Alden Boon

Strokkur, Iceland: T Minus 8 Minutes to Splendour


Plumes of mist billow like smoke from fire, the rugged terrain swathed in brown resembling a village pillaged and raped. Silver streaks of water weave through the expanse hither and thither. This is Haukadalur, a geothermal field home to over 40 hot springs, mud pots and geysers. It is also where the famous Strokkur and Geysir lie.

Strokkur is perpetually ringed by hordes of visitors conspicuous in their colourful outfits. Their smartphones and cameras poised in mid-air, the visitors try to outsmart nature by timing the next eruption.  While Geysir is dormant and hence left abandoned, Strokkur is reliable. Eight to ten minutes, that is the clockwork interval.

The scalding water bubbles, like potion brewing in a witch’s cauldron. The ripples gain in intensity. A rumbling. This is it. The visitors ready their fingers and steady their devices. From the boiling mud pot a short spout of water never rising to its potential is ejected — a false alarm. The water ebbs and disappears into the mud pot. Sighs from dismayed visitors echo through the air.

And then, without warning, another eruption. Forceful and soaring up to 40 metres in height, the jet of scalding water gushes in an upward trajectory, its foamy white fleetingly blending with the clouds above. Cheers and peals of applause ring out. The geyser has given the spectators what they came for. A sulphuric tinge perfumes the air.

The visitors amble away as new ones replace them and stake their territories.


Alden Boon
Alden Boon is a Quarter-finalist in PAGE International Screenwriting Awards. When he's not busy writing, he pretends he is Gandalf.