Today we started our ascent of Helgafell at 8am. The hike up was much quicker than Eldfell and the weather was clear so we had an amazing view at the top. We recorded GPS data starting at sea level all the way to the top of the peak. After hiking Helgafell we stopped in the town and had a quick lunch at a restaurant called Gött. Several of us tried the fish of the day, and at the risk of fulfilling every travel stereotype, a food picture is attached.
After our meal we caught the ferry to the mainland. We reunited with our vehicle and then embarked on a one and a half hour car ride through Vík to our Airbnb in Kirkjubæjarklaustur. We stopped at the Black Sand Beach near Vík and treated ourselves to coffee at Svarta Fjaran before going down to the water. Instead of sand the beach was covered in darks stones smoothed to perfection by years of weathering. The beach also has a unique basalt formation called columnar basalt, which is caused by lava cracking as it cools. A few of us took an unplanned wade in the seawater when the tide rushed in unexpectedly. Luckily we were only meters from fresh socks.
We are preparing to sample on the Glacier tomorrow afternoon. In the morning we will journey to downtown to procure distilled water for our soil protocols as well as groceries.