Beep, beep, beep… my eyelids slowly peeling open as alarms go off everywhere. Groggily throwing the duvet back and shuffling my feet to the ground, I was up and ready to not make the same mistake as yesterday by missing our tour again. I never have been one for organised tours, with the backpacker mindset I know I could definitely do the same tour but for cheaper. But this time it was different, as we were planning our trip together via facebook messenger and I was coming all the way from Australia. Grabbing our make-shift, not totally appetising sandwiches, snacks, vodka and juice the cool breeze hit us instantly as we made our way down the streets towards the bus terminal for 9 am to excitedly begin our South Shore Adventure.
As we approach the bus, I quickly scoop out my phone with my booking to show an unapologetic gentleman with wrinkly skin and sprinkles of grey hair – what is forever known as our stern tour guide. Our tour guide isn’t the most cheerful of guides I’ve ever had, but he is great at producing some one-liners. Waiting for the bus to get on its way, our “extremely joyous” tour guide starts to urge/threaten everyone to visit the washroom before we leave and to be on time for leaving at each stop today.
Nestling into the coach with Steph and Karen in the two seats in-front and myself behind with a seat to myself we are ready for the south shore adventure to depart. At the beginning I am intent on listening to every word as I personally didn’t look up any information really on Iceland. Half an hour, an hour, an hour and a half the talking from our tour guide was ongoing. Glancing around, noticing the other passengers sleeping or playing on their phones I knew instantly that no one was listening. However, they are truly missing out on the guide’s best lines like:
“Ice Age, cold… yes.”
“Everything is new… it was built after the war.”
“On the left you have a white house, on the right a white house with a red roof… what can you do.”
With our first pit stop at a gas station, it was time to pull out the vodka and juice.
Scrambling back onto the bus, everyone was ready to be at our first official sight-seeing stop – the glacier. With our tour guide warning us to not walk on the glacier as “we would need a special tour guide” in order to do this. The r est of us poor folk who didn’t pay extra, trot on down to the furthest unrestricted point. Laughing as Karen, Steph and I recite the amazing one-liners to each other as we walk to be as close as possible to the ash covered, melting glacier. Even video-taping the lines because of the hilarity of our tour guide. With only a 20 minute allowance, we quicken our pace back to the bus as to not be in trouble with our gruff guide.
Volcanic ash this, volcanic ash that… now if a volcano hadn’t erupted in Iceland, our tour guide would be lost for words that’s for sure. So much talking about volcanic ash! My eyes rolling to the back of my head every time as he mentions ash, especially when he eventually announces our next stop as Ash Beach. Typically, when I go to the beach I lay out and sunbath and perhaps venture into the water but this beach was definitely not your typical beach. Walking towards the rocks for lunch, my shoes quickly fill with black ash and I think to myself, so much ash. Pulling out our make-shift sandwiches we plant our butts on the cool, hard rocks and enjoy the sun and light breeze on our faces. With no concept of time, we start walking towards the end of the beach snapping photos of the birds above. Glancing at the time, we are late! Deciding to hustle into the village using the roads with hopes it will be quicker we soon become lost in the small town. All of us in fear of our tour guide start running across a field to the bus. Panting as we arrive to the bus and feeling his displeasure we silently climb into the bus.
With the bus driving about five or so minutes down the road, we are out again to explore the Black Beach and Halsanefshellir Cave. Walking down to join the other clutter of tourists with more ash in our shoes, it’s time to do a photo opt on the shelf of the rocks.With more ash in our shoes, we decided it was the perfect time to do a photo opt on the shelf like rocks. Again, rushing to not be the last on the bus, and secretly applauding ourselves that others were later than the 4 minutes.
Venturing through the Skógar Folk Museum, and swiftly coming to the realization that is a very weird/unusual museum as it contains a bunch of random things – like a collection of old cell phones, old machinery, and antiques. It’s almost as if they ask people to donate their old belongings to the museum. Outside is a bunch of small houses for a reason I am unaware of and out of boredom and perhaps for pure laughs I grab the nearest sledge hammer and pretend to be Thor (unsuccessfully). As time passes, and eventually those who went to walk on the glacier return, we drive over to the Skogafoss waterfall.
With not much time at this stop, we hurry to snap some photos at the bottom before climbing the stairs halfway up to snap photos there. Glancing up and deciding if there is enough time to make it up and down, we decide there isn’t so we hustle on down before we receive a stern look for being late.
Arriving at Seljalandsfoss Waterfall would be the last stop for the day, and my first time venturing behind a waterfall. As the cold mist blew into our faces, the walking became slippery and with each step becoming more cautious. I start wrapping my jacket around my phone so as the water pounds down into the pool below.
Overall, I would definitely recommend the tour as we had so many laughs the whole day. The tour guide although stern was definitely a laugh and knowledgeable. If you had enough people, you could definitely rent a car and do the same trip as there wasn’t an entrance fee for anything besides the museum (but that could be skipped).
Total Cost = 13,900 ISK
- South Shore Adventure tour 13,900 ISK