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Day Eight - Sea Tour, Urchins, and Even Some Puffins

I was having breakfast with a couple from Switzerland and another from Toronto, when Erna came over to help me finally find some Puffins. She had two options for me. One that would require a couple days and provide excellent exposure to a Puffin colony, or another which was nearby, but I wouldn't get as close to the birds. Unfortunately, I had the remaining days booked fairly tight, so I had to settle for option 2.

I drove out to Stykkishólmur, which was a fairly short drive, and booked a boat ride out to see some sea life. It was a fairly large boat with lots of room and not too many people -- a big plus. Out on the sea it was very cold and windy, but the view was absolutely fantastic. Less than 30 minutes in we saw, you guessed it, Puffins! Finally! Many, in fact. They were flying and swimming and some were resting on island cliffs. There were a wide variety of other birds, as well, including a family of Eagles.

About halfway through the ride, they slowed the boat and cast a large net overboard. After dragging the sea floor for a while, they pulled up a large batch of scallops, urchins, starfish, and crabs, as well as a few other odd items. They split open the scallops and urchins and gave us a fresh snack, along with some white wine we could purchase. The scallops were very good. The urchins, once opened, had a sort of gooey orange material inside that wasn't the tastiest thing in the world. I could have done without those.

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Dragging the Ocean Floor
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A Sea Snack
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Luck was with me this day as a very heavy rain began just as we hit land. The boat ride was cold enough, without a severe rain storm added to it. Still, it would make my very long drive down to Flúðir even longer. And long it was. Particularly since the map I was using seemed to be a bit out of date, adding a few wrong turns to the windy and rainy trek. Flúðir is all the way down to the East of Reykjavik, a drive that took all day and was exhausting.

Out of all the places I stayed in Iceland, Hotel Flúðir was easily the most disappointing. The person at the front desk was a bit antagonistic when I checked in. They essentially have the only restaurant in the area and the prices very much reflect that monopoly. And while the room was fine, it was very much overpriced, as well. I would not stay there again if I find myself in the area another time.

Day Nine

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