We decided not to stay in hotels. For three nights my friend, Van Arde Pretorious, and I roamed Iceland. We slept when tired, in the car or on the ground, like animals.
“The wind drives you insane,” a waitress with dark eyes once told me.
Van Arde and I were at Lake M?vatn, an area where the Eurasian plate tears away from the North Atlantic, causing mud to boil and creating red pumice that’s ripped away by the wind when you throw it.
The wind rocked the car as we pulled off the road next to a peninsula dotted with moss covered craters. It was our last stop in a day spent staring at neon yellow sulfur deposits, swimming in steamy water belched up from the Earth’s stomach and trying to have full thoughts while the wind pulled them apart.
We stepped outside, the wind blaring off the lake.
“I’m just going to take some pictures. But I’ll walk if you want,” Van Arde said.
I didn’t move. The wind had won.
“We need to rest,” I said when we arrived in the northern town of Akureyri. We drove around looking for a soft patch of grass. The gate to the soccer field was open. Van Arde took out some blankets. I took out my sleeping bag and we lay down.
I looked up. Clouds came over and it drizzled for a moment. Then I slept. At midnight we woke up and continued on.