting my nails with nervousness when I beep and see the notification and email that I’m NEGATIVE!!!! I shouted with joy, and quickly started booking my accommodation for tonight.

SLOBODA

After a few minutes I was outside, some signing at the reception, one big Thank You /I’m like, thank you/, and already Juraj was waiting for us outside with a polished Toyota Land Crusier. Warm cheers, and some yakking, we were really relieved. And we were on our way to Grindavik, where we had booked our first accommodation. Along the way, I become aware of a strange new sensation. I’ve never been locked between four walls for five days and suddenly let out. I appreciated being able to go somewhere, such a freedom for the soul. After disembarking at our accommodation, we decided to try to run to the rocks of REYKJANESTA to see the sunset. And well we did, a beautifully colored sunset, like something out of a fairy tale, right out of the gate. There was a small window between the clouds and the light conditions for a few minutes were epic. Too bad I didn’t get closer to the water, I had too much respect for the ocean, and the very slippery rocks on the shore. I’ve read and watched a lot about sneaker waves, and every time I’m at the ocean I have it in my head. It’s not fun, and I’m probably a shithead, I didn’t go. I constantly have in my head how one wave comes up 15 meters further than usual and moves a rock that clicks me somewhere and finito. The boys went, they were braver and as a reward they got some great photos from this beautiful west. I stood in the parking lot for a while and watched the epic sunset and the guys taking pictures. I sighed and wondered, why are you pissed off? You’ve been through it yourself, what are you snotting about now? You’re ridiculous Maros, calm down already. I was monologuing like that for a while and then I thought I was a dick and farted on it. The next day we were waiting for Mrs. Volcano herself, it all had to be planned and figured out. Fortunately, everyone who had anything to do with the volcano was at the accommodation. Actually in April most of the people who flew to Iceland wanted to go right to the volcano. Over a few glasses of good rum, they helped us a lot with planning the route. Tomorrow we are going, but…it’s supposed to be blowing terribly. FAGRADALSFJALL enjoy.

We were in no hurry to get anywhere in the morning, the agreement was clear, we were not going anywhere to the east. A leisurely breakfast, buy some pastries at the local grocery store and then drive to the parking lot from where we hike to the volcano. The wind forecast, however, was not even a little bit wrong. It blows, blows, blows like in Iceland, in places it’s really a struggle. We are constantly whipped by wind in our face, blowing snow straight into our eyes. I’m not wearing any hood, I’m taking it hard, right in the face. Still in a good mood, we climb up the first elevation gain, opting for route A, even though it is supposedly more dangerous in terms of gas, but also shorter. However, we have no idea what we are doing, we have never been there, and the information from others is confusing. “It takes an hour, not an hour and a half”, others say three. So now you choose. After the first climb, we leaned right into the second one. After descending into the valley, we can see the first crater of the volcano in the distance and another crater in an even greater distance. So we walked to the nearest crater, which was also probably the smallest, and for the first time we enjoyed the proximity of the volcano and lava. What are we going to do when all the sensors on the gas meters start beeping, and the Guidos are working us out of there. Luckily I had just had a puff, the boys weren’t so lucky and were still grunting for a good while afterwards. Only now we are beginning to understand that it is possible to get to the volcano in an hour or so, but as photographers we want to get to the last one. It is the second fissure that is most active at this time. We hope the most photogenic. The worst thing is that we have no idea how to get to the hill opposite, which is maybe 1km as the crow flies. However, the lava has cut the place off, and you can only get there through a detour. When we looked at what route we would have to take, we all assessed that no, we weren’t going to do that. Down to the opposite side descending about 200-300 meters into the valley. Then a climb up the first hill for about 200-300 metres, then down and up the next hill again. We say, eh, we can’t even keep up with that anymore. I’m relieved. Somehow I knew that it was impossible to dampen the boys’ enthusiasm, but these were really massacre conditions, and in 80 km/h wind constantly blowing. But as it always happens, everything is different. At the refreshment station we came across a guy driving a modified Toyota Land Cruiser. He was one of those “safety guides” who looked out for safety at the volcano. He was sitting in the car, just bored. I mean, even in the wind outside, what would he be doing. At first I wished he didn’t want to take us anywhere. I wanted to stay where I was so I wouldn’t get physically “smoked”. I knew he was about to go down into a deep “hole” on the car, he had told us a few minutes before. And I moron, I went to ask him if he would take us then. I suspected that I was signing my orthodontist’s note, but I didn’t know that it would mean so much pain for me. Suddenly we sit in the car, laughing like crazy, and we put down the hardly climbed meters by car, but it makes sense to be able to climb them back again and even more. We are perhaps still below sea level. There is also some car parked there, whom we ask about our upcoming route. They just start laughing, but there’s no trail that goes that way. Filip was still trying to negotiate with them for a while, but I didn’t see the point in further conversation. However, we are somewhere at the level of the Mariana Trench, we had no choice, we have to go up. Swearing very loudly, I set off in the direction of the first hill. Of course the guys passed me in a moment and Filip was already running about a hundred meters ahead of me. “Was this what you needed? A heavy bag, you’re shaking up a hill where there isn’t even a trail, your foot is slipping all the time because it’s just stone rubble, and every meter hurts like shit”, I continued, but what was I supposed to do? in the middle of nowhere? I didn’t see either Filip or Juraj anymore, as the mountain was turning into almost a plateau at the end. I was on all fours for the last meters, otherwise I probably wouldn’t have come out. At the top they are waiting for me, when I’m out of breath, I say to them “oh my god what the hell did you send me”. Both of them, laughing uproariously, started to climb up a small pit, and then up an even higher hill. Outside, it’s after sunset, a little before the blue hour. That’s when we wanted to be at the volcano already. A moment later I’m struggling up another hill, and it all repeats itself, the fatigue, the sinning, the squatting on all fours. I don’t miss them as much as I did on the previous climb and I still have them in my sights. I’m about 100 meters behind them and I see Filip jumping on the top of the hill, but he’s really jumping like Rocky Balboa (the Italian Stallion) when he runs up the proverbial stairs in Philadelphia. He was just missing his faded sweatpants. I understood well that we were there, that we were up. But I already had other thoughts, I knew I wouldn’t enjoy it. The crosses were beginning to hurt. I already know the pain, it comes subtly, and within two or three hours it builds up to unbearable, and there is not much I can do to fight it. I pass the guys in that half-forced smile. I dress warm, wind blowing like crazy, no lee. 80 km/h full from the back. Which is both good and bad, its direction is fine because it clears the volcano of smoke and life-threatening gas. At the same time, its speed makes it completely impossible to take pictures. I’m getting the first slight twinges, but it’s still manageable. I unfold the tripod and start shooting. First I go close and warm up while shooting with a wide angle /14-30/. It was an amazing experience, I never imagined what it was like to see a volcano. I stood there like a little useless doll, such a little speck, such a little speck of dirt, on this beautiful planet. Something unfamiliar, to hear with your own ears the splashing of lava, which when it completes its journey begins to change into a solid state with a crackling sound. Then I put on the 70-300 and follow the guys to the back, who are already firing on the long glass. Left, right, different angles, trying different compositions. I quickly understand that I won’t come up with anything world-shaking. It takes a drone to open up a world of new perspectives and compositions. From the ground, it’s all flat. Seeing a volcano is an experience of a lifetime, but photographically I’m slightly disappointed. I don’t even know if I’ve ever shot anything harder in my life, wind, blue hour, it would take longer. However, the wind didn’t allow for that, and even if you could take longer shots, the splashing lava turns into lines, and I didn’t want that. I wasn’t thinking anymore though, I was exhausted, and crosses to shit. I resigned, I knew this was not my day. I didn’t even try any more, not to make it too little, a great need began to be heard. Coconut no, I’m still going to address this here now. Frost, wind, crosses, two hours from the car, it’s already a ppch combination. Hopefully, I’ll still be here. I went to see the guys to arrange when and which way we would go back. We didn’t even come by that one. We found out that there was a much easier way all along, but when we “like” first ascents so much. It couldn’t have been more difficult to get there, but that’s the way it is, after a battle everyone is a general. I met with the guys, they replied that we were going to the car after the “B” and that they were coming in a moment. So I walked forward at a slow pace. That they would catch up with me, but that wasn’t the happiest solution. It’s dark, only the volcano and my weak headlamp are lit. And that “B” is not a real trail, just a week ago it was just a pile of rocks. Now this is the route, bypassing volcanoes and lava. And actually easy to get off the sidewalk that doesn’t exist. After about 15 minutes of standing and waiting for the guys, I call them to ask where they are and if they are coming. However, I can’t go on, we would easily lose each other. So I stand there like a piper in the wind, waiting quite nervously to see if Philip will answer the phone. Nothing, ok, so I wait on. The pressure in my rectum builds up, then Filip calls me back, saying that they are coming, that the wind has collapsed Juraj’s tripod with his camera. I confess that I only know this information because Philip told me about it when we met. Something completely different was bothering me. I quickly mapped the terrain around me. Seeing no light, I dropped my backpack on the ground. Gloves off, and quickly unzip the first pocket from the top. My backpack has been through a lot with me. We’re already chatting, we’ve got our system of where what is. My attempt to grab the toilet paper with my numb, numb hand failed. At least I managed to get a feel for the wadded handkerchiefs. Okay, I don’t have much time left, so forgive me Island, I have to go. Maros, hopefully you won’t shit next to your backpack. A quick 10 steps down towards the volcano. And that was it, I did it as fast as I could. But do you know how fast and comfortable it is with a view of a volcano in 80 km/h winds? And in the freezing cold of -10? A great “bliss” when the wind whips your bare ass and crosses. So Maros, you’ve done it, wipe and dress quickly. I grab a wet handkerchief, and find it’s just a pile of hardened ice. Maroš you’re a cunt, how are you going to wipe your arse? Again, one of those situations that can only happen to you. So, willy-nilly, I ran with my bare ass to my bag. Really happy, I run over to him and open the toilet paper pouch once more, already feeling him and my limp hands have become clammy. The toilet paper flew away in the wind. Dpch! I felt like crying, standing there half-naked in the freezing cold. I started digging through the bag like a tiger, thinking I still had to find some more paper. Then I see two little lights approaching me, it was Filip and Juraj, I shout to them against the wind. Serem, leave it here. I don’t even know if they heard me, but I think Filip stopped, and Juraj came closer and was having a great time. But I didn’t care at that moment. I managed to find another piece of toilet paper, and did what I needed to do. Horror, horror, horror. The guys were already standing by me, bursting with laughter when I told them all about it. Swear word after swear word rolled out of me, I tried to calm down. We set up our tripods and tried some night shots of the original first two craters of the volcano. Something else was bothering me, the pain in my lower back was quickly increasing, so the wind and the long nudist stay didn’t help.

