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 ICELAND           DIARY  5

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 From the southern part and Diary 4, I now enters the south-west.
11.
I'm ready to leave at seven, but I won't miss out on waffles and different, freshly baked bred this morning. Further more, I have only 350 kilometre to drive today, in-between five sights.
I am now meeting the more moist and colder weather of the western coast, but it clears up, when I head inland.

The first stint is long, and back the way I drown twice yesterday - but I won't speed! Then I reach the crater-lake of Keri­. The sun lack, and it is dark blue to me. I do a tour around on the edge, then climb to the button and edge of the water. Some of the volcanic rock is real red, and the recent rain might help. A nearby crater is dry, but filled with vegetation.

Further into the green mountains, I find the geysers of Geysir and Strokkur, the latter being active by now. The entire area is scattered with boiling ponds and steam. Pale creeks runs off, filled with debris from below. However, the water seems so clear.

Litli Geysir is a bobbling hole, around a meter in diameter, while Geysir, who gave name to the entire concept, is around twelve metres in diameter, but dormant at present time. Right next to it is Strokkur, which is real active. Every eight minutes or so, a 10-30 meter column of boiling water raises. But the timing is from 20 seconds to 20 minutes, and I looses patience, getting the perfect photo and video. At least, I got one of the real large eruptions. Some of the clear, but nearly boiling ponds have deep blue holes, but no bobbles at all.

A relative short, but real nice drive through grassland brings me to Gullfoss, which is a huge waterfall - or actually two. The river leads over a flat plane, but then cuts deep into the ground. I can't talk myself into the trail, leading close to the fall, as it is covered in water from the fall.

A bit out to the sea, the national park of Ůingvellir is found. It consist of numerous lakes and ponds and the tectonic plates dividing point. A set of huge rock-walls give way for a trail, and here is the Alpingi; parliament from 930 found. Well, I find a flag. As the sun have gone down here, I make only a few kilometres track, but I find a few new plants and Ůingvellir Church.

I make a 40 kilometre de-tour, just to see, if my raincoat is found where it left the car. It is not, and I head for my next hostel in Eyrarbakki. I have to share a 16 person dorm with one other traveller. I did think about trying the lava-flow at the Fagradalsfjall Volcano one of these evenings, but a live camera show dense fog in the area. Then again, it is only two hours of driving and a five kilometres walking up a volcano.

The camera didn't lie, the crater is covered in thick clouds. Further more, there have not been any flow recently, and the warmest, is just hand-warm - and stiff. I try to make a short-cut back to the car, cross-country. It is a rough area, but I eventually find, what I believe to be a tiny colony of the Heath Spotted-Orchid; Dactylorhiza maculata.  Right under their little shelf, I find pore-prints of an arctic fox. I'm home at ten, but still have the photos to process. Photos in Day 12.

12. It is a misty day at the coast, but I gamble, and head up the central cross-country road; F35. It is almost 100 kilometres back the familiar road, pass Geysir and Gullfoss, and I had expected some real wild mountains. However, it start with a lot of mellow grass fields, then raises to only 600 metres, and hardly any snow at all. The road soon turns into a F-gravelroad, but I continues, naughty me.

The weather clears a bit, letting the sun through from time to time, but the almost barren gravel and few small mountains only look real nice, when a blue river cuts trough. It seems like the only plant of any size, who can make it up here, are the lupines. Where they grow to 60 centimetres, the native flora hardly get to ten. I must admit; I had expected something wilder and higher.

I end up on the other side, where a larger light-blue lake is found. It is still kind of mellow, compared to what I saw in the north-eastern part of Iceland. I'm glad, I didn't rent a monster-truck to go here! I could go all the way around, but it is downhill from here, all the way to the north, and a long, familiar way back. Well, so is the other way, but not as long.

And then to something completely different; Reykjavik. It is a fairly big town, and it does have its share of fancy, modern buildings, along with some hideous concrete piles, but also an old town. I'll drive close to the latter, but free parking is not easy to find. I might have, but when I find a reasonable priced P-house, I shift the car to here.
I start with a fairly good but real expensive pizza, at a Syrian place.

