Iceland Part 5
This is the 5th and final instalment of my recent trip to Iceland. After traversing the interior using the Kjolur route and then taking a side trip into Askja it was a pleasure to be on mostly tarmac roads when we popped out of the highlands near the town of Egilsstadir. We were on the opposite side of the island from Keflavik airport and had around 750 km of driving to do to get there. With only 3 days remaining it was clear that the Eastern Fjords and the capital Rekjavik would have to wait for next time. One location that I really wanted to visit was Skaftafjell National Park, so we made haste. We stopped in small fishing town of Djupivogur. The weather had deteriorated and mist hung in the salty air. Come morning we pressed on, pausing in Hofn to purchase supplies and some souvenirs; itchy, tassled hats of Icelandic wool and bags of dried fish. The fish was very enjoyable once it had been accepted that it was dried fish and that it tasted like dried fish. Obviously it was revolting until this acceptance had been reached.
|Campground at Skaftafell, it had the feel of a large US national park with an extensive visitor centre and vast parking area.|
There is a huge amount of eroded material emanating from the various glaciers along the coast and it all ends up in the vast gravel plains that extend from the base of the hills to the sea. Google Earth provides a good sense of their scale.
|Some of the damage caused by the glacial floods (jokulhlaup) that accompanied the Ejafjallajokull eruption in 2010. The concrete pedestal used to support the bridge that lies twisted and almost perpendicular to its original path.|
|Rock formations near the black sand beach at Vik|
|Puffins near Vik|
|The Ejafjallajokull volcano is lurking in the cloud. The locals told us that the farmland in the area had benefited immensely from the volcanic ash deposited during the eruption|
|The Blue Lagoon, associated power plant and the nearby Northern Lights Inn. A soak in the Blue Lagoon was a fine way to end the trip.|
That's the end of the trip. I've yet to meet anyone who's been disappointed by Iceland and I am no exception. It's definitely a place I'll be back to, but will probably wait until I have a party that are all capable of multi-day backpacking trips. As I mentioned in the first post, with the notable exception of car hire, Iceland isn't overly expensive, at least to those of us already conditioned by life in Rip-off Britain. You can get a bus pretty much everywhere so next time I'd probably rely on public transport. Here's my list of activities I'd like to do when I return.
1. Tour the west, particularly Snaefellsjokull
2. Peak bagging in Kerlingarfjoll
3. The canyon walk to Dettifoss
4. Climb Mt Heroubreid
5. The classic 5 day Laugavegur trek
6. Get a proper vehicle and traverse the interior by the Askja route
7. See a volcano erupting