After packing up our gear, we hit our stride. I feel tremendous pain. Peel after peel prevents me from taking a step. At times, the step hurts so much that I even scream in pain. I stop, I lose my footing, and when I manage to take a step already, I can’t stop, I have to keep going with inertia. Yes the crosses have been dumbing me down for an awfully long time, and now I’m getting it in the “muzzle” at the most inopportune moment. Why the hell not. I imagined the whole thing differently. I didn’t take shit pictures /home I found out it wasn’t that bad again/. I expelled the shit. The wind was still rumbling in, and the guys were carrying my stuff. Ouch, fuck, I’m done. The two hills we made it over about the first climb, where the ground was peeling away under our feet, had me completely “fuming”. At the same time it started so ppch, in a good mood, a joke here, a joke there. Stories on the mobile phone. Smile, however, the volcano is just waiting for us. But I missed, all circumstances take their toll. I’m just focusing on the next step, yet I was only “at” the volcano. Which I had a feeling everyone would give. Hmm maybe, but they didn’t go like us fuckers around the whole crater in an unprecedented detour. Where no road even led, it just seemed like the right thing to do to us. Wrong trail, the trail I’m coming back on is the right one. I can only imagine how I would have felt if I had taken the same route to the photo location. From these musings, I’m getting more and more fucks in the crosshairs. Coconut Maros can do it, you don’t even have a choice do you, what are you staying here for? EE fight, you motherfucker. The guys have been absolutely top notch, they take my bag, scatter my stuff all over their bags and come after me. I don’t know what they’re saying to each other, I don’t even ask them, in fact I don’t give a damn. I just want to make it through the next step, and then the next step after that. Luckily I manage not to fall on the extremely slippery and steep parts and I’m, like, on the flat. The guys are about 100 meters behind me, shuffling some more of my stuff through their packs. I’m walking like a zombie straight ahead, stopping now and then to cry out in pain, then having to stand for like 20-30 seconds and wait for the blisters to subside. Then I dare to take another step and walk like this for a while…suddenly I am snapped out of it by Philip’s voice, we are not well. Kuva we have missed the turnoff. The sign is what it is, the volcano erupted a few days ago, and easy to get confused in the dark. I hear Juraj start coaching, one of us stays with Maros, and the other goes to look for the road. I didn’t answer, I didn’t have the strength. I just turned around, and in my head I screamed you must BE. I won’t stand, that’s probably worse than going. They were still arguing about something, I couldn’t hear them anymore, I was already retracing my zombie steps. After a while, when I couldn’t find the right turn, I made a beeline for the farmer. In the distance, I could see the lights of the red cross uni-cell I remembered from when we were on our way to the volcano. It was 3 minutes from the parking lot where we had the car. I walked like that, standing in pain at regular intervals. Towards the end I could hear the guys walking behind me too. Slowly and surely the uni-cell got bigger, then we walked up to the car. I was enormously happy that the guys didn’t have to carry me, support me or anything like that. Ozaj, although I felt physically at a loss, but in my head I was somehow satisfied that I had made it………Filip? I heard George’s voice, can’t you see my red jacket? Uh. Isn’t it in the trunk? It’s not in the bag either. Shit, I’ve lost my jacket, shit, Sir Joseph. And emotionally I was where I was a few seconds before, back in da vajajna /I’m fucked like I’m fucked /. Fuck he lost it because of my bag, because he was helping me. Yeah, he could have fastened it better, but nothing would have happened if it wasn’t for my crosses. I couldn’t turn around in the car and George was somewhere behind the car, so I screamed. How much did it cost?…don’t fucking talk to me now. I’m telling you how much it fucking cost, I’ll pay you. You lost it because of me. He was just quiet now. So I didn’t want to interrupt him, I just wanted to make it clear that I wasn’t a grunt and I would suffer the consequences. “Oh my gosh Maros, you’re really good at cards,” I was saying to myself on the way to the uni cell. From where Juraj and Filip went in search of the jacket, at least after the point where we wandered, but to no avail. You came to take pictures of the volcano, you totally fucked up the photo shoot, you took the first ascent and two times as long a way as you usually take, you smoked your crosses, which you blew, because you almost shit yourself. Subsequently they help you and that’s why they lost your jacket. You’re really fucking Maros, you should have sat at home. A few meters away from the bastard and it would still be free. I’ve been popping some pills, but I knew what the next few days were going to bring. HELL! Ozai was hard, not just physically but mentally, I didn’t want to hold the boys back. Shooting in Iceland costs a lot of money, and once we get here, everyone wants to take full advantage of it. I was very sorry and I didn’t know how to get out of it. I couldn’t walk or turn around in bed. Fuck, all wrong. After arriving at the hostel, we sipped a piece of rum and went to sleep. The night was cruel, I was sore, I already know the pain. I knew I was KO’d for a few days. I just wished those days were as few as possible. In the morning, after a few messages home, we agreed that Juraj would go to the Red Cross, to the uni-cell, and try to ask them if someone had brought them a red jacket. I was wrenched to one side from the waist up and couldn’t help him. Since George doesn’t speak much English, I was sorry. However, as it happens, it was just such stupidity as poor English that gave this trip another experience and direction. I have not been to that place, I only know it from the boys’ stories. Filip went to take Juraj to the Red Cross uniocell. Where he wanted to ask the guides if someone had brought them a red jacket. After a negative answer, he went to look for it in the direction we went on the hike yesterday. He met a group and the group told him that yes we had seen a red jacket on the ground a little further away. Juraj rushed there, but the jacket was nowhere to be found. He met another group and they told him they had seen it up on the hill, so he ran there too and again nothing. So he called Filip, exaggerated and pissed off, and told him to go and get it, that he didn’t have it. I’ll meet you at the uni. Philip started to get it, and found Juraj there arguing with one of the Guidos about where the fuck his red jacket was. Well, he guessed, Juraj’s English is peculiar. “Red Jacket dude, Sir Joseph hmm? Dude what?” Guide just shook his head incomprehensibly but George went about his business. After a while Guide tells him that he doesn’t know anything about Red Jacket, that he’s from Special Force /they are special units/. And Juraj says to him “dude speed force kkt, mi Delta Force dude” DELTA you understand? The guy got scared and stayed quiet for a while. He went to make a phone call, the guys didn’t know what was going on. When a police car from Grindavik pulled up and brought his jacket from the police station, he said it was already there. So whether they were scared of the Delta Force, or whether someone just happened to be on the phone at the time that the jacket was there. I have no idea, and I’ll never know. But the idea of Juraj threatening the guy in Czech-English that he was from Delta Force totally blew me away. However, I was mega happy to have her. I didn’t have to buy him a new jacket and he didn’t have another jacket for the whole trip. Ugh I’m relieved. Immediately the mood is better when Juraj told us everything. There’s no other way to say it, just Delta Force, he’s scared. He’s a killer.

