Those are street-wise birds, after all.
If you follow a troll, you will find more trolls. You will also be on no set path.
If you follow a cairn, you will find more cairns. This is called pathfinding.
If you follow a human figure looking at a pile of trolls, you may or may not find a path, but you won’t be alone.
If you follow a cairn among trolls …
… or a troll cairn among lava bits…
But here’s the trick. Once you’ve wandered off like this, you have made a path. It’s what you find along the way that will guide you into getting back. As the sun goes down, you will be glad of these troll sheep guiding you home.
It matters not if they are ‘real’ or not. They are the path.
When the wind hits 33 metres per second at the Buðahraun, the only shelter is down among the dunes, but even there you have to put your back to it to make an image, as the sand driven into the snow hits you like a blast from a shotgun. It’s better to take that in the back.
So it is on December 21, the shortest day of the year, but far, far from the least powerful. Here (above) it is around noon, looking North. And 6 months earlier, on the longest day, around 10 pm…
That’s Snæfellsjökull, the volcano and glacier that makes all this magic here out in the middle of the Atlantic. That was our year: two trips through these spiritual lavas. I expected the contrast to be between light and darkness, but it wasn’t that. There was no contrast. There was just power, stronger than the seasons.