18 August 2017
As you can see from some of the pictures in my earlier posts, the weather in Iceland is very unpredictable. Icelanders say that if you don’t like the weather, just wait five minutes and it will change. Today we were scheduled to go on a whale watching tour. When we woke up, the wind was howling, the temperatures had dropped and it was raining. While we all really wanted to see whales, the thought of being on a boat in such rough seas made us queasy, while we were still on dry land. We called the tour boat captain and they said that it would not be pleasurable in these weather conditions. They allowed us to change our trip to another day when the weather will hopefully be better.
This unexpectedly left us with a day to fill. My friends and I consulted guide books and websites and decided we would go to meet some Icelandic horses and go for a ride. (I must say, I was really looking forward to this!) It was quite chilly, rainy and drizzling, but nothing so severe that it would stop us from enjoying ourselves outdoors.
We arrived at the farm and I got to meet some of the horses, but the owners wouldn’t allow me to go out on the ride. It wouldn’t have been safe and they also didn’t have a helmet that would fit my rectangular head. Although I wasn’t entirely surprised, I did feel a bit disappointed. I would have loved to join my friends on their adventure.
Icelandic horses are shorter than other horses, but Paprika didn’t think so when she saw one up close. Paprika, Oregano, Cheerio and Chamomile don’t have any experience riding horses, but the guide said that they didn’t need any experience.
Oregano tucked me safely in the car and I took a nap in the dry car, while they went out for their ride in the wind and drizzle. After five minutes of being on a horse, I saw Paprika look longingly back at me sitting in the car. She looked very nervous. I waved cheerfully at her in what I hoped was an encouraging fashion.
After two hours of riding, my friends came back a bit muddy and damp and told me about the beautiful scenery and the peacefulness of the Icelandic countryside. They had ridden up and down hills, through a meadow with a river running alongside, past grazing sheep and had views of water falling from high up in the mountains. It sounded lovely. I wanted to see some pictures, but they were not allowed to take many pictures because they had to keep their hands on the reins of their horses.
Paprika declared that this was another once in a lifetime experience because she is never getting on another horse. I suspect she’ll be writing her own blog post about the experience. (And indeed she has – look here! “Hold Your Horses” by Paprika.)
Fingers crossed the weather improves and we can go on our whale watch tomorrow.