The experience of being so close
Nikon Z7 a few meters away from the spewing lava
That’s the red jacket Juraj is wearing

Juraj’s lease on the Land Cruiser was expiring, so I called the rental company to ask for an extension. The big car was quite handy. We had quite a lot of stuff, and the larger luggage compartment came in handy, not to mention the convenience. I can’t remember the exact amount, but in two minutes it was ready, and at a price that just made us smile. This worked. We agreed that in one day we would walk the whole south coast to Hofn, where we would stay. We solved the whole trip accommodation at the last minute from the car. Via mobile and booking. I’ve always handled it myself, never had a problem with it. However, it must be said that the tourists were minimal, in the normal season, I probably wouldn’t risk it there. The trip went well, the mood was good. Except for the medical condition. We arrived at our accommodation destination after dark. The road there led through a lonely landscape. Juraj, as the main entertainer, started to rumble. “Dude, where are we going? They’re gonna kill us here. There’s gonna be a big guy at the end, dude. And nobody’s gonna find us here. They’re gonna bury us here, we’re fucked, boys.” I was driving and I was laughing terribly, Philip next to me also. All the time he was mumbling, and saying something, my temple was already trembling, and the biggest explosion was yet to come. We were already coming there, and they were renovating it, so there was excavation work done. “You fool, and there it is, like I said, there’s the end. It’s dark, we don’t know where we are, the pits, this is the end.” That’s when we saw the empty barrels. “kkt, look at the barrels here, they’ll dissolve us there”. My sledge was welded, but it was still not the end. As we approached, in the distance we saw a person, a guy, but awfully big. “Here’s the dude, the butcher from Vestrahorn, he’s gonna kill us all”. At that point I just parked next to this big older gentleman. My sled was flying around the car, none of us could stop laughing. The gentleman expected me to come out of the car, but I couldn’t. I still hid my head in my jacket over the steering wheel, and tried to stop laughing like that for maybe a minute. The Lord was waiting, and we just couldn’t stop. Embarrassing as shit. We are ushered in, as we should be. After a minute or so, when the gentleman (the butcher from Vestrahorn) didn’t understand, we went outside, and the butcher turned out to be a good, elderly and kind man. Sure, we didn’t call him anything else, just the butcher from Vestrahorn. We just passed out in bed, and agreed to go to VESTRAHORN in the morning. An icon of Iceland, who has been to Iceland and hasn’t seen Vestrahorn, as if he hasn’t been to Iceland. A magical place that also enchanted the filmmakers’ backdrops, it was filmed here, e.g. i Game of Thrones. Located in the southeast of Iceland, below the mountains is the Viking Café, a fine place for tea or coffee. I have already visited Vestrahorn in 2019, and the attached photo is also from this year. It was quite nice in the morning, we had nice sunshine. Only my photography was very limited. I couldn’t walk much, much less bend down to the tripod. So as I was fine-tuning the composition, I collapsed on the ground and scrambled like a seal to the tripod. Fun to take pictures in such pain. The guys scattered all over the place, I didn’t even see them. So I put a couple of compositions with dunes and a couple with water on the beach. Unfortunately I couldn’t get any further.

