All kinds of weather

Steaming river, Hveragerdi

Steaming river (Photo credit: GillyWalker)

I’m sitting in a service station in Iceland. The lines of water drops on the window look like small scratches. The attendant is watching television. A customer was playing pokies as I came in.

I took a public bus to this town after a guy at the hostel told me he’d been talking to a girl who came here and then walked to a hot spring ‘about a thirty-minute walk’ away. From where I do not know, because the trail head was about forty-five minutes from the town, and the hot river was another hour from there, a cafe owner who seemed very interested in her painting told me. Fine, although I’d left late, it’s light until 11pm.

Sulpherous steam comes up from fissures in the ground, small wisps, or off bubbling holes. No trees. At the top of the first hill a European couple told me they had turned back because it was too windy. You can hear it, the man said. Around the next corner I could feel it. The day seemed very grey and the mountain bare and rocky and I was alone. It’s not like I can’t walk, but I decided to turn back. Soon after, it started to hail small pellets that stung me on the wind. The weather cleared but my jeans were wet. So passed an hour in the service station with my wet jeans.

The landscape is very spare: beside the road was a lava field: lava, moss, snow in endless permutations.

*

We went to R—, where our host took us on a nightwalk.

In New York we saw Avenue Q.

In Montreal we walked in the woods and sang karaoke. I met a guy who said don’t be fragile.

In Toronto my sister fell into thrall of her own affairs. I went for a long walk. I changed my plans. My sister spent half a day watching me try on hiking gear. We had dinner together. She says the thing that cured her was work.

I walked along the foreshore in two directions. One day I’d just set off and it started to snow on the wind. I was warm enough so I kept going. I thought life is many seasons to be walked through. The tour guide said that the Icelandic spirit is just to keep going and not think about the volatile earth that they live on. It started snowing by a lake.

Advertisements
Standard