Monochromes Over Africa and the Andes

30th to 31st October 2015. Abu Dhabi to Sao Paulo to Santiago, Chile to Punta Arena and the Straits of Magellan (by air).

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This is the first of three posts of monochrome conversions from the Falklands and of the journey there.  This one is aerial shots from Abu Dhabi to the Falklands, part of my epic transfer from Antananariva.  There are colour versions of these images in earlier blog posts.  Following the three posts we journey to South Georgia.

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Abu Dhabi Control Tower.

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Abu Dhabi, Aerial Photography, Andes, Black and White, Chile, Falkland Islands, Glacier, Landscape, Monochrome, Mountains, Photography, Punta Arenas, Santiago, seascape, Travel

Probably Sudan or South Sudan.

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Abu Dhabi, Aerial Photography, Andes, Black and White, Chile, Falkland Islands, Glacier, Landscape, Monochrome, Mountains, Photography, Punta Arenas, Santiago, seascape, Travel

This image and the next two are probably near the coast of Gabon ot Congo Brazzaville.

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Abu Dhabi, Aerial Photography, Andes, Black and White, Chile, Falkland Islands, Glacier, Landscape, Monochrome, Mountains, Photography, Punta Arenas, Santiago, seascape, Travel

Descabezado Grande Volcano in the Maule region of Central Chile.

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Lanín, an ice-clad stratovolcano on the border of Chile and Argentina.

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Abu Dhabi, Aerial Photography, Andes, Black and White, Chile, Falkland Islands, Glacier, Landscape, Monochrome, Mountains, Photography, Punta Arenas, Santiago, seascape, Travel

Southern Chile.

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Abu Dhabi, Aerial Photography, Andes, Black and White, Chile, Falkland Islands, Glacier, Landscape, Monochrome, Mountains, Photography, Punta Arenas, Santiago, seascape, Travel

Southern Chile.

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Mount Fitzroy.

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Abu Dhabi, Aerial Photography, Andes, Black and White, Chile, Falkland Islands, Glacier, Landscape, Monochrome, Mountains, Photography, Punta Arenas, Santiago, seascape, Travel

Southern Patagonia Icefields and Glaciar Viedma leading to Lago Viedma.

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Somewhere just north of Punta Arenas.

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Choiseul Sound area, just south of Mount Pleasant Airfield.

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Abu Dhabi, Aerial Photography, Andes, Black and White, Chile, Falkland Islands, Glacier, Landscape, Monochrome, Mountains, Photography, Punta Arenas, Santiago, seascape, Travel

As above.

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Abu Dhabi, Aerial Photography, Andes, Black and White, Chile, Falkland Islands, Glacier, Landscape, Monochrome, Mountains, Photography, Punta Arenas, Santiago, seascape, Travel

In the plane from Mount Pleasant to Pebble Island.

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The barren highlands of East Falklands.

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Over the Andes

31st October 2015. Santiago, Chile to Punta Arena and the Straits of Magellan (by air).

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After a brief three-hour nap in a Santiago hotel close to the Airport, I resumed my 55-hour transfer from Antananrivo in Madagascar to the Falkland Islands. I am flying the length of the Andes and very fortunate in both the weather and in having a window seat on the left hand side of the plane.

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Santiago is in a bowl, surrounded by high mountains, which also makes it subject to pollution.  These are some of the mountains to the east of Santiago near dawn.

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Initially it was clear, apart from cloud on distant mountains.

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This volcano is Descabezado Grande in the Maule region of Central Chile, nearly 4,000 metres tall and about 200 km south of Santiago.  Descabezado means “headless” in Spanish, which refers to the flat top.

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This is Lanín, an ice-clad stratovolcano on the border of Chile and Argentina.  Lago Huechulafquen is the lake behind.  Lanín is the symbol of the Argentinian province of Nequén.

