Sub zero scuba diving and meeting the volunteers!

The alarm clock of the church bells woke me before my alarm but good to be properly awake! Supposed to have a hearty breakfast before scuba diving, I only have toast in my pantry! Ah well, good diet. Wait outside and get picked up on time, that’s a bonus! I’ve heard Icelanders change plans depending on weather. Nice couple in charge from Denmark. Young and married but happy in their travels. Get some handy tips on where to go to see northern lights cheaply! Tell me there’s some killer whales in a bay a bit of a drive away. The roads on way to lake are open to the elements and it’s beautiful watching the wind blow snow in patterns across them as we drive through the fields. Sunrise over the mountains too. Gorgeous. They explain we are diving in a lake between the two tectonic plates. I’m so excited. Always wanted to see it. The only place in the world where the plates are above the surface. We meet other divers at visitor centre, kiwis and French. 2 more divers and 3 snorkelers. Head on to lake and have briefing by stairs to entrance. We have the man as dive master. Nice eyes! Now for the dry suits, cosy surprisingly. Thermals plus a thermal puffa onsie, extra socks then the dry suit. Gloves are like pincers. They will get wet! Otherwise Toasty. We all look a real treat. One of the snorkelers heading to get a picture falls arse over, god help me if I do that with scuba gear on. No need to do buddy checks etc as instructors get everything ready for us, too cold to faff around. Now for the 5 min ice walk to the entrance. It’s pretty much march onwards ignore all others, look after yourself. French woman is diving and she’s on a mission to get diving. When we get to steps she’s like ‘what are we waiting for?’ Erm doh ‘the instructors’ you idiot!!
Who goes in first? Oh yes French idiot. Kept trying to do her own thing? Moaning her lips are cold, well it’s -4 out if water and 2 in what did she expect!!! I don’t find it too cold but need more weights to sink. Am I too fat or too light?? The dry suit is a pain for buoyancy up and down and up again. Can’t look around half the time as I’m too busy inflating or deflating! Mmmmhhhh!!
Rock formations fascinating, big crack going 28m down, lava looking formations. Love it. After 30 min start to get cold. Single finger is frozen straight! Near the end anyway so try and enjoy the scenery. As we get out I hold on to the railings. After a few seconds I’m stuck. Oops. Blood on my face from mask and compression, attractive. Get out and am shivering and walk is twice as long back. Just get on with it! Trudge back but hand is now very painful. Sit in van, get pack off and then the tears of pain start! The two instructors try and help me but ultimately I’m a blithering wreck and need to sort myself out. Hot chocolate helps and after half hour can feel my hands again. It was amazing but not sure ill do it again.
On way back fully wrapped up still and instructors are in t shirts?
Hot bath at guest house, except its so hot I can’t get in and burn my skin! No cold water from tap available? So I use sink to transfer 30 glasses of cold which across the bloody bathroom but naked! But it helps! Not relaxing though, what a palaver! Go to pay for room and lucky I ask her to check as paid about £30 to much. Lovely lady and would recommend the apartment.
Head on to hostel, get lost, case is heavy, ice everywhere, have to ask a local dog walker for directions. Very friendly though. I get there as last group are leaving. Tiny for 12 people! Get a bed and start chatting to the other volunteers. So I’ll introduce you to them. From South Korea quiet wifi and chatty wifi. From Poland pixie, from Switzerland legless, from Russia reindeer (her name is that of one if santas reindeer), from South Africa tiny oprah. Then our four leaders. From Belarus weasley, Ukraine dancer, Portugal ivana humpalot and Spanish duck face (notting hill fans will know what this means). At first not all were at the hostel but myself, duck face, reindeer and chatty wifi. After 10 mins chatty wifi was having internet withdrawal symptoms so we all headed to local hostel that has wifi. I was done after 10 mins just surfing for the sake of it. Chatty wifi just breathes internet. Her phone is a small tablet. Doesn’t fit in your pocket. Apparently the norm in South Korea! We drag her away and meet the others. First evening I offer to cook, why I have no idea as I’m no expert!! Better than cleaning toilet! No food in though just fruit and veg! Salad with new potatoes it is then!
We play cards, I brought vintage British games so I teach them snap and old maid. Good fun, lots of laughing. Recycling day tomorrow! Although not sure how much volunteering we are doing, seems more like information to digest!
I’m in a room with tiny who’s out partying, foghorn and legless who are a couple and in bed asleep early. We’ll see how comfy the bed is!

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