Skógafoss was another magnificent waterfall near Seljalandsfoss, but we chose to bypass it. We drove our van another 30-miles east to, Reynisfjara, a stunning black sand beach situated under the mountain, Reynisfjall.
One of the first things I saw when I stepped onto the black beach were signs warning visitors about “deadly sneaker waves.” I couldn’t help to think about the waves at the Wedge back home in Southern California. Nothing tops those. The signs put all visitors on notice that there have been deaths caused by rapidly changing tides and violent waves and rip currents, but I wasn’t afraid.
As the sun began its descent, we decided we better get a move on if we were going to have any chance at seeing the famous Iceland plane wreckage, the downed American DC-3 airplane on another black sand beach, Sólheimasandur.
We took one last picture of Reynisfjara and turned to walk back to the van, my pants still wet from being hit by a deadly sneaker wave. As walked back, we decided to stop at the café by the beach for hot cocoa. While waiting for our order, the hostess, a pretty Icelander who grew up on a nearby farm, confided with a wide grin at the questions she gets asked the most: “How far is the beach from here?” “Where is the beach?” We had a good laugh at the absurdity of the questions. You could literally see the beach from the window of the café.
Guided by Google, we pulled into a remote lot unsure what to do or where to go to find the plane wreckage. We saw people walking down a long black sand pathway leading to the water way off in the distance. We soon found out that to get to the plane wreckage we would need to trek 2.4-miles to it. As the light dwindled we deliberated the 4.8-mile hike, there and back, in the dark. “Let’s just go for it,” I eventually said. With slight trepidation, we put our heads down and hurried down the path, hoping there would be enough light for us to get a few good images of the plane wreckage.