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This is probably somewhere in Aysen Province in Chilean Patagonia.  I can’t identify this location through Google Earth.  In general terms,  there’s a point going South on the coast of Chile where there is a mass of islands off the coast separated by channels (sounds?, fjords?).  This is on the mainland from there, looking east at the Andes.

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This and following images show mighty mountains peeking above the clouds.

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A very distinctive river delta here below the clouds.  I thought I might be able to identify it on Google Earth but no, the topography in the general area is much too convoluted.   Perhaps a flood may have changed it too since the last Google Earth photo.

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Aerial Photography, Andes, Chile, Glacier, Landscape, Mountains, Photography, Punta Arenas, Santiago, seascape, Travel .

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Aerial Photography, Andes, Chile, Glacier, Landscape, Mountains, Photography, Punta Arenas, Santiago, seascape, Travel

Perhaps Rio Baker in Captán Prat Province but that’s just a guess.

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OK.  I know where we are now. In the distance is Lago O’Higgins (Chilean half)/ Lago San Martin (Argentinian half), just north of where I went in Argentinian Patagonia in 2010.

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Lago O’Higgins/ Lago San Martin again, closer up.

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Here is the ice shelf just north of Mount Fitzroy.

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Aerial Photography, Andes, Chile, Glacier, Landscape, Mountains, Photography, Punta Arenas, Santiago, seascape, Travel

And here is Mount Fitzroy.  There are a couple of views from land in my 2010 trip in this post (and also the post before).

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Mount Fitzroy, again.

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Aerial Photography, Andes, Chile, Glacier, Landscape, Mountains, Photography, Punta Arenas, Santiago, seascape, Travel

Southerrn Patagonia Icefields and Glaciar Viedma leading to Lago Viedma.  There are some distant glimpses of the glacier in this 2010 post when I was staying at Estancia Helsingfors on the shores of Lago Viedma, and some of Mount Fitroy on the previous post.

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A closer view of Glaciar Viedma.

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Aerial Photography, Andes, Chile, Glacier, Landscape, Mountains, Photography, Punta Arenas, Santiago, seascape, Travel

By now, all the people seated on the right side of the plane had gotten up and stood in the aisle, admiring the spectacular views.

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On the left is Glaciar Upsala, flowing into Braza Upsala, an arm of Lago Argentina.

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This image and the next one are at branches further south of Lago Argentina.

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Aerial Photography, Andes, Chile, Glacier, Landscape, Mountains, Photography, Punta Arenas, Santiago, seascape, Travel

This image and the next one, both mysterious, are somewhere just north of Punta Arenas.

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Aerial Photography, Andes, Chile, Glacier, Landscape, Mountains, Photography, Punta Arenas, Santiago, seascape, Travel

A wreck, probably in the Straits of Magellen.

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Aerial Photography, Andes, Chile, Glacier, Landscape, Mountains, Photography, Punta Arenas, Santiago, seascape, Travel

Still in South America, somewhere between Punta Arenas and the Falklands, not sure exactly where.

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Skaftafell

Day 67. 4th September. Skaftafell to Laufskalavarda, South Iceland.

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Glacier, Iceland, Landscape, Laufskalavarda, Macro, Nature, Photography, Skaftafell, Skaftafellsjökull, Travel, Wilderness

This is ice and in fact a glacier – Skaftafellsjökull.  As is the way with glaciers, it can pick up all sorts of debris and thus not look clean.  They also may not be level places to walk on.

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Glacier, Iceland, Landscape, Laufskalavarda, Macro, Nature, Photography, Skaftafell, Skaftafellsjökull, Travel, Wilderness

Much of this post is at Skaftafell, but towards the end there are images from the plains below the glaciers.

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Skaftafellsjökull again.

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Glacier, Iceland, Landscape, Laufskalavarda, Macro, Nature, Photography, Skaftafell, Skaftafellsjökull, Travel, Wilderness6

This looks to me like a woman in a skirt with her knees up and only her legs visible above the water.  She must be cold.

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Glacier meltwater.