During the day we finished what we had done and pretty early before sunset, we went to EYSTRAHORN. Which I was really looking forward to. Before the trip, however, the guys wanted to scout one more unknown waterfall. I wanted to stay in the car, I was glad. But of course I didn’t want to stop the boys from doing anything. I didn’t want to limit them. The road there was F-ed up, and over one drop, we were afraid to go. But Juraj didn’t want to be told to leave it and tried to pass one place over and over again. On one of the reversals, YEAH, fuck like a cannon. We looked at each other, what the fuck, there was a scum. And therefore quite big. Slowly and tentatively he stepped outside, not even wanting to see it. The thought of a busted ass was horrible. I stayed seated. I look in the rearview mirror, and Juraj is grinning from ear to ear. Lucky as fuck again. Yet we had a Land Cruiser and not an inch lower. It hit the car from the bottom, and from the outside, there was nothing to see. When we’ve bent over, yes, but not externally. That was about two mm below the bumper, we just smiled once again and went on to the aforementioned Eystrahorn. I kind of felt like I was going to like it here. I was very impressed with the place. The end of the world, a mountain, a road, a lighthouse and nothing. I like places like this where it ends already. Until I was there, I mistakenly thought it was actually Vestrahorn, but from the other side, and it’s not. It’s a completely different mountain, one that doesn’t have much in common with its more familiar sibling. We headed here to see the sunset, which was “tinny”, but at least there was time to find a composition for a night photo. We did well, the KP forecast worked out great for them and the green lady was bouncing around the Eystrahorn’s limbs, which made me very happy. I had that feeling of smallness in the universe again. Above me a clear bright sky full of stars with a green tinge. The moments for which I do it all. It’s not just a photo, if it was just about her, I’d come home and spout off one photo after another, but no, I don’t feel like it. I try to enjoy every moment on the spot. Letting the photos sit on the card, then in the PC and especially the feelings in my head. Only then will there be some post-process stroking. Fooled to the brim, we got in the car to go to the butcher’s place for a while. And then we won’t go to sleep, because we’d fall asleep, but we’ll go by car to Vestrahorn, where we’ll sleep in the car, at the shooting location. But I don’t know if that was a happy idea for me. But I went, I didn’t get out of the car because I fell asleep anyway, and my back was hurting, but at least I was in the same place with the guys :D. Sleeping in the room, packing and departure followed. We decided to slowly head back south.

On the way we stopped at DIAMOND BEACH, which was nicely flooded with glaciers. However, it was snowing and blowing the whole time. The plan for the evening was to find accommodation near the waterfall HAIFOSS, where we wanted to go in the morning. In the evening we ran the less known waterfall ÞJÓFAFOSS AND BÚRFELL. I wasn’t crazy about it and the conditions were different, but on the way there Juraj at least had a good time on a muddy F-Road and we had fun. I didn’t go east to Haifoss, they had planned to make a trek, but I didn’t feel like it. It wasn’t exactly easy to find accommodation here. I finally managed to google some cabins. They looked great, they would have been great, but… . Right after arrival we gave the name to the home McGiver, he had more engines disassembled there than in the Lufthansa hangars. We’re telling ourselves this is going to be a dude. He wiped off the oil, smiled and went to show us the accommodation. Cottage super, everything great. And it still cost next to nothing. However, we did not let the water out. That’s when a strange rumbling started coming from the bathroom. After analysis, we found that the sound was coming from the boiler, which is in the bathroom above our heads. And only hot water was flowing, and when we wanted to turn on the cold water, there was only a roar. So I called McGiver, and he’ll handle it. He came in smiled, looked surprised for a moment and brought us two bottles of plain water in sprite bottles. But never mind, I say to myself, if he thinks two bottles of water are enough for three guys to cook, drink, or flush, ok. The next day I call him “HEY BOSS, WE DON’T HAVE ANY WATER, COULD YOU BRING SOME MORE? BUT NOT JUST TWO BOTTLES, BUT MORE”. /Mom’s to bring more water/. McGiver came in and at the door I tell him, COLD WATER DOESN’T WORK, BUT HOT DOESN’T WORK TOO. / It’s like, it’s neither cold nor hot. He said OH SHIT, and I said, YEAH THAT’S WHAT I WANTED TO TELL YOU, BECAUSE THE TOILET IS FULL OF SHIT. /Mom, that’s what I explained to him, that the toilet is full of shit/. McGiver froze, and not knowing what to say, even the good mood passed him by. His face froze, he turned abruptly and walked away, saying he’d be back in a moment. The guys behind me burst out laughing. But what were we supposed to do? He knew it wasn’t working, what the fuck were we supposed to do? So we turned it into a latrine. After a while, he came back, and began to pout. By then we were already packed, as Juraj had one last day left, the next one he was supposed to fly home for. So the guys decided to go around the volcano again, as it is quite close to the airport, logistically it made sense. But I couldn’t even think of a volcano.

That’s why I decided to shoot at the REYKJANESS cliffs. A place where most every trip either begins or ends. I tend to both start and end here. Also this trip, I was actually here on the very first day of freedom. When I was standing in the parking lot, fidgeting, I was overthinking it. This time I was here only because the guys wanted to try the volcano one more time, and unfortunately I couldn’t make it. Never mind, I enjoyed the solitude, the singing seagulls, and especially the ocean. A very nice photo shoot of the reef with the ocean, with the constant raid of curious seagulls. I don’t know if they were guarding something, or if they were really raiding me out of curiosity, but they were always close to me. Just a bit of advice, make sure your focus is good while you’re shooting. I got carried away by the waves of the ocean. Took a picture of the bad necks, I also checked it on the display and it seemed ok to me. At home, however, I found that all the photos with such a nice atmosphere were completely out of focus. I don’t know why, though, because I checked the sharpness scale multiple times. Either way they are all out 😀 never mind. In the evening I went to get the guys in the parking lot, so they snorted a bit. That their luck did not favor them, that again at the volcano strong winds. That’s Iceland, it just blows here. The next day we were waiting for the return of the Land Cruiser, saying goodbye to Juraj. I was sad to see one leg of the trip come to an end, but I was really looking forward to the next one.