It seems like I left the little sun up in the mountains, but at least, I also left the rain on the 400 meter high-plateau, on the way to here from Sellfoss. Despite it is summer, it seems quite dead in the city by now. It is not that unfamiliar in building style - but then again: The old part is Danish colonial buildings. Some of the new ones look more like Soviet-style.
What probably was wooden buildings way back, is now covered with aluminium plates, but still nicely painted.

The old town have not really the charm, I had expected, and I continues down to the port. Windy place with a lots of restaurants in the old warehouses. I head on to the pond; Tj÷rnin - not sure why? I figure Reykjavik is the place to look for a new raincoat, and do the surprisingly long, almost-pedestrian street. Quite some shops are closed, but here are tourists.

I do the entire street, and a loop op the the mighty lump of concrete; HallgrÝmskirkja. ("hal-" means half- and "grim" means ugly in Danish. I would say it is full ugly). I finally find a light raincoat, although it is expensive, and don't really fit me. Here are quite some souvenir shops, and I think the only thing, not made in China, is the magnet-lava - although they might get glued together in China.

I head for Grasagar­ur Botanical Garden, but it is just a little flower-park, although nicely maintained. They have a large greenhouse, completely filled with the cafÚ. The sun pops bye for a short while, but dark clouds are coming in fast, and I call it a day. But while I'm here, I might as well pass Fr˙ Lauga, which should be a farmer's market. It is a tiny shop with less vegetables, than an average small Danish discount supermarket.

Through quite some fog and rain, back to Eyrarbakki, pass the 400 metres height plateau. The slick tires are not mend for rain either! But at least, I got most of the dust washed off, now the car is only covered in insects.

The planned tour on the volcano is cancelled, due to heavy rain and strong winds. Well, I got office-work enough to entertain myself with in the evening. And planning the next days accordantly to Yr.no: Grey or rain? Photos in Day 13.

13. It is a slightly greyish morning, but I'll be driving quite some, before my first sight. On the way, I pass one of the thermal energy factories, producing a lot of steam. The sun is on and off all the time, showers come and go. The temperature won't pass 13C, and it seems like the summer is over in Iceland for now.

That won't stop me from exploring the waterfall of Glymur and the entire area. The shortest trail is 3,4 kilometres each way, but the sun is kind of consistent - like the wind, and I do several side-tracks. At the lower parts, it is through bushland, and real fertile. Higher up, it turns more barren.

It is a rough trail in many places, with head- and fist large rocks, crossing creeks and steep up and down. I'm the only one here, and if it wasn't for the few signs, I would have thought, I was lost.
It is a real beautiful area, consisting of pure wild nature, the rough trail - and some lupines. But I also find two species of orchids, along with other nice plants.

The trail not only passes the cave of Ůvottahellir, it actually leads right through it! I don't at first, but do a loop on a grass-covered plane. Back in the cave, I make photos out of each opening, wishing they get just half as good, as it actually look.

The main trail have more or less followed the larger river, and now it turns into a gorge. And after some time, a real deep crack! Seagulls are found on the sides and in the air, way down. The rain is catching up, and some great rainbows are found in the crack.

I do a few minor trails, clinging to edge of the mountain side. Then I have to cross the larger river, but a hard wire make it fairly easy, along with a log, reaching halfway. It is impossible to walk more than a few metres, without making a photo. Both at the walls, up the crack and back, down to the lower green parts.

Several waterfalls joins in, most in the deep shadow of the crack. Here are numerous viewing platforms with more than 200 metres vertical drop. The only "railing" is lose gravel. And a suddenly strong wind in the back....

Glymur is not alone, two other falls aliens it, and despite it is in the shadows, it look awesome. The rain and wind picks up, especially up here, and I sure appreciate the raincoat I bought yesterday - and brought here today. If it wasn't for the dark clouds approaching fast, I could spend a long time here. But it is a long way down, especially as the clay have been soaked, and is real slippery by now.

I can't help myself; I have to make some of the same photos, on the way back, when the clouds give way for some sun. I meet quite some people on the last bit, way down, and feel fine about I got it to myself in the morning.
It seems like the rain like the area too, and I head out to the coast, a bit further north.