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Glacier, Iceland, Landscape, Laufskalavarda, Macro, Nature, Photography, Skaftafell, Skaftafellsjökull, Travel, Wildernessn

This is a rock ptarmigon, wandering around at my feet.  It would have been better to get down to ground level but I was carrying a pack at the time and by the time I got down he would have been gone.

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Glacier, Iceland, Landscape, Laufskalavarda, Macro, Nature, Photography, Skaftafell, Skaftafellsjökull, Travel, Wilderness

While it is an area on glaciers and grand landscapes, some of the things that caught my attention were the miniature landscapes on the ground.

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Glacier, Iceland, Landscape, Laufskalavarda, Macro, Nature, Photography, Skaftafell, Skaftafellsjökull, Travel, Wilderness .

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Glacier, Iceland, Landscape, Laufskalavarda, Macro, Nature, Photography, Skaftafell, Skaftafellsjökull, Travel, Wilderness

This is Skeiðarárjökull, much larger than Skaftafellsjökull, particularly known for its massive glacier outburst floods.

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This and following images are from the side of the road, travelling west from Skaftafell.

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Grass and moss on lava.

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We are now at Laufskálavarða, as shown on the map.  This is on Mýrdalssandur, a vast plain below Mýrdalsjökull, Iceland’s fourth largest glacier.  Underneath Mýrdalsjökull is Katla, Iceland’s most active volcano, which makes for some interesting geological events.  It has had more than twenty eruptions since 894 and may be due to go up soonish.  If it erupts it is likely to be much larger than the Eyjafjallajökull eruption of 2010.  That volcano is very close and all three known eruptions have been followed by eruptions of Katla.

According to tradition, there was a large farm on or near this site that was destroyed in the 894 eruption.  A natural lava cairn was then named Laufskálavarða, or Laufskála cairn, in memory of the farm.  Since perhaps that time, there has been a tradition that travellers should leave a rock on a cairn or make a cairn.  This is said to bring good luck for the journey.  Hence all the cairns.

Svínafell

Day 66. 3rd September. Jökulsárlón to Skaftafell including Svinafell, South Iceland.

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From Jökulsárlón I drove towards Skaftafell, which is the headquarters of Skaftafell National Park and the main focus for most people for exploring some of the glaciers that come down from the Vatnajökull ice cap.  This is Svínafellsjökull, a glacier up a brief side road at Svinafell, just before Skaftafell.

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Architecture, Glacier, Iceland, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Skaftafell, Skaftafellsjökull, Svínafellsjökull, Travel, Wilderness
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Distant people walking on the ice on Svínafellsjökull (glacier).

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This and the next four images are all from just in front of Svínafellsjökull.

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Svínafell is also the site of an historic farm, close to the glacier, that features in Njal’s Saga.  Commonly said to be the most impressive of the sagas, this is a complex tale of revenge that stretches over several generations.

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Towards the end of the saga, Njall’s sons kill their foster brother Hoskuldur.  Flosi Thordarson, uncle of Hoskuldar’s wife, who lives at Svínafell, assumes responsibility for revenge.  Ultimately, Njall and his sons die in their burning house (further to the west).

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Architecture, Glacier, Iceland, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Skaftafell, Skaftafellsjökull, Svínafellsjökull, Travel, Wilderness

You can find a summary of the saga in Wikipedia, or read the full saga online.  I also found a brief film of an earlier fragment of the saga.  The first 30 minutes is the film, the rest people discussing the saga.

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Ormur Ormsson (1241-1270) also lived at Svinafell and was the last Iceland chieftain to acknowledge Norwegian sovereignty.  He was later delegated as a commissioner of the Norwegian king in Iceland but drowned off the coast of Norway before he could take up the post.

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Now having walked back from Svínafellsjökull, this is looking to the next glacier, Skaftafellsjökull.

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While this, from the same place, must be Svínafellsjökull.

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This is nearly half an hour later.  I think this must be looking across the scoria plain towards the huge Skeiðarárjökull glacier.

