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Updated: Nov 4, 2022

I'm writing this at midnight, on my last night in Ölfus, without having even packed half of my shit. Tomorrow I leave for Reykjavik permanently, and I'd be lying if I wasn't sad. Papaya is cuddling me right now, and I'm just watching the clouds fold over our little mountain, and the horses take turns laying down.

I'm excited to get to work full time with Axelle and Lisa, very excited, but something about Reykjavik feels so mechanical. Its harder to get lost than it is here in Ölfus--meeting sheep along the mountain side or chasing herd across miles of field. I am excited however about the tour, as its more interesting and in a way safer than the Ölfus route. I'm excited about the horses, as now all of the country horses I was taking on tours and riding are in Rvk, and I think regularly cleaning boxes will be nice for the mind...and the body. But enough of this--let's talk about my parents.

YESTERDAY I rode with Elisa to Rvk (as she was working for Lisa) and joined Iti in the bus to go do pickup where she graciously dropped me off close to my parent's airbnb. I stopped by an amazing bakery and snagged some snacks, then met up with Mary and Ethan to form a game plan. We walked around the city a little, then pack up the car to drive the golden circle on a very dreary day. We stopped by the waterfall the Rvk girls took me to on my birthday at the edge of Thingvelir National Park, but as we headed out towards the continental rift I. passed. out. I have definitely majorly underestimated how genuinely tired I am. At the rift it was a steady drizzle, so we decided against walking around as we could essentially see it from the parking lot, and headed out towards the Geyser park...where I fell asleep again.

The rain was even heavier at the Geyser, but it was cool to see the pools and walk around the rock. I slept again on the way to Gullfoss, but we got out to explore when we arrived of course. The gift store was warm, and Ethan got some rain pants, and then we walked the falls. It was very slippery, but something is so meditative about the running water. As on brand as I could be, I slept on the drive to Selfoss, where we quickly stopped at the Kronan to get some supplies for dinner before checking in to Mary and Ethan's little cabin near the stable in Ölfus. Mary really loved it, and the lupines were still blooming wildly so it was quite a special sight to behold. We checked in around 8, and started to make a nice stir fry and veggies as we were having Elisa, Judith, and Sabira over for dinner. Mom surprised me with a little birthday decor and we all laughed at how much Elisa loved Nutella. The night was so good. It felt warm, and safe, and restful for my spirit.

TODAY was another wildly adventurous time entirely. (In a super good way, no worries).

Ethan picked me up around 9, and then we went to Rvk to snag Axelle--as she had the day off :). I figured we needed to continue our day off adventure tradition, plus if I could think of anyone fun to have along with my parents, it'd be Axelle. She's very parent friendly in the way that she never runs out of conversation and energy. When we got her she was so chatty and helped us snag rain gear (even though its sunny, we're doing waterfalls today. If you know you know) so we set out for our south coast hot spots!

We did Seljalandfoss and Gljúfrafoss first, and I think Mary just about burst with happiness. Put that woman in front of a waterfall or mountain and you've just about made her entire week--but really who can blame her, it's gorgeous! We ran all around, hiked through to the hidden waterfall, and took lots of fun photos. Ethan took so many photos, and it made me happy to see him enjoying everything since I know Iceland's a hard country to picture what you're getting yourself into before you arrive.

We hit Skogafoss next, and of course it checked the boxes for the parents again. The sun was out so rainbows were shattering at every angle and the grass was sparkling. Lupines were everywhere, and made the entire view feel like one of those hyper-saturated puzzles that only exist in your wildest 'paradise' fantasy. We took some photos at the bottom, then hiked the stairs to the top (an experience I had not done yet, as Marina and I visited in the late fall and the stairs were closed). It was hard as shiiiiiiiiiiiit.

I think Axelle and I were both tired on top of everything, but it felt like flights just kept popping out of nowhere! At the top birds screeched above us, and I could barley look over the handrail as I feared I might just cave into the intrusive thoughts and jump so that I could cannon ball at the bottom. Axelle was walking in front of me on the way down, when I slipped, and she proceeded to tell everyone we passed on the rest of the stairs that I did, in fact, fall on my ass. Its good practice for me to love her though the bullying. (lmao)

Look at the cute parents!!! :)

...and then Axelle and I.

We made our way slowly to Dyrohlaey, and stopped near Skalaholt to look at a quaint church and make a jumping video in front of it. I found some grass to chew on and Mary accused me of indulging in "Icelandic weed"--very funny.

At Dyrohlaey it was so windy it nearly blew us over, but we enjoyed the arch views and made our way around the jurassic feeling scenery to Reynisfjara. Ethan took a nap in the parking lot while Axelle, Mary, and I went to the cafe for fries and hot cocoa--it was nice to sit for a second and enjoy being back at the black beach.

The last time I was here, Marina and I were joking about how we probably couldn't guess what our (at the time) dysfunctional looking futures would hold, and oh if I only knew. After his nap, Ethan joined the crew and we all went to explore the basal columns and watch people get idiotically too close to the waves. Its always humbling here, but refreshing in a way too. Refreshing to know how insignificant me and my issues are in comparison to a mere beach, that's been here before time, and will be here long after my measure of it. A beach that could take me out in one swoop at that too. It's kind of nice, ya know?

We got a hot dog in Vik, filled up on gas, and headed out on the drive back to Rvk to drop Axelle off.

Everyone took somewhat of a nap on the drive (except Ethan of course), and we earned it. I know the country air was a welcome hug for Axelle, and I feel so glad to have introduced Mary and Ethan to part of the reason I love this country so much. Once we got back into Rvk, it was riding time! I got Mary and Ethan to agree to a short, 20m ride, so Axelle and I saddled up, I put Ethan on Mbrun and Mary on Von, and we headed out for a short forest ride. Both of the parents aren't horse people, but I'm glad they did it so that they can always be a part of this experience for me. Plus, its nice for them to know now which horses I'm talking about when I ride after work (for fun or racing on Embrun, and bareback snacks or beer rides on Von).

They only wanted to walk, so after we displayed the gaits for them, and Ethan got a cool video of Grape doing a flying pace :)

We got back to Ölfus around 11:30, and as Ethan just dropped me off and I still have to pack for my move in 7 short hours, I think it's time I put these past few days to rest.

A Classic Papaya Cuddle:

Woohoo some fun content!!

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