I liked Juraj, he’s a comedian who is always grinding something out. So we patted ourselves on the back, and went to get another white daddy. Dacia Duster. Laughing? Do you know that Iceland is the land of white Dusters? It’s economical, it can get where it needs to go. Really good choice. I got along with Dustrik right away, I liked him. The direction was clear DETTIFOSS. Have you seen the first scene from Prometheus? That’s the Dettifoss waterfall. So I really wanted to get there. We started the Dustrik, stopped at the local grocery store, and we were off for the 7+ hour drive north. Finally, north. I had the South mapped out from 2019, so I was really looking forward to the top. The journey was going nicely. It is worth mentioning the small town of AKUREYRI, which already had a completely different impression on me than Reykjavik. Such a typical slow-motion small town like in the Nordic movies. Looking at the fjord, I was just waiting for Willy to jump out of the ocean, like in the scene from Free Willy. I watched for a while, but didn’t jump out. We went on, and I liked it very much. The landscape there is different from the south, so rough, so close to my heart. There may not be as many fancy locations to shoot, but my adventurous soul was getting what it likes. Freedom. The feeling of being the very first somewhere. Good shit, right? I know, but that’s how I felt there. The fact that we were in Iceland without tourists was also very important. When you don’t see anyone, you feel like you’re the first one there :D. But then came the disappointment. After turning off the main road to the waterfall, we made only two turns and looking at the height of the snow drifts on the road, I didn’t even try to force it. OK so I admit I tried, but it was no use. I still made it through the first snowdrift. The second one looked so horrible that when I thought we were 28 km away from the waterfall, and what else could be on the way, I gave up. Never mind. We agreed that we would try to take pictures of the stone rock near Husavík. Surprisingly, I still enjoyed it. The pain was finally subsiding. And the landscape around us. No pre photographed places, completely unknown hills that were beautifully lit. Very nice sunset, but we made it to Husavik. So far I had been keeping the speed everywhere, but here I was secretly tapping the cruise control so that Filip wouldn’t see and sometimes I didn’t drive as prescribed. However, I’m up north and there’s no one anywhere. The sun was setting and we were not keeping up. Upon arrival, however, we already knew we were late. Nevertheless, we decided to go to the stone gate, which is very photogenic. Upon arriving at the site, I normally should have been disappointed, but I wasn’t. Paradoxically, everything was rechecked, no photo was taken and even after arriving at the place of the photo shoot, we found out that there was very little water, and there was actually no foreground on the shore, just green ugly mud. Still, I felt emotionally one of the highlights of the trip. I enjoyed the view of the ocean that looks so endless. I knew that we would not be further north on this trip. I wondered what was next. Just Greenland, awesome. Sure, all of you who have passed Island by have been above. I didn’t even pass it on my second visit. I’ve never been higher, and I enjoyed it just the same. No photo, but the view of the ocean did me very well. The photo is just a by-product, first of all, it’s about the journey, the experience. Of course, I always try for it, but if it doesn’t work out, it doesn’t matter. I enjoy such beautiful moments. I said goodbye in my own way, thanked the place, looked north once more and muttered “Greenland, I’ll definitely visit you one day”.

This is how Juraj “Delta Force” left
This is how our new darling Dustriík arrived
Waiting for Willy
A fake sunset
Beauty of the North
And here we have been shaking for so long 🙂
As northern as I’ve been

We went back to the car, and started to think what to do next. Where will we shoot at night? in the morning? and where are we actually going to sleep? The north is less dense than the south and, especially in the corona time, few hotels are open. Fortunately, Philip remembered a fine little hotel from his last visit, and they were still open. And it was a good choice. It was owned by such a nice old lady, who would have lifted blue from the sky for us. I was amused by the wifi password 12345678, I said. I like the north, everything is slower and quieter here. In the morning we agreed to go to GOÐAFOSS. Beautiful waterfall, right next to the road, even my crosses come into their own. Philip already knew the place, having been there. It was a premiere for me and I was quite excited. As soon as I arrived, it struck me that there was no car anywhere. They don’t mean it. Waterfall 100 m from the road. Judging by the size of the parking lot, I’d say it’s very touristy, but the corona has done its job. Today it is ours. A feeling that is hard to describe. I can see it in a full no-covid season. I guess even a tripod couldn’t be unfolded. We enjoyed the sunrise to the fullest, and there was time to find more unusual views. Which I did, given the emptiness of the place, there was time and space for that. After the sunrise, we went to the hotel breakfast, where I didn’t have time to wonder. There were two of us, and the lady gave us a choice like at a wedding. Incredibly nice lady. We got to talking to her. We explained to her that we were taking pictures and our mode was very different than that of a normal tourist. So can’t we sleep until we’re full, then leave the accommodation. She had no problem. Resp. we thought of one more option.

I also made a piece for ND
Filip in action

The next exit we wanted to go to the ALDEYJARFOSS waterfall. A beautifully photogenic waterfall. But the access road to it is not exactly asphalt. And we didn’t know if we were going to get there or not. If we get in, we stay the next night, if not we go somewhere else. Then her husband overheard us, probably her husband, and said. You will get there, but about 3 km before it, you will finish. Phew but we do have Duster heroes. So we immediately set off on our journey, which I enjoyed immensely. Dust, gravel, here and there a pothole. Occasionally, we’d peel it over the bridge and the river. Awesome Duster got what she likes. After passing through the horses, we crossed the last bridge and in front of us was a hill with a snow field, but it was 150 meters high. That’s when the words of the old man came to mind, that we would only get about 3 km from the waterfall. Normally, cool, we’ll go on foot. But I still wasn’t fit, and I was quite scared of those 3 km. Resp. I was feeling considerably better, but I didn’t want to go back to where I was a week ago. Nothing Dusterka into 4×4 mode, start, 1, 2 throttle…and I was already growling up the hill. First time to the half, reverse and pome turn. This way I managed to get almost to the top, but unfortunately not to the top. Philip went to the waterfall to explore, and I waited in the car. Of course I tried it again, the Dustrik was blowing, but I couldn’t overcome the snow field. But all honour to Dustrik, he held his own with honour. That probably wouldn’t even work out for more powerful locomotives. When Philip came back he says to me, you wouldn’t gain anything by it, after a few meters up the hill there is another and another snow field. And that journey on foot, there takes so 35-40 minutes, that I give it. And look what I found in the snow “showing me the photo on my phone”. What do you think this is a clue to? I’ll look up coconut on my cell phone, won’t you, bear? Like a bear track in the snow. I say to myself, but what the hell would a bear be doing here? “I’ve heard cases of a bear sailing to Iceland on some ice floe from Greenland.” WTF? Philip? why are you rubbing this on my nose? I’m picking up my cell phone, google. POLAR BEAR IN ICELAND /We like polar bears in Iceland/.