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A farmhouse under a cliff and a waterfall.

I am retracing my steps here, going back along the road before turning back again for Skaftafell.   I had missed my intended stop at Hofsnes, where there is a potential tour to a wildlife area and coast, but there was nothing happening on that day anyway.

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Architecture, Glacier, Iceland, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Skaftafell, Skaftafellsjökull, Svínafellsjökull, Travel, Wilderness .

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Architecture, Glacier, Iceland, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Skaftafell, Skaftafellsjökull, Svínafellsjökull, Travel, Wilderness .

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Architecture, Glacier, Iceland, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Skaftafell, Skaftafellsjökull, Svínafellsjökull, Travel, Wilderness .

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Architecture, Glacier, Iceland, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Skaftafell, Skaftafellsjökull, Svínafellsjökull, Travel, Wilderness .

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Architecture, Glacier, Iceland, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Skaftafell, Skaftafellsjökull, Svínafellsjökull, Travel, Wilderness .

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Fjallsárlón

Day 65 to 66. 2nd to 3rd September. Fjallsárlón, South Iceland.

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Fjallsárlón, Fjallsjókull Glacier, Glacier, Icebergs, Iceland, Jökulsárlón, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Wilderness

I had decided to be at Fjallsárlón (glacial lake) for sunrise the next day.  So I decided to go there in the afternoon to ensure there was an overnight place for the campervan and no problems getting in and out.  This is the view across Fjallsárlón to Fjallsjökull glacier. (For location, see the map in the Hofn to Jökulsárlón post).

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Fjallsárlón, Fjallsjókull Glacier, Glacier, Icebergs, Iceland, Jökulsárlón, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Wildernesst

We saw a wide angle view of Fjallsjökull (glacier) in the previous image and this is clearly not that, so we must be looking across nearby Breiðsárlón (glacial lake) to Breiðamerkurjökull (glacier) (which empties into the Jökulsárlón lagoon).

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Fjallsárlón, Fjallsjókull Glacier, Glacier, Icebergs, Iceland, Jökulsárlón, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Wilderness

A distant view of a part of Fjallsjökull (glacier).

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Fjallsárlón, Fjallsjókull Glacier, Glacier, Icebergs, Iceland, Jökulsárlón, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Wilderness

This image and following:  various views of Fjallsárlón (glacial lake) and Fjallsjökull (glacier).

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Fjallsárlón, Fjallsjókull Glacier, Glacier, Icebergs, Iceland, Jökulsárlón, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Wilderness .

Fjallsárlón, Fjallsjókull Glacier, Glacier, Icebergs, Iceland, Jökulsárlón, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Wilderness .

Fjallsárlón, Fjallsjókull Glacier, Glacier, Icebergs, Iceland, Jökulsárlón, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Wilderness

It’s raining now.  There are a few traces of raindrops on the lens at the bottom of the image.

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Fjallsárlón, Fjallsjókull Glacier, Glacier, Icebergs, Iceland, Jökulsárlón, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Wilderness

And now it’s clear again.  A sudden five-minute weather change?  Well no, actually it is now nearly sixteen hours later, at the next morning and before the dawn.  Not much in the way of further comment required for following images, I think.

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Fjallsárlón, Fjallsjókull Glacier, Glacier, Icebergs, Iceland, Jökulsárlón, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Wilderness .

Fjallsárlón, Fjallsjókull Glacier, Glacier, Icebergs, Iceland, Jökulsárlón, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Wilderness .

Fjallsárlón, Fjallsjókull Glacier, Glacier, Icebergs, Iceland, Jökulsárlón, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Wilderness .

Fjallsárlón, Fjallsjókull Glacier, Glacier, Icebergs, Iceland, Jökulsárlón, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Wilderness .

Fjallsárlón, Fjallsjókull Glacier, Glacier, Icebergs, Iceland, Jökulsárlón, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Wilderness .

