While sitting on the hill on 17 June, Rakel reminded us all that it was Kjartan's 30th on the weekend, and that we were all going camping. Cool! (It was also her birthday on the weekend, but she didn't mention that herself)
We ended up with four car loads, driving up friday after work, and heading to Grundarfjörður. Iveta, Jonas and I were "early" so we hung out in Borgarnes watching Turkey pull their escape artist tricks to beat Croatia in the quarter final of the EM. (Or were others just late?)
From Borgarnes, we drove off in a convoy, as we needed to get to a particular campground. Clear weather, and growing sunset made for a spectacular drive, eventually arriving in Grundarfjörður just before midnight.
We had a surprise in store for Kjartan. His parents had arrived earlier, and now that we were all here, we just needed to distract Kjartan for long enough to put up the decorations and get the cake out! With cake and hot chocolate all round we got some tall tales and old stories from kjartan's past, before heading to bed reasonably early.
Going to bed early on a friday night?! What were we thinking? Going to Flatey, that's what!
We only just made the ferry. While leisurely snacking on breakfast, we debated whether it was 15 or 20 minutes to Stykkisholmur, eventually leaving at 8:40 to catch the 9 o'lock ferry. But, close as we were, we _did_ make the ferry. A nice cruise across the bay, and then a lovely relaxing morning on Flatey. I got to stroll around barefoot, in only shorts and a t-shirt. Excellent. Proper summer. A good chunk of the island was closed off for Eider nesting season, but it was still nice to roam around the grass, watch the seabirds, have some cake and a soft drink in the cafe, and generally just slack off. (Even get a bit sunburnt)
Returning home in the afternoon, we wandered back to Grundo. Some people were going swimming, others to just to keep lying in the sun back at camp. My car load took the side road through Berserkjahraun, though we never really saw this alleged "track through the lava, hacked out by the two old viking giants" It's a nice drive though, and particularly on the western end, there's some lovely quiet campsites where the lava gives way to grass again by a small creek, before heading back up into hills again.
We also wanted to investigate some steam by the seashore we'd seen driving in the night before. We found a broken drill hole, spewing hot water out onto the beach, and thought we'd have a go at digging ourselves a hot pot. We didn't really have much luck, the shore was very rocky, and then clay which just made it dirty. But we did have fun playing on the beach.
We arrived back in camp just in time for the pool to close, so it was time to just relax, sitting around chatting and meeting new people.
After a few people came back from watching one of the other quarter finals, it was time to unleash the great grill party! Kjartan had brought enough whale for everyone, and with some appetizers and salads from everyone else, along with some champers from Kjartan's parents, and we had a fine fine feast under way. Before dinner Eva and Tóta had arrived, along with Úlfur and Tinna, so added to Kjartan, Rakel, Kjartan's parents, some friends of theirs, (one of whom was also called Karl!) Kári, Brynjar, Unnur, Iveta, Jonas and myself, we not just had a fine feast, we had a fine crew to enjoy it with.
After dinner it was time to sit on the beach, light a bonfire, play guitar, gossip and make merry. We waved at the seals who came to watch, we admired a line of adult birds, apparently new parent's school. We sang russian folk songs. We sang american pop sungs with russian lyrics. We tried to remember the words to songs. We dug up two old anchors, and used them to break wood. We even went for a swim in the morning sunshine.
All good things come to an end though, and we eventually retired to try and get some sleep, somewhere around 7am. (Some of us were up a litttttle bit later, notably Rakel, who was obviously having such a good time for her birthday she decided sleep was simply optional)