This is Jonas’ Saga. Just kidding—Jonas was our tour guide for tour number three—day four in Iceland. I found Jonas’ group online—the Goecco Outdoor Adventure tours. What got us interested was that their promotional copy said they would take us to “secret places.” Now during the booking process, I noticed that Jonas was a pretty laid back guy and was worried at first that he wouldn’t show up or our tour would be cancelled for some random reason. No worries—although he is a self-described “hippy and conspiracy theorist” he’s also a very responsible businessman who is well attuned to delivering exceptional customer service and protecting his business.  

Jonas picks us up at 8 a.m. in a mini van that we will be sharing with a nice couple from New York. I get to sit in the front for a lot of trip and am entertained with Jonas’ view about the irresponsible spending of the Icelandic people and the lack of attention drawn to the economic disaster that they are in. Between politics and history he slips in the “we didn’t go to the moon” theory, but overall he was a fascinating character and we had a wonderful day.

Our trip was north east to the Snaefellsnes peninsula. At first—and still a bit today—we didn’t know how to pronounce it so we were calling it Snuffleupagus (you know the Sesame Street character). Anyhoo, the volcanic glacier of the same name is where Jules Verne’s characters in the Journey to the Center of the Earth actually enter the path to the center of the earth.

Our first stop was Borgarnes—a town just on the other side of the whale-fjord which we drove underneath saving us hours of time. A bit up the road we stopped off along a beautiful river flowing around a house where a few guys were fishing for our dinner that evening. With the Lupin dotting the foreground and the mountains providing the background, it was a lovely photo op and chance to take in some truly fresh air.

On to the drive through the lava fields toward the fire volcano. This was truly mouth dropping pretty. Despite my ski-boot wrapped ankle, I hiked up this red crater following my friends to get a better, then more better view of the sorrounding countryside. The lava fields had some kind of addicitive power. They were just a bunch of craggly rocks covered with moss but it was ever changing and everywhere. I coudn’t stop clicking away on my camera because each scene changed and presented something unique to look at. While standing on this red fire crater, we could see miles of the lava fields to the green and ice covered volcanoes that once spewed forth the lava before us. After getting our fill, we drove on through the lava field to one of the secret places.

Jonas began by telling us of a story about vikings killing outlaws around the year 1200. This was the place because there have been some ancient artifacts dug up in the area providing credence to the tale. And here, in the middle of nowhere was a nice naturally occuring hot spring. Amy, Jen and I (and the husband of the couple) changed behind the van (not all together at once mind you) and settled into the hot spring for a relaxing dip. Jonas served some rather decent wine (out of a box in plastic cups) and some shark. The shark did not smell good but I tried it anyway and it tasted like crab. Yummy. Some of the others did not think it was good. To each his own I guess. While we bathed, Jonas got out his metal detector to look for any ancient relics that might still be buried in the area.  The bugs were a plenty and Butter was wrapped up like Yenta and taking our pictures for us. So time to get out and head for the beach area where the seals hang out.

Jonas offered us some sandwich type snacks as we searched the rocks and saw a couple of seals off in the distance. The beach was interesting, full of colorful kelp like stuff. It was an okay stop and more lovely views to see.

For now that’s it. This was a very long day, so hang in there with me—some great things are coming. I’ll tell the rest of the Goecco day in the next post. Coming up: energy rocks, whale meat, and more.

Amy on our first stop where they were catching our fish for dinner.


Walking around the fire crater on the Snaefellsnes tour.


Beautiful Iceland



The secret hot spring in the middle of nowhere.


Moss covered lava field on the Snaefellsnes tour.