And indeed, I found a map of the distribution, almost all in the north of Iceland. The last one may have been in 2016, but one never knows. My head was working at full speed, it’s spring after winter, what if some motherfucker came to take a vacation? I had yet to do this. Did I mention the bridge on the way here? so 300 in front of it was a ramp that demarcated to the Icelandic horses where they could graze. On the way to the waterfall they let us go without any problems. On the way back, however, the boys changed their minds. They pulled up in front of the car, and not a god. The order was clear, not to retreat even one mm. The biggest cheek, already, was when he started crunching the rear view mirror of the Dustrik. “Aggressive” horses, what else are we going to see here? We’ve screamed, growled motor nothing. So I started stroking them with my front mask, hoping they’d back off. But a couple of times I had to give one a good heckle to get it to give up. So much scraping to get to the hotel, where I just passed out in bed. After waking up, Philip still asleep, I very carefully and boldly pulled back the curtain on the window and what do I see. West as shit. I say to myself, what the hell, another one to be outsmarted again. I didn’t even take a picture of it, why get pissed, even in half a year? Our plan was to go to Godafoss again for a night shoot. Then to the snow field and then on foot, to Aldeyjarfoss, for a morning photo shoot. KP reported a pretty nice green dancing lady. And it worked out, I managed to get a nice night green photo with my cell phone already from the moving car. It worked. We were taking pictures like we were about to break our necks. We didn’t want to go to the hotel anymore, we drove the car to the spot where I’d been fooling around with Duster yesterday, the last possible snow field. Fortunately the grasshoppers, didn’t protest. We started “sleeping” in a sitting position, and only an hour before sunrise, we set off on a pilgrimage through Iceland. I still had the white beagle in my head, but I didn’t talk about him anymore. It wouldn’t help anything. Add to that a strong fear of my crosses. Fortunately, it was manageable, and it was good that I went. I would have missed the most colourful exit of the trip. I’m not really into those coloring books, but don’t take pictures while I’m there. I’m getting nice for ND again. Too bad I couldn’t come up with anything original, but that place probably only offers the one composition that’s known. Never mind, I’m glad for that too. I appreciate far more the feeling I had there. The adventure, shivering in the dark through an unfamiliar landscape in my head, was a mix of the beed’s big foot and head 😀 and my crosses. Still, I overcame myself, and the result? An experience I will never forget. Duster, snow field, imaginary bedya, power of waterfall, coloring books. I got about 5 messages after the storm was posted that morning that I’m shutting you down!!! 😀 That’s what the whole photo shoot is about. Even now as I write these lines, I’d like to pack up and get out, catching new and new experiences. That’s the most important thing when shooting. You can’t even like landscape photography without liking it. Upon arrival at the hotel, our “wedding” breakfast was waiting for us again, and we just passed out in bed. However, we couldn’t sleep for long at all, as we had a long drive to Little Iceland to the small town of GRUNDARFJÖRÐUR.

One of the bridges on the way to Aldeyjarfoss
The order was clear…
Beautiful sunrise on Aldeyjarfoss

On the way, however, we still wanted to stop to take a picture of HVÍTSERKUR. Whom no one will call anything but an elephant, or a stone elephant. We used to call it “Hvít sere kuru. So we had about 7 hours of driving ahead of us, and we didn’t know that nature had given us quite a wild ride. After arriving at Hvít’s /elephant/, it looked pretty good. It was raining, but at least I tried filtering. That it’s turning out to be some moody mood piece. We didn’t plan to linger here, we were going to pass under an icon that everyone knows from seeing it, even those who have never been to Iceland. KIRKJUFELL.

Hvítserkur

I have outstanding accounts with him since I didn’t get in in the fall of 2019. I was quite looking forward to it. But the road to it was arduous. Wind, rain, well, just Iceland. In the toughest moments, our car was blowing away. No kidding, it was rocking us like a roller coaster. In Grundarjfor we had already booked accommodation for one night. We were really happy when we got there. It was a great place, almost royal, thanks again to the corona. Apartment normally for four we had two. It was a super move, as the following days will show. Oh, and the view, right from the room at Kirki’s. The absolute best part was that I could park right outside the door of our room, on one meter just to shuffle things around. And now we were dry, quiet and at peace. Very cool. In the morning we had no plans, it was raining all the time combined with a strong wind. It wasn’t quite photographable, but at least we finally got a good night’s sleep. The plan was to relax. It sounds strange to a non-photographer, a photographer knows that photography is a drudgery. Sometimes you can sleep, sometimes you can’t, well, most of the time you can’t. It’s a constant shifting, finding the composition, and then taking the picture, and so on and so forth. There is rarely time to rest. When it sort of cleared up /that is, it continued to blow and rain, but it didn’t blow us away/, we went to look under Kirkjufell. We didn’t even get to see the composition, it’s completely unnecessary, we came here for other perspectives. We headed up the creek, and well we did. This place is photoraj, yes I’ll still have it in the composition, just that one Kirkjufell mountain, but those foreground ones. That’s beautiful. I don’t know why I’ve seen very few other photos of this place so far. What a bend in the stream, a different foreground. Wonderful. The weather continues to play with us. But that’s just as well, these are conditions where you can take pictures at lunchtime. Here we are in April, and the weather corresponds to it, constant changes, rain, sun, hail. Photo Nirvana. I set up one composition, then the hail started to fall and Kirkinko started to retract. That was a few seconds. I felt next to Philip that he was trying to do something similar as well. At that point Kirkinko clouded over completely, hail whipping into our faces. I’m showing Filip what I just took, and I like it very much, it has an atmosphere. And I shouldn’t have done that, just turned around and walked down. I had a feeling he was going to be pissed that he didn’t make it. We slowly walked down to the car. We stood in the wind and hail for another 5 minutes or so to see if Kirkinko would reveal himself, but since we were soaking wet, we went to the car. Philip had been waiting for me there for a few minutes. I get in and I’ve never seen him so red with rage. “I can fuck all of Kirkjufell, let it sink underground where it is. I’m just soaking wet and I haven’t got a single photo”. My face began to puff and twitch. I couldn’t even pretend to be serious. Not because I’m happy that he doesn’t have it. EE, at all. Mine was a laugh fest because I know Philip doesn’t swear. Knowing him for a while, not a word. And I found that fest funny. “Relax Philip, we’re still here, it can still work out”. There remained a sepulchral silence, but in my mind I was still amused by it. On the way we stopped at an alcohol shop, and treated ourselves to a bottle of Jameson, for un-Christian money. On the way home, we were still caught in a small hailstorm, it was an experience. This is Iceland. The room looked like it was at least 5 people when the tour was spread out, and we were only 2 photographers. So the choice of room and hotel was brilliant. Even Philip was in a better mood now, and he didn’t sweat so much, but there was nothing to sweat about. Kirkinko had more and more surprises prepared for us. As I wrote, we were shooting at lunchtime, so there was still a great chance to get a good shot in the evening, and there was no shortage of compositions. The plan was clear, we would go back there. And well we did, Kirki was putting on a show. Constant changes, light, storm, clouds, another storm, what more could a landscape photographer ask for? No they weren’t “reds” ala Aldeyjarfoss, but I don’t even crave those anymore. I tame the dyes in the PC anyway and mostly desaturate them. The photo shouldn’t scream with color, as I often see on IG. Yes this way I’ll never have as many followers as the kind that pulls saturation to the right. And let it be, a photo is supposed to have atmosphere, not tin skies and oversaturated colors. This is the real photonirvana. this is the real nutshell. I can see that Filip is happier, which makes me feel better. I greet, I sing, and at the end I thank you, as is my habit, every time I leave, so that she will receive me in a good way next time. By now the mood was noticeably better, and we were explaining to each other, did you see that? when that storm came through and it started raining? Yes I did, and did you see when it started blowing so hard that it was lifting the tripod? Two enthusiastic photographers, it’s hard to explain. And again the same cycle, wet to the thread, all dry. However, the KP forecast was scaring us with a 5 forecast, so that’s already a strong green lady. We went to check, in front of the house, but the clouds blocked it all, at least we could sleep peacefully. In the morning we didn’t have to rush anywhere, the weather didn’t change, we could forget about any light. We have decided to prescout, one more part of the views of Kirkjufell. There is one more interesting stream. If I write that it is full of nice compositions, nobody will believe me, but it is true. We climbed up to the top of the highest waterfall, where the whole landscape is as if in the palm of your hand. Once again that feeling, everything below us, the waterfall roaring, just that wind. It was really necessary to hold the tripod, because he would have easily ended up with the camera several tens of meters below us. I put the bag behind me, of course, since it was raining every now and then, I had rain protection on the bag. Then the wind blew, took off my whole bag. The protection inflated and she took off beautifully like a parachutist and began to hover over the ravine. She also wanted to enjoy the beautiful views of this incredible landscape. Luckily it didn’t fly far and after a few minutes of searching I managed to get it back, the beast. You flew, and now you’re back in the bag. On the second day under Kirki and the second x it was possible to take pictures during the day, thanks to the heavy rainfall and wind it had the right atmosphere for lunch. It’s not always true that a landscape photographer only photographs sunrises and sunsets. When it’s atmoška, it goes to lunch. There are a lot of photos with the jaguar sunshine. But photos of storms, snow, hail are scarce.

