Countryside Iceland

Scenery Iceland 3

Today it’s just some beautiful photos of the countryside in Iceland.
Scenery Iceland 1 Scenery Iceland 2

Here is Eyjafjallajökull volcano the one that caused all the problems in 2010. Yes it created havoc with air travel but it also creates havoc by causing lots of flooding. The eruption causes the glacier to melt and the run off creates all sorts of problems.
 Eyjafjallajökull Iceland

A Turkey!
Turkey Iceland

Ducks!
Ducks Iceland

Horseback Riding In Iceland

Horse Riding Iceland 1

Iceland horses are so adorable. On the small side with their long manes and friendly ways it was love at first site.

They also seem to love each other:
Horse Riding Iceland 2

We went for an hour long trail ride where the scenery was unbelievable. Eyjafjallajökull (pronounced “Ay-uh-fyat-luh-YOE-kuutl-uh”) in the distance, it’s the volcano the caused all those problems with air traffic in 2010. Now it looks beautiful and you can also see a bit of the glacier. 
Horse Riding Iceland 3 Eyjafjallajökull Iceland

I got to ride Sausalito, she was lovely! A little head strong and stubborn, so a bit like the rider.
Horse Riding Iceland 4

We went through lush fields:
Horse Riding Iceland 5

Along a well worn path:
Horse Riding Iceland 7

Through a river:
Horse Riding Iceland 6

Here I am on her (very long shadows in Iceland):
Shadow Iceland

Definitely want to return and do it all again!

Lava!

Sailing from Hilo to Kona we passed lava!

LAVA!

Molten rock, glowing in the dark. It was later and dark out very hard to get a picture but it was really amazing to see. I tried to take pictures and finally got a few but the pictures do not do it justice. In fact unless told what it is you wouldn’t know from the picture I don’t have a telephoto lens but I’m still happy I got a picture to remember it.

After getting a picture I just enjoyed the view and kept squealing LAVA, IT’S LAVA!

Doesn’t take much to amuse me.
Lava 1 Lava 2

Crater Hike!

This is the crater that you can do a hike around. I believe you have to go with a guide. We didn’t have time for the hike on this day but if I go back it’s definitely on my list!

The landscape is so surreal and the steam rising just adds to the atmosphere. I imagine the hike being down wandering through the steam would be well worth it, even in the rain. It rains a lot in Hilo.

Crater Hilo 4 Crater Hilo 5 Crater Hilo 3 Crater Hilo 1 Crater Hilo 2

Lava Tube

At Volcano National Park we go to walk through a lave tube which was pretty cool. The lights in the tube give it a weird red glow and there is silvery moss as well that didn’t come out well in the pictures.

What is a lave tube? Wikipedia explains it better than I can Lave Tube.

It was fun to walk through and I couldn’t decide whether is was very hobbit like or dune like it was a very curious atmosphere.

Entrance to the lava tube:

Lave Tube Entrance

Walls in the lava tube:

Lave Tube Wall 3 Lave Tube Wall 2 Lave Tube Wall 1

People wandering through:

Lave Tube Walking Lava Tube Exit

Volcano National Park Scenery

There are more than volcanos at Volcano National Park, the scenery is gorgeous. The plants are lush and then you turn around and it’s more barren.

It’s almost like apocalypse, no apocalypse, apocalypse….

It’s really the contrasting colours that I love even on the walkway:

Volcano National Park Walkway

The picture is a little blurry from steam coming up through a vent in the ground:

Volcano National Park Steamy

Without the steam:

Volcano National Park Scenery

Beautiful foliage (I just wanted to use that word):

Volcano National Park Foliage

It’s wonderful place and tomorrow the lava tube!

The Volcano!

While inside the museum at Volcano National Park the fog cleared a bit and the sun came through. When we came out we could see the volcano, with steam rising and it is so beautiful. There is a walk you can do down around the volcano crater but we didn’t get to do the hike. One of the problems of doing excursions from a cruise ship is the limited time at each stop.

If I ever go back though I’m definitely spending more time here and doing the hike as the scenery is spectacular!

Volcano 5 Volcano 4 Volcano 3 Volcano 2 Volcano 1

Riding Down Haleakala!

My first excursion from the cruise ship was a ride down Haleakala!

Haleakala Bikes

I was really excited about. Two friends that I work with have ridden UP Haleakala. Months of training and hard work, one raced up and one took a more leisurely pace. Both loved the experience.

Also Canadian cyclist Ryder Hesjedal has the unofficial record for riding up Haleakala in 2009 with a time of 2:32 beating Jonathan Vaughters official time of 2:38 in 1993, very impressive! Yay Ryder! (He was also the first Canadian to win a grand tour, the Giro last year). Jonathan is the manager of Team Garmin Sharp, who Ryder rides for. They have a very strict no doping policy so Ryder will NOT be making any confessions in the future.

Haleakala Road

Anyway I was excited to see this for myself and although I was riding down I couldn’t help thinking that one day I would like to come back and try riding up. It is beautiful and there was minimal traffic when we were there. The ride up would be worth it for the ride back down! For riding down you just need to be able to ride a bike, it’s really fun and easy. Coasting down, watching the beautiful scenery go by, when it was over I would have been really happy to go back up and do it again!