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Campervan Adventures in Iceland: Day 8 - Westman Island, Seljandsfoss

Day 8 we woke up to a sunny beautiful day! Now we had come over to Westman Island the night prior and camped at the campsite and everything I read said if you want to see puffins you have to go early (before 8am) or late (like 10pm) as they go out to sea during the day. So the plan was to get up and get going and see if we could see any. We were waking up around 6 so we shouldn't have been too late, but of course this is the first day I slept in! Till 7! So we rushed around trying to get ready and didn't make it to the puffin viewing point until much later than we wanted...and didn't see any puffins. Though we did see some Fulmar nesting, lots of fancy ducks, and a couple of razorbills which reminded me of penguins! 

After spying for puffins we spied on the beaches right there 

Next up was the hike to the top of Eldfell

This was a great, easy hike and from the top you could see so much! Plus all of the very red rocks were super fun! It was pretty windy up there though so we didn't stay super long

The mainland from the top!

After the hike we decided to head into town and do the chores, but on the way we saw a sign for a viewpoint so went to check it out and it was gorgeous! You could see the other islands we sailed by and the mainland!

After the chores we went to spy on the fort there which was super interesting!

You could wander through the lava flow there from 1973!

A map showing where the lava flowed in 1973. The swimming pool used to be here, but that was covered in lava during the eruption and the sign said it was now 10.5m below the lava! So much lava!

These power poles were also partially engulfed in the lava! That was the cool thing about this fort area - you could see where things used to be, could see how the lava overtook everything and also learned a lot about the power station that was there and how they ended up getting power to the island. Some really cool histoy and definitely worth a stop if you are on Westman. 

This was a replica stave church that was a gift from Norway in 2000 to celebrate Iceland embracing Christianity 1,000 years prior. 

There was an odd double wall on the outside so you could walk the whole way around the church between the walls. 

By then it was lunchtime so we drove back to the gorgeous viewpoint to eat. It was so beautiful there! While eating we kept seeing cars drive to here, which is the end of the road, and instead of stopping they immediately turned around and drove off. I guess no one else wanted to enjoy the view!

This was by far my favorite viewpoint on the island

After lunch it was back to the opposite side of the island to spy on things there. These are the mountains in which we camped!

Then on to the boat back to the mainland. Prior to our trip I read a lot of accounts that people wanted to spend days and days on this island so I was thinking that just the one day might not be enough. But we saw basically everything. There were a couple super steep uphill hikes we could have done, but chose not to, but otherwise we were just wasting time waiting for our ferry back after lunch. We drove around the island a few times and stopped everywhere we could so one day was more than enough for us. Really it was just enough time, lots of time to sit and enjoy. If anyone is curious we took the 15:45 ferry to the island (arriving at 16:20) the day before and then came back on the 14:30 ferry (arriving at 15:10)

It was such a nice day! No huge dark cloud like the day prior

These oystercatchers were one of my favorite birds! They were so silly and looked like a cartoon character walking around. I loved them

After the ferry it was on to Seljandsfoss which was close by and so much fun!

You definitely need your rain gear for this one or you will get soaked

As you can walk behind the waterfall!! You do have to be careful as the rocks are slippery, but it was so fun!!

Had to take off the glasses or I couldn't see there was so much water!

So much fun! You can just walk a loop around behind then out the other side. It was actually pretty warm outside with no wind which was nice as behind the waterfall was freezing! So loud and so cold but so worth getting soaked! I loved it!

There was a second waterfall, Gljufrabui, just down from Seljandsfoss where you had to rock hop through a river outlet to get to it!

It's just a short way through the water to the cave like waterfall!

And back by Seljandsfoss on the way back to the car. 

Then it was off to our campsite for the night - Hellisholar campsite  

It was a gorgeous grassy area with mountain views and I know it looks like there were other people camping here, but those campers are empty. We didn't see a single other person here the entire time, except the lady who came to collect the payment at night. At some point during the evening another van showed up, we saw it when we got out to brush our teeth, but never saw or heard the people in it. 

It was so nice out we cooked with all the doors open!

And sat outside to eat! Prior to the trip I did not think we would use the outdoor table and chairs at all as it would be too cold, but that sun is so warm without wind!

A gorgeous campsite that we had basically to ourselves! It is a bit off the main road so there wasn't even traffic or anything. So peaceful and we would definitely stop there again. 

We walked a total of 14.7km 


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