The wind really tested our Dustrik
Great conditions for photography
Technology also got a workout
Trying again to get a different perspective on an Icelandic icon
ND, wind, clouds and mountain, it can’t go wrong
A new perspective again
It’s a good thing we had a suite for four, otherwise we probably wouldn’t have gotten dry
I believe I can flyyyyy….Deuter in action
Fortunately, I found it

We headed west towards ARNARSTAPI, where there is a large stone gate. But Poseidon had other plans. The ocean was not to be approached, at least I didn’t dare. The waves after hitting the reef reached up to 20 metres high. One bad bend in the ocean’s reach and it would grind me up like a poppy in a grinder. I didn’t take pictures at all, but I didn’t mind, I was looking at the amazing power of the water and shaking my head in disbelief. You can experience everything on one island. From raging ocean, beautiful cliffs, mountains, geysers, waterfalls, nightly orgies in the form of aurora borealis, to spewing lava, and all this, with almost no people. This is a trip I need to write a blog about. Again I had a feeling of smallness, uselessness and ridiculousness. I feel totally senseless compared to this great force that is literally crushing rocks a few meters away from me. Still, I pulled out my camera for a moment just to immortalize it for myself. So charged with experiences we went, still to see the reef Londrangar. A beautiful view of the stone outcroppings of the reef in the ocean. It is not advisable to tap dance there because the possibility of falling is quite high. We filtered a bit and decided to come here in the morning. Very nice place, nobody anywhere. Literally hundreds of seagulls flew around us, wondering who had come across the covid to see them. Well, me and Philip. That night, in classic fashion, it rained heavily, and we headed east to the agreed Londrangar reef, and we did well, for a small moment the reflection of the light leaned against the crashing waves below us. The teacups liked it too. The clouds slowly began to break and in the distance two or three storms could be seen at sea at the same time. Again, another powerful experience, and for me the most beautiful one, just had to come. On the way home, miracles happened, clouds opened and closed, beautiful and unexpected scenery was shown to us. Only, and I’ll probably never forgive myself for this. The “gentlemen photographers” left the long glasses in the room. Why? Well, I still don’t fucking know. However, the car would have taken off. Some ignorance, we were there in the evening, we knew it was for a broadcaster, so I guess that’s why. Terrible mistake. Along the way, we saw the tip of one mountain sticking out over the ocean, literally in the embrace of a cloud. Where the cloud strongly resembled such a ring. And the light was leaning down into the ocean into the waves. Well gorgeous, but for the eyes only. That was a hell of an atmosphere. Not a colour orgy, but a total recall atmosque, just by looking at it. Yikes I cursed myself very much, which is even more so. Such a mistake, an eternal shame. I had my eyes grazed, and went up to the room to pack and give him directions to Reykjavik. I berate myself for it to this day, though. Along the way, we kept getting different unfamiliar views, of unfamiliar hills that were packed with atmosphere. Because I was still having major morning sickness remorse. So I sat with my camera in my hand with the long glass on. And it paid off. What I clicked.

Woolgathering
Poseidon did not have a good day
A beautiful place to relax by the seagulls

