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Chapter 3 – 600 Seconds

„Since I’m travelling together with you I am truly getting around the world“, Kara said. „However, gradually I am losing interest in gazing into even further bottom holes.“

Ben and Kara had been on their way already since sunrise. They were wandering through Iceland’s barren landscape, looking for geysers. Ben believed that their goal was to be found in one of the water fountains. Many of them looked like small ponds that would spit water from time to time, but here, on a wide field of stones, there was a very special geyser. It had deep caves in which the water was staunching itself like in a subterranean lake. The hole was just broad enough to allow a person to rope down and search for the hidden colors. However, the pressure and water vapor in that cave was building up very quickly, which meant that Ben had only ten minutes to clumb down and return. That was the interval in which the geyser was shooting its hot water into the air. Since a few hours the shining of the compass was increasing. A good sign.


The sun was slowly setting while they covered the long way to the large geyser.

„Why are you actually coming with me?“, Ben asked. He looked around. The landscape wasn’t particularly beautiful, and because of the water vapor emerging from the geysers the surroundings were veiled in a haze that only allowed to vaguely perceive the colors of the sunset.

„I like it not to travel on my own. Do you prefer doing it alone?“

„No, of course not“, Ben said and gazed into the geyser’s deep hole.

Down in the dark something seemed to shine. It looked as if the colors of the sunset had dropped down there. They were shimmering in bright orange, yellow green and pink. Ben looked at his compass that was now beaming with full strength.

„We finally have it. We are at the right place here“, Ben said with relief.

He took a rope from his backpack and attached it to a large stone nearby.

„Please pay attention and keep an eye on the time!“

„What for?“, Kara wanted to know.

In this very moment a water fountain shot up into the air.

„Because from now on I have only ten minutes.“

Ben tied the rope around his hip and climbed down the steep cave wall. The deeper he climbed the more beautiful the colors bloomed, making him almost forget that soon boiling hot water would soar up again.

„You only have five minutes left“, Kara exclaimed when Ben reached the crystals that were embedded in the cliff. He held the compass against the stones.

„I have the colors.“

„Great. You have four more minutes.“

Ben climbed up the steep scarps, but he advanced only slowly. He would not make it in time, the hole was too far away.

All of a sudden somebody pulled his rope and helped him get to the top more quickly. Wheezily Ben reached the surface, only seconds before a further water column shot up into the air.

„You are really strong, Kara.“

„Thak you, but you don’t yet seem to know much about me.“

Late at night, when both were sleeping in their tents again, Kara got up quietly and set out for the geyser once again.



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