By Simone Benson, a tween travel blogger and fourth-grader who lives in San Diego
| If you want to explore Iceland in a way most people don’t get to see it, go off the beaten path and ride up Hekla Volcano with Moonwalker Tours. Our guide, Bessi, picked us up at our apartment in his Land Rover. (He told us that it is a very bad idea to call it a Jeep.) So off we went in one of the most fun cars, umm…Jeeps…um. LAND ROVERS I’ve ever been in. Okay, it was the only Land Rover I’ve ever been in. And it had REALLY big wheels so I think it can go over just about everything. And that is pretty much what we did. Bessie even had to let some air out of the tires before going up the mountain to make the ride more comfy. BE prepared to laugh and scream a lot.
The waterfall we visited on this tour was beautiful. It looked like The Lord of The Rings or Game of Thrones or something from another time. It was pretty cool. (Besides my mom yelling at me to stay away from the edge!) There were two waterfalls forming into one and a lot of really tall stones … it was incredible!
The Drive Up Hekla Volcano
After we left the waterfall, Bessi told us we were going up a volcano … one that still erupts every seven years or so. The problem was that the last time it erupted was 16 years ago. So we were a little bit nervous. The drive up the volcano was beautiful but, I think I mentioned this, EXTREMELY bumpy! It was so fun to go up and down and down. Bessie said some rental cars try to go where we went and get stuck … no way would I ever do that.
We made it! We stopped at one beautiful destination after another. Along the way, we learned that the volcano needs to grow moss so other things can grow on it. You can’t step on the moss or it will break apart and take another THOUSAND YEARS to grow back. Pretty interesting fact!
We had a snowball fight on a volcano. Halfway through our stop, I threw a snowball at our tour guide! But the bad thing was he wanted revenge. He said it was a bad idea to have a snowball fight with an Icelander because they have a lot of practice. (Oops!)
Here Bessi is holding a snowball. (I’m running from behind to throw one at him too. To my surprise, I got a big wad of a snow in my face instead!) The volcano did not explode, but the snowball sure did.
On the way down, we visited some craters that looked like what it must look like to be on Mars … they were bright red. It was so much fun. And we went flying into some rivers which made HUGE splashes (Which didn’t help the bumps at all.) My brother said “yeehaw” a lot.
Landmannalaugar Natural Hot Springs
After all that exploring, Bessi took us to some natural hot springs where two hot rivers from the volcanos and one cold river from a glacier combined to make one big warm soaking area. Warming up in the natural hot springs was incredible! The water felt so nice and warm. There were a lot of people camping outside because a lot of people come there to go hiking before relaxing in the hot springs. Or maybe to soak their muscles after riding on bumpy roads. It isn’t fancy, but it feels really, really good.
Finally, we stopped at a cobalt blue lake that was really colorful. It’s also a crater in the middle of a volcano. It’s name means “ugly puddle,” which doesn’t describe it at all.
The journey was amazing! Moonwalker Tours is so much fun! If you ever go to Iceland, you’ve got to go on the tour. And if you go on the tour, you have to ask for Bessi!
About the Author
My name is Simone Benson. I am nine years old and turn 10 next month, and am going into 4th grade. I like singing, dancing, and LOVE acting. I enjoy hanging out with my friends and family, and having a good laugh! I love traveling because it lets me see the world in a new perspective.