Many people have noticed the dramatic changes that can occur in typical Scottish weather. Some even joke that the four seasons can be present in one day. Now if you imagine the most erratic Scottish day and multiply it by 100, you will have Iceland’s climate. We’ve literally experienced scorching sun, powerful winds, thunderclouds and chilly sleet – all in less than 24 hours.
Unfortunately, for the past few days the weather decided to forget the sun altogether and produce a constant, torrential rainstorm. Our poor tent just wasn’t strong enough to protect us from the downpour, meaning most of our time has been confined inside the guesthouse at Skálanes. This has led to days of data processing and binging 80s movies, however has limited the amount of data we could gather by quite a lot.
By day 3, cabin fever was setting in, so Marion and I decided to brave the elements. Our walk gave us a glimpse of the beauty and destruction the storm had created.
Sadly, due to the extremely wet conditions, many of the chicks that have recently been born will have struggled to survive. Even though the Terns have made our lives a misery, their insistent pecking and dive-bomb attacks have been their way of protecting their hatchlings from harm. Seeing that hard-work going to waste with the death of some juvenile Terns was heart breaking.
Our team members were not the only people stranded in Skálanes. Some of the guests at the house were forced to stay extra nights, as the rain consumed most of the road and footpaths to the nearest town. This led to an interesting escape plan, where Marion and I offered to help transport luggage across the rivers leading to the car park.
The cars at Skálanes are relatively large, however there were no 6-seaters available, leading to an interesting seating plan to the first river. But success was ours, and after a couple of backbreaking hours carrying the cases, the tourists could finally carry on their trip.
Fortunately, our generosity and patience with the weather has been greatly rewarded in the form of an incredible sunrise. We’re hoping that this is a sign of more pleasant weather to come. Hopefully we will be finishing our expedition in the beautiful Icelandic sunshine.