Fjallsárlón, Fjallsjókull Glacier, Glacier, Icebergs, Iceland, Jökulsárlón, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Wilderness .

Fjallsárlón, Fjallsjókull Glacier, Glacier, Icebergs, Iceland, Jökulsárlón, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Wilderness .

Fjallsárlón, Fjallsjókull Glacier, Glacier, Icebergs, Iceland, Jökulsárlón, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Wilderness .

Fjallsárlón, Fjallsjókull Glacier, Glacier, Icebergs, Iceland, Jökulsárlón, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Wilderness .

Fjallsárlón, Fjallsjókull Glacier, Glacier, Icebergs, Iceland, Jökulsárlón, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Wilderness .

Fjallsárlón, Fjallsjókull Glacier, Glacier, Icebergs, Iceland, Jökulsárlón, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Wilderness

Finally, a view from further out upon leaving.  I think I am halfway back to the main road.

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Jökulsárlón

Day 65. 2nd September. Jökulsárlón, South Iceland.

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Glacier, Icebergs, Iceland, Jökulsárlón, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Wilderness

These are images from a whole day at Jökulsárlón, where icebergs drift from a glacier through a lagoon to the nearby sea.  The first seven are at the lagoon.

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Glacier, Icebergs, Iceland, Jökulsárlón, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Wilderness

The glacier Breiδamerkurjökull looms above the lagoon.

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Glacier, Icebergs, Iceland, Jökulsárlón, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Wilderness .

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Glacier, Icebergs, Iceland, Jökulsárlón, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Wilderness .

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Glacier, Icebergs, Iceland, Jökulsárlón, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Wilderness4 .

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Glacier, Icebergs, Iceland, Jökulsárlón, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Wilderness .

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Glacier, Icebergs, Iceland, Jökulsárlón, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Wilderness .

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Glacier, Icebergs, Iceland, Jökulsárlón, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Wilderness

Now I have moved to the coast at the black sand beach near where the lagoon empties to the sea.

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Glacier, Icebergs, Iceland, Jökulsárlón, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Wilderness .

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Glacier, Icebergs, Iceland, Jökulsárlón, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Wilderness .

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Glacier, Icebergs, Iceland, Jökulsárlón, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Wilderness .

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Glacier, Icebergs, Iceland, Jökulsárlón, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Wilderness .

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Glacier, Icebergs, Iceland, Jökulsárlón, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Wilderness .

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Glacier, Icebergs, Iceland, Jökulsárlón, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Wilderness .

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Glacier, Icebergs, Iceland, Jökulsárlón, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Wilderness .

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Glacier, Icebergs, Iceland, Jökulsárlón, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Wilderness .

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Glacier, Icebergs, Iceland, Jökulsárlón, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Wilderness .

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Glacier, Icebergs, Iceland, Jökulsárlón, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Wilderness .

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Glacier, Icebergs, Iceland, Jökulsárlón, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Wilderness .

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Glacier, Icebergs, Iceland, Jökulsárlón, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Wilderness .

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Glacier, Icebergs, Iceland, Jökulsárlón, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Wilderness .

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Glacier, Icebergs, Iceland, Jökulsárlón, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Wilderness .

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Glacier, Icebergs, Iceland, Jökulsárlón, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Wilderness8 .

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Glacier, Icebergs, Iceland, Jökulsárlón, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Wilderness .

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Glacier, Icebergs, Iceland, Jökulsárlón, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Wilderness .

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Glacier, Icebergs, Iceland, Jökulsárlón, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Wilderness

For these last ones I am back again at the lagoon.

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Glacier, Icebergs, Iceland, Jökulsárlón, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Wilderness

These boats contain Martin Bailey’s group heading out to the edge of the glacier to find images.

I enquired at the booking office whether I could have a boat ride as well but I needed to have booked in advance..

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Glacier, Icebergs, Iceland, Jökulsárlón, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Wilderness .

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Glacier, Icebergs, Iceland, Jökulsárlón, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Wilderness .

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