We were on another bus, rumbling past more moss and lava, the local FM radio station piddling from the speakers. The smell of sulphur sneaked through the windows as Paul McCartney and Michael Jackson argued over whose Girl she was. That tedious spoken-word part in the middle never fails to make me shudder.
PAUL: Michael, we’re not going to fight about this okay?
MICHAEL: Paul, I think I told you, I’m a lover, not a fighter.
SHAUNA: La la la! I don’t want to know!
PAUL: I’ve heard it all before, Michael. She told me that I’m her forever lover, you know, don’t you remember?
MICHAEL: Well, after loving me, she said she couldn’t love another.
PAUL: Is that what she said?
MICHAEL: Yes, she said it, you keep dreaming.
SHAUNA: Lisa Marie said it too, and look what happened there.
Then Hall and Oates warned that Private eyes! Are watching you! It was strangely comforting, knowing no matter which weird country you ended up in on this planet, FM radio would always have Islands In The Stream and announcers with fat ballsy voices.
Soon we arrived at the Blue Lagoon, which is basically a huge geothermal spa, full of white mud and all manner of healing minerals and algae. We stood at the edge shivering in our cozzies and looked across the milky aquamarine water, steam curling around our feet. The lagoon seemed plonked in the middle of nowhere, hugged by piles of lava rocks with dark hills beyond. Since it was only 10 am the place was near empty and eerily quiet. Oce we got in… heaven! The water was around 36°C and felt like liquid velvet. It’s an amazing sensation. Imagine floating on your back… eyes closed, water slurping at your ears, toes and fingertips licked by the cold air above, your mind dissolving in the steam… until your sister grabs your foot and muses, “If you were to fart in here, it really wouldn’t matter, would it? All that sulphur…”
We departed with wrinkly fingers and crappy hair for a Golden Circle sightseeing tour. This covers the most popular touristy spots – the honkin’ huge Gullfoss waterfall, great vomiting hot springs at Geyser, a volcano crater, and a bit of þingvellir. I usually avoid being herded around on a bus, but we had such a tiny amount of time and money. It was more than enough to make you hunger for more and wonder which bank to rob to finance a return visit.