The crosses were already better, so I ventured on one plan. One more look under the volcano, but with a drone. Via FB I arranged to rent a drone from a rental company in Reykjavik. Otherwise quite a busy day, pack, move, rent a drone and since we are leaving the next day, I have to get the PCR test done today. And in the evening a hike to the volcano. I forgot about the accommodation, it was so bad I’m not even going to write about it. I guess there was nowhere worse. Never mind, just let the crosses hold. After an unexpected purchase of a microSD card, where renting it cost more than buying it at Elektra, and a test flight of Philip’s drone, we found ourselves in the parking lot below the hike to the volcano. I went ahead, as Philip was still going to a more distant car park, and started pedalling on my own. The trip was going fine, and it went much better than the first time. After about half an hour Filip caught up with me and we were walking two. And the landscape was completely different and the hike around the volcano led, again, by a different new route. In less than two weeks it had changed beyond recognition. There was more or less only one crater, two close to each other. The others just smoked. When I wrote that the weather was better, it wasn’t entirely true… It was still blowing quite a lot, so classically Icelandic, and there were heavy snowfalls to small hailstones. You could smell the sulphur everywhere. Which didn’t add to my well-being. After a couple of attempts at long glass photography, I found it almost impossible to take pictures from the side from the ground. The main crater was constantly in smoke from our vantage point, from the adjacent crater, which although no longer active, was smoking as much as it could. After meeting an Italian photographer, Lenodardo Papera, we slowly started to unpack our borrowed darling. A Mavic 2 pro, just like the one I owned not long ago, but as I was at one of the WS’s I got hit by a deer in the front bonnet of the car, which then cost me 3k. So out of remorse for just taking forever with my photography I sold it. However this was the display version, I previously had the version with the cell phone connection. The version with the display is far more practical. We slowly started to unbox it, very tentatively. I had respect, the drone in this version, is probably the most expensive possible, if we are talking about Mavics. But heads up, we came to take pictures from the drone, so pome to it. The first flight fell to Philip, he was all hot for it, so why not. And it was pretty good, the drone obeyed. What we did was a test click, we walked very carefully around the crater, rather from high up. We had a lot of respect. After the battery started beeping, we landed nicely, and whack the second flashlight. The scenario repeated itself, Philip was flying again, seeing how terrible he was at it, I didn’t have the heart to take it out of his hands. We’ve shot lower, always preferring to shoot a few times if by chance some of the shots were shaky. And so it was my turn with the third battery. With the experience of an old handyman, I took off. After a few seconds, however, my smile froze and I wished it had been the cold or the wind. Beep Beep CONNECTION LOST, WHAT THE FUCK? /I mean, what the hell?/ What? I didn’t do anything wrong, I just took off, what’s wrong? LANDING, whatooooooooo? What’s going on? FAT nooo. I look at Philip, and I don’t actually know what he looked like, probably like me, I didn’t see anything. I’m in the dark. I just know he’s wrong, fucking wrong. You coconut volcano started it all fucked up, and it ends it all fucked up with a volcano? What’s that?…beep beep beep LANDING. The image is stuck in black and white. I’m just spasmodically holding the controller stick towards us, I think I punched the HOME button on that controller. But yes, now I can start to sage about how I should always keep the drone in sight. Then we wouldn’t have taken any pictures at all at the volcano. No one had it in sight there, and it would have been hard to make out ours in that tangle of drones anyway. I look up at the sky, and feel the stares of others just on us. I don’t really want to peek at people, in fact I don’t really want to see anyone. So I deliberately look up, looking for the drone. Shit, I already know he’s fucked, I’m just pretending to look. Still, he goes about 10 feet away and I ask the other drone guys if they know which drone is theirs in the sky. After a moment of groping, they point out that it’s probably a henten. Okay, Maros, well, what were you asking them for? Desperate man, doing desperate acts, that was one of them, totally unnecessary. I’m holding my head, and I don’t even know what Philip is doing, I feel like time has stopped and the Matrix has arrived. I can still feel those moments 4 months later, brrr and it shakes me off. Fucking Maros, he’s in love somewhere, and even if he’s not in love he’s on a dried up lava field you can’t get to anyway. You’re fucked, 2 litres of camo, 2 litres and more in Iceland. I’ve already been working out in my head how we’re going to explain it to the rental company, and if he can be talked into buying a drone from us and sending it here. Sure crap, I know, but it was really going through my head at the time. And back home, what do you say, hero? You’ve already smashed your car, your game insurance is nowhere to be found. Now, dude, you’re just gonna drown your drone in lava. God, you’re such a dick, why did you borrow it? I started to wonder what my account balance was, how it was going to be paid. Filip was running around, but I tried not to notice him either. I didn’t want to see or hear anyone. What the fuck am I doing here anyway, let’s pack up what’s left and pome to the away. I’m desperate, angry, to the point of crying. Me and the volcano, that’s the story. Crosses, so that the whole trip marked and now I’m gonna make a drone float in the fire, pure fucking shit. You’ve always had a way with money, just who can make as much as you can shit. In places we move, in places we stand, and even without much inspection of our surroundings I can see all eyes are on us. The commotion. At this point I see a group of guides in the distance, obviously they saw we were “okay” so they go to ask us YOU ALLRIGHT? coconut is exactly what I need to hear right now. That awkward phrase, I expressly dislike, still from being in the UK. Everyone doesn’t give a shit how you are, but it goes around and YOU ALLRIGHT? well no coconut well I do. They’re coming towards us and if there wasn’t lava on the other side I might run away. There just wasn’t anywhere to go. They were already within a few feet and they say, HI GUYS, WHAT HAPPENED? DID YOU LOSE A DRONE? /mom, asking what happened and if we lost the drone/. What’s he talking about? How does he know? has he seen us? What does he want?….yes, I answer in Slovak. SORRY YES. They’re going, WHICH BRAND? Mavic two pro, our way again, SORRY MAVIC TWO PRO. Coconut Maros you’re crazy for speaking in Slovak, but I don’t know English, not even the little I usually know, since my total mental mimosis. Then they start to shout and one of them pulls our drone out from behind his back. Another crater inside me, a total emotional eruption. I started stuttering something, I don’t really know what. I had a terrible urge to hug the guys, only I realized how bad it would look. So I just stood there shoving something and almost roared with happiness. It turned out that the drone had spontaneously flown itself off the volcano. I guess the HOME button didn’t help, it would have plus minus landed near us. Rather, I think it was taking into account my spasmodic holding of the stick towards us. But that horrible coincidence, whoever wasn’t there I’ll try to explain it to them. A valley several miles long and wide, full of fresh and dried lava. It was shitty, so there were also people there, up to 100 at most, and the drone lands 5 meters away from the GUIDs, the people who oversee the safety at the volcano. It didn’t land near other people, it landed near the GUIDES. Someone was just standing over us with all the bad luck. Had he landed anywhere even accidentally outside the lava. We wouldn’t have a chance to know that where. That’s the way it was supposed to be. A full stop at the end of the trip like a Hollywood movie. A 10 minute or so thank you to the guys followed, a group selfie and off they went to rescue someone else. GUIDES I’m clear you won’t be reading this, but a big thank you even now. Philip and I were out there jumping, whizzing, and not understanding, when we think back on it to this day, we still don’t get it. We were the center of all the attention again, and everyone was staring at us like we were insane. These are the kind of beautiful experiences I want to have. No, I don’t want to lose the drones, but I’m not going to experience this at home, not on the couch, not in the pub. This is what I enjoy about the actual shoot, lots of fun and memories. Both better and worse. The whole evening has been about us asking each other every minute that what just happened to us. After arriving at the hotel /yes the bad one/, I talked the receptionist into telling us we needed a drink at about 1am, this had to be washed down. We were still emotionally fucked, luckily she made her point. We chatted there for a while longer over a glass of Jameson and went to start the last night of our Iceland adventure, we only have tomorrow’s flight to catch. It was still a cowgirl morning. We slept in. It was supposed to be check out time, and somehow we didn’t make it, so the missus was a bit miffed. We politely apologized that we were sorry and she even smiled. Silene, but still. The plan was already in place, just to return the drone, gently tidy up the car. And we went to guess where, well, to lie down with the seagulls at Reykjaness. Yes again, we ‘chatted’ with our curious friends for a few hours in sunny weather, until it was time to return the car. Our white Dustrik.

Philip and the drone
This was already far worse
Wind, snow such Icelandic
During the blue watch, it shines beautifully
Last ZOOM goodbye

Iceland 2021 was an event not to be forgotten, hearing now how many people are there makes me appreciate it all the more. We were there alone, Iceland was ours, an exciting feeling. Empty parking lots, car rental for a slap in the face. We had a Land Cruiser for the price of a Duster, then we had a Duster for a third of what it costs today. I survived 5 days in quarantine and xy PCR tests. Do you mind? No way, I don’t think we’ll be able to experience this for a long time. And the crosses? whatever, yes, they spoiled a significant part of my trip, but today I remember only the good, the bad will fade away in my head with time. If you’ve read this extra long narrative of mine to this point, thanks. I will be glad if you leave me some feedback. Hey, FILIP and JURAJ thanks, DELTA.

PS. absolutely the biggest thanks to my family, who tolerates and understands my photo spree, without them and their understanding, I would be sitting at home, shuffling my feet on the carpet.