I had breakfast and tea, and started to pack up, feeling a little sad (and still incredibly sore). I didn't leave until about 9.30am and headed up to the farmhouse to say goodbye to Sigurdur and pay. I headed down the track and just reached the turn-off towards the canyon when I remembered that I hadn't given him back the key (I'd done this once before, a few years earlier, and had driven back from Höfn to return it!), so turned back to return it, before heading on my way. The weather was stormy, with some great contrasty black clouds and distant snow showers visible. I stopped at the road that leads down to Papafjörður and took a few photos of the beautiful Brunnhóll and snow blowing on the road.
I decided not to go down to the beach - it was too ghastly! - so instead turned back and went away from the beach into the dunes on the far side of the spit road where it was a little less exposed. The dunes were covered in snow, but most also had a fine layer of black sand on top, so they looked a strange grey.
There were some strange formations, where ice had formed around grasses, and then snow and sand were blown on top. It was snowing and fairly unpleasant, but like the previous day there were signs that the sun was trying to break through.
The sun began to illuminate the snowy slopes of Vestrahorn and within a few minutes I was also treated to some warming sunshine. It lasted a very short time, but was very welcome!
I noticed a wonderfully sculpted snow mound on a sand dune and headed over to investigate. The patterns and curves were just exquisite in the early afternoon sun.
I reached the car-park at 1.20pm and headed straight down to the east beach. I realised that on the whole trip I hadn't been over to the lagoon, but my obsession with the beach is sometimes too all-consuming to allow the lagoon a look-in! Today was no exception, and I was tight on time, so the beach was the only place for me to be. And how wonderful it was. I spent two hours there, watching and photographing the waves crashing against the stacks of huge icebergs. If only I'd had longer! The skies weren't quite as cool as they'd been on my approach, but still gave the place a wonderful moody atmosphere. I took a lot of shots in that two hours! It was challenging, as I sorely missed my (smashed-in-the-fall) 6-stop ND filter. I realised that it was one of the filters that I use the most at this location. Instead I was having to stack the 2-stop with the polariser, and variable ND filter to get a slow enough shutter speed for the effects I wanted. Fortunately it was fairly dark, which helped.
Click here for my blog from Day 8: A Snowy Day around Stafafell
Click here for my blog from Day 10: Driving from Vík to Álftanes