Camping in a cave

After a long day of hiking and exploring waterfalls, we found our way to the abandoned plane on the southern coast of Iceland.

It was cold, wet and windy. It would be getting dark in a couple of hours and we needed a place to stay.

This would be our first night of camping, so we needed to find a good spot to set up the tent.

A couple of weeks before we flew out to Iceland, we had found out that my wife was pregnant. The doctor had OK’d us to fly and camp, but with the one restriction; no bathing in the hot-springs. So we had to take the blue lagoon off our list. Other than that we were good to go anywhere, but I was concerned about keeping my wife out of the elements at night and keeping her nice and warm.

We sat in the car with the heater on, the abandoned plane filling up our windscreen. My wife had just taken some epic pictures and we were feeling good.

“Where should we camp tonight?” My wife asked.

“Well, looking at this map and where we are now, perhaps we should make our way up into the hills over there and try and find a spot that will break up the wind.” I suggested.

My wife agreed and I put the car in gear, rolling gently away from the plane wreckage and along the bumpy trail back towards the main road.

We turned towards the mountains and began our assent up the long winding gravel road.

The visibility up there was maybe 20 feet at best. Thick fog had rolled in and I kept my eyes pealed as we slowly made our way around treacherous bends in the road. There were potholes to contend with, and a digger came barreling down the road at one point.

I had to switch gears constantly to keep the revs up as we climbed further up and around. It was easily the most skillful bit of driving I’d ever had to do.

As the fog cleared out a bit, and visibility was now a couple hundred feet, we descended a little ways into a valley of sorts. To our surprise we came across some little wooden huts.

Inside the main hut was a man in charge of this little campsite. I asked how much it would be to set up our tent. As I was paying him I asked where we could set up. “Anywhere you like.” He answered.

“What about in that cave over there?” I asked.

“Sure why not.” He replied.

So that’s what we did.

We literally set up our tent inside the middle of a small cave in the side of the mountains.

The setting was magnificent. Outside it was raining and foggy, but the mountains were breaking up the wind as I hoped they would. However, having this cave kept us warm and dry, which was an added bonus.

There was a little wooden walkway that crossed over a stream between the grass on one side and the cave on the other. This was bliss.

Not long after setting up camp, I was preparing our boil in bag dinners. As I was pouring in the hot water, a van arrived. Out jumped a young European bloke and with him he carried a plastic bag full of food.

There was a charcoal grill in the cave with us and he proceeded to light it up and start cooking his food. He seemed completely unfazed by us being there.

Shortly there after a group of Spanish people showed up, and they proceeded to have dinner together in the cave, beside us at another of the picnic tables that were in there.

By this point I had put two and two together. This cave was used for cooking and entertainment. I wish I had known that before we had set up camp. But at least it was still warm and dry.

As the evening went on and more wine was drunk by the Spaniards, they had a boom box going and were singing and dancing, talking and having a good old time. We didn’t mind much as we were busy studying our map and figuring out where to head the next day.

As the evening wore on and it got darker and darker outside, my wife politely asked how much longer they would be in there, as she was getting tired and was ready to sleep. They were very friendly and after a few more minutes, packed up the remainder of their food and drink and gaily headed off towards their cabins for the night.

After they had left we settled into out tent and tucked ourselves into our sleeping bags for the night. It was incredibly peaceful. Especially now that there was no more music.

We slept soundly that night, and when daylight broke I made my way out of the cave and across the little wooden bridge across the stream and towards the car.

Wow!

The clouds remained but the fog had subsided. My goodness this place was beautiful. What a wonderful little oasis in the middle of this rugged wilderness.

“Did you sleep well last night my love?” I asked my wife.

“Yes, I slept really well.” She replied.

“Wasn’t so bad in there after they left was it? I wasn’t expecting it to become a rave cave.”

“Haha! A rave cave, that’s funny.” My wife exclaimed.

“Come on sweet heart, come take a look at this.” I suggested, helping her out of the tent.

We took some pictures around us, and I cooked up some breakfast before we packed up the tent and loaded back up the car.

We drove out of the valley back towards the top of the mountains. Now that the fog had subsided, you could see for a couple of miles. Wow! This was amazing.

My wife got some stunning pictures and I realized just how wonky the road had been.

“You really are quite a skilled driver.” My wife commented.

I guess so, I thought. What a relief it was to have a cave to sleep in that night after all the bad weather that day!

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