I returns to Borgarnes, mainly because I forgot I was here earlier, and it is not that interesting. A bit to the south, another harbour town is found; Akranes. It is pretty much the same, and I turn around, out at the light-tower.
The day still have some hours left, but the weather at the sea-level is not good.

I seek into the mountains at the Reykjanesfˇlkvangur Reserve. It is so misty, slightly drizzling and real windy, and it turns out to be a rather short walk. The area is pretty mush the same all over. Big round deposit of lava, covered in mosses. And the hillsides covered in skiing tracks.

Although it is still a bit early in the afternoon, I don't continue to the other sights of the Golden Circle. I should be slightly better weather in the morning, and I will return.
Home in
Eyrarbakki, I finally make it to the beach - or what you call it. It is low tide, and the bladder-wrack is exposed, along with some rocks and a bit of black sand.
In the evening, I watch the live-feed from the volcano Geldingadalir near Fagradalsfjall, and it look great! 10 minutes later, I'm ready to drive, and it is completely covered in clouds. The forecast for tomorrow afternoon is better. I hope the volcano is up for it. Photos form the day in Day 14.

14. It is an intense day with little driving, but many sights. The weather should be good for the first part in the morning, and for the volcano in the afternoon - kind of good, that is.
I start at the hot springs; Selt˙n in KrřsuvÝk. They are hot and the air is filled with sulphur. Again, the soul is generally pale yellow, while the bobbling mud is almost black. Some holes are boiling, others just oozing a bit. I make way too many, just alike photos.

Next stop is a bit inland, where I find the lake of Kleifarvatn. It is a large crater lake, and nothing special, except from the surounding lava formations. Well, sun might have added a bit to the atmosphere...
The next sight is also a lake, but GrŠnavatn have a significantly blue colour. But with more sun...

A sigh show off to KrřsuvÝkurkirkja, and that must be the tiniest church I have seen. The sign is almost larger! It is almost black, have no tower and the windows are covered. It start to rain, and I head on, without too many photos.
This south-western corner have a lot of grassland, but not much settlement.

I'm on my way to KrřsuvÝkurberg bird cliffs, and find them at the seaside. They are not that intense, but quite easy to access. But to get photos, you have to get outside the robe... The old, rusty chain is further out - but not long enough. Here are quite some nesting seagulls, and perhaps other species. I do a larger loop in the area, but don't really find anything special.

I head further south-west, and reach the terminal energy area and the Blue Lagoon. But I'm not here to see the commercial dip-zone. I'm here for Blßa Lˇni­, the unspoiled and real strange place. It look so weird with the slightly moss-overgrown black lava rocks and the bluish milky water. I can't say, I'm eager to dip in that!
I reach the commercial part, and have a look inside. Don't feel like dipping there either. But here are actual some people.

I follow road 425 around the Reykjanes or Reykjaneskerfi­ peninsular, and stop at the light tower. It sit a bit inland, but gain height on a hill. Right out side, in the sea, is a bird-cliff-rock; Valahn˙kam÷l, almost white with guano.
Nearby, I find the hot springs of Gunnuhver - named after the which, who was buried here. A Dane build his house here, and used the heat to grow vegetables.

The ground is yellow with sulphur - the air thick with it. I guess he never experienced problems with fungus in his crops! Some old bridge or alike is being boiled. It is a bit windy, and the rain pick-up from time to time.
While I'm here, I might as well see Br˙ Milli Heimsßlfa; Bridge Between Continents. It cross the 10 meter riff, and I shift from the Eurasian to the North American continent, within seconds. Should have brought my car; It have only visited two continents so far (I have seen seven). The bridge as such, make no sense, but as art, it is fun. Here are several riffs in the area, but one must be the central one?

I head a but north, along the coast, and pass a more barren area. The lichen sits on the boulders like balls. I see
Hvalsneskirkja church, with the coloured tower. Then I reach the little harbour-town of Sandger­i, which have a yellow light tower, embedded in a warehouse on the harbour. And not really any more interesting sights, it seems.

