Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Into the Earth: Icelandid's Lava Tubes

Our final  excursion in Iceland would be to explore a lava tube. We didn't really Know what to expect. I think I was  expecting to be part of a large tour group  walking through some large cavern-like cave. What a surprise it was when aN SUV arrived at our driveway with just the guide inside. Victoria works for Iceland Excursions. We were her whole group: just us five and her. Surprise number two would be waiting for us at the lava tubes which are located in the dramatically named Valley of Death. I never did quite catch the Icelandic name of the lava tube or the valley itself. A five minute walk across a barren lava rock strewn plain took us to a hole in the earth. A modest scramble, nothing for those with good vision to worry about, and you are in the mouth of the lava tubes. Helmets secured and headlamps on we began our journey into the 2,000 year old lava tubes. The floor is pretty smooth though you still do have to mind your step. You are more apt to hit your head on the ceiling though and you quickly will begin singing  praises to your helmet. I'm very glad we had a chance to to do this journey. Victoria was a great guide who clearly knew her stuff. Sure you have the scuttle over some rocks and you had best wear clothing to deal with the wet and chill climate in the cave but it's worth it.

 We entered the lava tube under an overcast sky with spitting rain. When we emerged, about 76 minutes later, we found the skies had changed quite a bit. While rainbows seem to be common in Iceland this was our first truly blue sky. Lovely.

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