There are days when you know you’re going to have a hard time seeing the Northern Lights. Last night was one of those nights.
Basically, we had been lucky to enjoy a week of quite strong solar activity, coupled with great clear skies. As far as the reading went, it seemed that last night was to have very little to no solar activity and very thick cloud covering.
We went out nevertheless and headed towards the South Coast, where the skies were supposed to be at least partially open towards midnight. We headed therefore south, crossing Hafnarfjörður and entered the Eastern part of the Suðurnes Peninsula.
The plan for tonight was to try to avoid the light pollution as much as possible and for that reason we entered the darkest place in the region, Kleifarvatn Lake. Interestingly enough, just the day before, my comrade from GuidetoIceland, Jórunn had written a short piece where he recommends the area to adventurous Northern Lights hunters. Well, I can definitely back his claims because as we stopped by the side of the road, the Northern Lights were there!
The Aurora wasn’t that bright at the beginning, it was only a thin stripe of light over the mountaintops but we could see it quite clearly, indeed, the skies were much much clearer than expected and the complete absence of light pollution helped us see it unfold before our eyes:
After a little while though, the Aurora began to fade, and the rather strong winds that reigned over the area made it hard for most to stay outside. We then decided to head North, besides the mountains and see if the Northern Lights would come back. We drove passed the mountain-pass and stopped a little bit before Hafnarfjörður, and when we stopped by the side of the road, the Aurora was actually even grander than at the Lake:
The Northern Light hovered over the skies for a little while and everyone was happy to realize that our new stop proved to be much warmer than at the Lake. After maybe half an hour the Aurora had almost completely disappeared and that’s when we drove to town.
All in all, I was very happy that, despite rather terrible forecast, we managed to beat the odds and see these elusive Northern Lights!