Out on the corner, I find Su­urnesjabŠr, which actually have two light towers. The new one is quite impressive, the old one a cafe. Here are actually a bit of golden beach, popular among the Kelp.
That included the entire peninsular - and the good weather at the coast for today. I head back pass Grindavik, and get to the parking for the erupting volcano; Fagradalsfjall.

It actually look clear, but a bit windy, and I dress-up in everything I have. Another tour up the steep mountain, and I'm not alone. I have the weirdest Klondike-feeling - or is it Lemmings? Anyway, an almost unbroken like of people are huffing & puffing up the loose gavel, on one line of volcanoes.

At the top of the bigger one, the view to the erupting is quite good, and I experiences several outbreaks. A huge, boiling pot of rocks. It spills over and several lava rivers find their way down to the valley. Unfortunately, they are deposited on recent lava, and can be accessed closely. A few of us head further on, to get closer, and see the rivers.

As I watch them at the end of the line, at the edge of the freshly, but black lava, it starts to rain, and the wind picks up. I sit and shelter myself for a while, but it continues. I turn around, but avoid the peaks, walking cross-country in the valleys. The fog covers the peaks, and then the level I'm at. I just head straight up the wind, and eventually make it to the car. A great experience, and despite I'm soaked, I didn't get to freeze. Now I just have to figure; how to dry my cloth before packing for the flight in the morning?

I head into Reykjavik, and pay to park near the hostel, in the dead-centre of the old town and pedestrian street. I start cooking and proceeding photos in the empty common kitchen. The sun finally breaks through, but I remain Indore for now. I have seen the city. Actually, I have to figure what to do in the morning until two, when I hand in the car. It seems like I have seen everything I wanted to see, except a few remote sights, way out of a banned F-road. And the weather forecast is not really good. Photos of the day in Day 15.

15. It is grey and drizzling, and I have a hard time, talking myself into some serious outdoor activity. I pack the suitcase with the slightly damp cloths from yesterday, and head out to the coast, down south. That don't improve the weather at all, but I get to see the ice-factory and fishing boats in Ůorlßksh÷fn. And then I can't even find a village of peninsular within reach, I haven't seen already.

Well another tour around the Reykjaneskerfi­ peninsular is always nice, and I did pars a few sight yesterday. The first sign is to Strandarkirkja, which is found real close to the beach. Nice little church, and I can even see it inside. I do a short stroll on the windy beach, but fail to find anything interesting, except a single plant.

I follow the beach-road - as it is the only one here. Inland are some interesting lava formations, overgrown with mosses. In other places, it is almost clay, but still volcano deposit. The grass desperately try to get a hold, but it erodes, forming strange formations.

HerdÝsarvÝk is just a real remote hut, close to the sea. But it was the home of the celebrated Icelandic poet; Einar Benediktsom. It is a nice lush area, and I find some real nice orchids among other plants.

The next sign show off to Selatangar; apparently where a fishing station was found from the Middle ages unto 1884. I fail to find any remains, but the walk to the rough sea. A few new plants and a sea urchin, which was alive quite recently. Some strange lava formations and the most scary arctic fox I get to see - and the only one too.

I return the car - no remarks, although I have driven 6370 kilometres. Several minutes to spare at the airport, before I was suspected to be her. Spend the last Icelandic Kronor on Latte, and update diaries. Photos of the short day in Day 16.

It have been a great tour, especially as I was so lucky with the weather. I have driven 6370 kilometres, and spend 50% more money than expected (late change of flight, car insurance and speeding ticket). The late re-schedule of the flight, speeding ticket and car insurance explains it.
I have only taken 3576 photos, less than usually, but still some good ones in-between.
 

 

BUDGET DKK Euro
Flight 4998 669,9732
Car 4258 570,7775

Car insur.

3019 404,6917
Gasoline 4216 565,1475
Tunnel 231 30,96515
Speeding 1928 258,445
Tickets +P 343 45,97855
Food 635 85,12064
Hotels 4176 559,7855
Things 504 67,56032
TOTAL: 24308 3258,445
Estimated:  16300 2184,987
Usually +/- 10%. Now:

+49%

PHOTO HIGHLIGHTS OF ICELAND

Photos   Map & Plan   Diary 1  2  3  4  5