Campervan vs The World
Kathy and Rebecca Edition
As two young women agreed Iceland was their destination of interest, neither of them anticipated they would rent a camper van for their travels. You may happen to be the type of person that sleeps on the earth for leisure, or enjoys the sound of wildlife under your nose as you doze off. If you fit this description, you may not fully grasp their attitudes towards anything of the camping sort.
However, after intense deliberation, these two travellers decided the most efficient and reliable way to explore Iceland at a reasonable cost was to rent a campervan. Weeks before their journey they found themselves typing Rent.is into the search field and booking a camper van that would take them on an adventure they could not yet imagine. One camper van would change their perceptions of the people they could be and the feats they could achieve.
Upon arrival, the travelers found themselves many kilometers away from their desired camper van and resorted to hauling their luggage across Reykjavik like pack mules until finding refuge at the camper rental location. After a couple croissants and many tribulations involving currency exchange and credit card confusion, the keys were handed over. With much relief, they took their seats in the front of the vehicle. It wasn’t explicitly said between the two, but both of their expressions said, “I can’t believe I’m doing this.” With a limited history of camping experience, a map and loose idea of where they were headed, they set off… to find some more food.
It was on the second day of their journey that they left Reykjavik to explore the lands that stretched out beyond the city. There was Skýr in the fridge, a bed in the back and their phones feeding music through the stereo. Despite the time change and the confusions of the prior day, their spirits were high as they drove out on the open road.
The travellers marvelled at volcano craters, geysers and powerful waterfalls, there were so many wonders in one day it seemed they might run out, but landscape only changed for the better. The freedom to pull over and explore, and take on new routes brought so many unexpected landscapes and experiences that weren’t on any lists or blogs. It became apparently clear to the two, that renting a campervan gave them the independence and accessibility necessary for having a truly well rounded trip. They watched as many tour buses passed them while they were pulled over at a rushing river, or sitting in a shop with a coffee and baguette. How many stories, experiences and unforeseen sights might they have missed if they weren’t behind the wheel?
They settled at campsite in Gullfoss and quickly became the on site convenience store. With the ability to charge phones and an abundance of kitchen ware, the two travellers were able to help out their fellow campers and meet new and friendly faces. A couple that was camping close by were hitchhiking their way through Iceland. They had varying success, and the camper van travellers were pleased that they could move about on their own terms. Though the sun didn’t set, the two crawled into their van for a movie and soon fell asleep cocooned in their sleeping bags. Only two nights later, the camper van would cease to be a vehicle and transform into a refuge.
After a day of hiking to waterfalls, and being sprayed by the the mighty rapids and mists, the travellers thought they had their share of water for the day. However, nature disagreed and planned to show to the two just how powerful she really was. In the afternoon, they selected their campsite and began driving back to Vik to stay the night. Unfortunately, their path was lost and they found themselves driving up a very steep hill, the more they climbed the more they questioned that they were headed in the proper direction. Half way up the hill, there was a patch of road for pulling over and they quickly seized the opportunity. They stepped out of the vehicle to survey the land around them and try and determine their location. While one searched mobily, the other dashed down the hill hoping to find a sign indicated their whereabouts. Suddenly, the skies opened up and rain poured as though there had been a drought for years. The wind picked up and whipped against their faces. They became fearful of the inclement weather and decided to retrace their steps down the hill in hopes of finding a city. As the campervan rolled steadily down the hill, gusts of wind beat against the side of the vehicle. Finally, they arrived in Vik but the storm was far from finished.
Sand from the black beach whipped at their cheeks as they took a moment to park and reorient. The waves were hurling themselves onto the beach as they watched in fear from a distance. Once a campsite was determined, the two checked in a rushed to the kitchen for a warm meal. The kitchen was bursting with campers looking for shelter, everyone looked as though they could wring out a litre of water just by turning their head. The two found empty seats and heartily enjoyed the warm meal they could prepare. The tin roof of the kitchen sounded like it was under gunfire from the arsenal of rain pouring over it. The walls rattled from the wind and campers looked about nervously. Many people were relying on tents for sleep, but no tents could be seen. The travellers looked out their window to see the camper van, with the cheerful door decor, holding firm in its place in a whirl of grey disaster.The travellers survived the night, tucked into their sleeping bags with the heater humming steadily as they binge watched TV shows to keep out of the cold.
That camper van had taken them through rolling hills, to sandy beaches, waterfalls, geysers and glaciers. It had taught them how to be reasonable with groceries and allowed them to make friends along the journey. When it was time to return the van, they felt a genuine attachment to its ability to withstand anything. The van was a home and a vehicle for adventure far beyond the main city dwellings that could have been their limit. They were the drivers of their journey seeing Iceland in all of its beauty and strength.
Read more: Two Italian nomads in Iceland
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