Travelling along the Ring Road near Skogar on Iceland’s southern coast is a birdwatcher’s delight. Arctic terns fly along the fences by the road, oystercatchers in flocks of between 5 and 13 hunt on foot in the fields around two miles from the sea, and whimbrels sit on the fence posts looking for something to eat.

The wind blows fluffy clouds across the dark blue sky and although the sun is out the temperature rarely goes over 19 degrees C. There are also a few volcanoes looming on the eastern horizon including Hekla and Eyjafjallajokull. The latter erupted in 2010 and caused air travel disruption around the world. Grimsvotn – located under the Vatnajökull ice cap in central Iceland – followed suit in 2011 though luckily without
the same issues for travellers.

Hekla has been quiet for a few years but is overdue a large eruption, so don’t be too
surprised if Hekla tries to join in the volcanic fun soon. Travellers do benefit from the volcanic activity in a small way. When they have their showers or baths the hot water is
instantaneous as it comes straight out of the ground and is accompanied by a slightly sulphurous smell – the cold water takes longer to arrive as hotels have to allow the water to cool before piping it to your room.

Published by Julian Worker

Julian was born in Leicester, attended school in Yorkshire, and university in Liverpool. He has been to 94 countries and territories and intends to make the 100 when travel is easier. He writes travel books, murder / mysteries and absurd fiction. His sense of humour is distilled from The Marx Brothers, Monty Python, Fawlty Towers, and Midsomer Murders. His latest book is about a Buddhist cat who tries to help his squirrel friend fly further from a children's slide.

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