Sounds like a good old stakeout to me.

A map of Iceland and some sauces.

Well technically it was.

Who knew that an attempt at viewing the northern lights would end up being a hunt for clear skies and strong electromagnetic waves through the most unpredictable weather in a place called Iceland?

Not me a week ago.

Anyways, here’s how my initially-4-day-trip-turned-3-days in Iceland with nine other humans went:

Hours before heading out to the bus station to board the coach to London, we found out our return flight tickets were mistakenly booked for a day earlier.

How wonderful.

Changing our flight would have burnt a hole in our wallets which were already worn out and sun-dried so that was out of the question.

‘Deal with it’ we said, and dealt with it we did.

And so we boarded the coach with our 23kg luggage of groceries survival kit and made our way to Gatwick Airport.

Note 1: Print out your boarding passes, even if it’s 45-pages long. You might annoy the airport staff.

After a 3-hour flight, we arrived at Keflavík International Airport where we were welcomed by some locals that preferred staying still.

All is calm, all is bright.

We were picked up by the staff from KúKú Campers, a camper van rental company, and we set off to their office located at the outskirts of the capital city of Reykjavík.

We found out from the staff that there were Aurora sightings about a week ago and that you’d be rich in other countries if you earned money in Iceland.

We spotted the camper vans parked in front and they were of course, HUGE. I was pretty worried whether we would get through the trip without any accidents.

(Let me spoil the story now – all 10 of us made it back alive. Good job team!)

Photo credit: Chen Yew
Photo credit: Chen Yew

We had given the vans and the additional equipment a check, done a few test drives and were ready to start our journey when one of the vans’ engine refused to start.

Great.

A mechanic was called over and while waiting, we decided to cook some instant noodles…with vegetables because a balanced diet is important.

While Shin gave our tummies some warmth, it started snowing! It was the first time seeing snow in real life for most of us and we got pretty excited. Little did we know what would come

Filling meal aside, problems after problems arose and we left the place hours later than planned with one automatic and one manual camper van.

I did say we all survived.

Valdis ice cream store in Reykjavík.

What comes after a meal? Dessert! What kind of dessert? Ice-cream! What flavor ice cream? Mango and passionfruit, caramel butterscotch, kinder egg…

A well-known ice cream store in the middle of the city named Valdis was our first stop and they did not disappoint. Not only did the ice cream taste heavenly, the flavours offered were plentiful and unique. (I’ve heard that the flavours available are always changing so that’s something to look out for each trip there.)

Salted nut and caramel & watermelon new york cheesecake flavours.

Photos from the rest of the trip can be seen below. All 89 of them because I can.

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Note 2: Bring something to keep you and your buds sane during the long rides.

Note 3: Taking that one more photo could lead you to missing your flight. #almosttruestory

 

The best thing I got from the trip would have to be…

 

…these beautiful postcards!

Well, they were the only souvenirs I got from the trip (other than the stones I nicked picked up from the Black Stone Beach).

Unfortunately, we were not able to see the Northern Lights within the two nights we were in Iceland (our chances were almost zero). Having someone on the lookout each night and driving for hours to get to the best spot was of no use when the forces of nature were against us from the start just like my life.

Nevertheless, it was an eventful trip full of snow, where we got to experience so much in such a short time.

Aurora, we’ll be back for you! You too, Valdis and Puffin!

Photo credit: The Man from U.N.C.L.E
Snowstorms, instant noodles and camper vans

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