From Mývatn to Ásbyrgi and further to Husavík
We arrived in Akureyri at 17:45, too late for the big yellow bag we had sent ahead. Monique arranged a room for Tobi and Annette and one for us at Gula Villan from the bus. We could even wash our laundry when we wouldn't tell anyone.
Akurayri, IcelandAkureyri, Iceland
Sunday August 8th - Day in Akureyri
Eaten at Strikið last night. It was again packed of course. We didn't manage to make a reservation in advance, we didn't need to when only with two or four persons they told us. The table distributing waiter told us that we had to wait for thirty to fourty minutes for a table and then fifteen minutes for the food. We fortunately managed to write our name on the reservation list, Monique 4x. We call ourselves Monique everywhere in Iceland. Is easily understood and remembered. Spend some time in Bláa Kannan, always a good place to be. Went back after fourty minutes, passed the long line standing in front of the entrance and got a table immediatly. I could not resist the lobster soup as starter and the lobster as main dish. Spend some nice moments socializing at the smoking patio. We went to bed almost immediatly when back in Gula Villan. It stays uncertain if we can stay one more day in the hostel.
Tobi and Annette were ready to take the bus to Mývatn, they will be there one day longer. Decided on a camping were we would meet again and they would make a phone call when they needed something we could buy for them in Akureyri. A lot of shops here are also open on Sundays. At eight I'm already drinking coffee in the main street. Retrieved the big yellow bag from the bus station. In the tourist information there was a man looking for discount. Apparently he knew somene who worked there but was still in bed, had a barbecue yesterday. Price for the requested trip here was almost as high, 70 euro, as he had found somewhere else, 65 pounds. He was hoping for a better price. 'Shall I call him awake then?'. Yes, that might be the best, allthough he didn't want to be cumbersome.
In the morning in Eymundsson, the bookstore, surfed the internet again. Connection sdidn't succeed initially but in the corner near the window was a switch with which the access point could be put off and on. If I would just do that it would probably be fine. She was right. Scanned all mail. A reply from Marrit again, a Dutch girl that lives in Iceland for a few years now. She works at Útivist, an Icelandic hiking organization and help us every year or with a few tips for our upcoming tour. Too bad that appointments never work out. Would like to see her in real. Talking about living in Iceland and Iceland in general. At work, no news it seemed.
Eymundsson: books, coffee and internet
We bought cooking gas and a new sleeping mat. Self-inflatable but also with down. Monique was slightly jealous, let's hope that it's really good.
We couldn't stay longer in the guesthouse, we had to move everything to the campsite, all other guesthouses we tried were completely booked. What do we have a lot of luggage if we don't pack a bit carefully. Camping looked very nice., supermarket was around the corner.At the reception Monique met Gerhard and Emma again. The first car gave them a hitch directly to the campsite. You just have to have trust is what I always think. They didn't know what they would do next. Stay here or continue to Mývatn
We asked for busschedules for Húsavík and Ásbyrgi and immediately made some inquieries about the cross country skiing opportunities in Iceland. They are not so big for people who prefere groomed trails , so it seems. I probably left the charger for the batteries for my camera the hotel in Reykjavík but it looked as if only the camera shops in Akureyri didn't open on Sunday.
Akureyri, IcelandAkureyri, Iceland
Monique arranged that we could leave a bag at the camping site. In Húsavík we probably stay for one evening so it seems a bit overdone to send our yellow bag over there. Parcel to Ásbyrgi was no problem. At the tourist info it was weighted and the would make sure that it got on the bus. Eymundsson is really special. Large bookstore were the have very good coffee as well but where everyone can connect to the internet as well. Sitting with your laptop and coffee just between the books. Too bad that you're not allowed to smoke there.
The very good sushi restaurant we visited last year, where we mainly ate other delicioes things, Rub 23 was now moved to the other side of the street. In the old house was a steakhouse now with the same name. The restaurant I wanted to visit so badly because one of the best chefs in Iceland, Fridrik Karlsson, the Fridrik V, cooked there, the Fridrik V, had unfortunately closed it's doors at the beginning of March already, six months ago. To little customers. A pitty but I think it saved us a lot of money. I read about him in an article about the great fish day in Dalvik.
There must be beautifull ice caves in the neighborhood, at least when one can believe the leaflets in the tourist info. Lofthellir or something like it. We must check where the are exactly, maybe we can fit them into our plans. We already lost a walking day but our plans are not very strict. We only have a reservation for Gula Villan the 18th and fly back to Reykjavík the next day.
Coffee in AkureyriAkureyri, Iceland
Today we saw a few nice but a few really ridiculous campers too. From Emma we learned that Pajero, the Mitsibushi, in spanish means 'people who masturbate'.
Funny cruise ship in Akureyri
Rub23 was not exactly the same as last year, they had made some concessions to the somewhat larger numbers. Portions were a lot bigger but personally I still prefer small but delicious. Chef of Fridrik V appeared to work everywhere in the country for a major hotel chain. Normally I do not dress special for a visit to a restaurant but on my light blue Crocs I didn't feel quite dressed for the occasion.
We already prepared the parcel for Ásbyrgi. German family was also on the campsite. They looked surprisingly happy. Day of rest in þverbrekknamúli had done them well, the path downhill scared them to death but from that moment everything was nice and beautiful. Exchanged email addresses and we told them at what campsite we would stay in Reykjahlíð.
Mon August 9th - Mývatn and Husavík
Bus would leave at eight hours but around six hours we were awake. New mattress was soft and warm. I'm curious how long it will stay, the now broken therm-a-rest lasted for more than 20 years. But for now it's a big improvement.
We left the big yellow bag left at the campsite, our backpacks at the tourist-info/busstation and had coffee from the 24-hours shop. Ready made sandwiches from the bakery that opened at eight.
Bus trip went much faster than we expected, at ten o'clock we arrived in Reykjahlíð. It seemed little changed. A motorized hang-glider buzzed in the air all the time but that could have happened last year as well. Staff in the restaurant Gamlibaerinn and the tourist-information seemed new, but that idea might be caused by my inability to remember faces too. We didn't see the very professional guy from the tourist office we met last year. Man at the reception of the campsite was very enthusiastic about the journey along Krafla and Eilífsvötn to Dettifoss. Good to walk and very beautiful. Why there is still no marked route as nearly everywhere is unclear. Maybe there was no need for a track here in the early days and do all the now marked routes originate from thore former ways. We only have to find out what's the best way to go and where we can find water.
We could buy a bottle of Brennivín in the restaurant but after a consultation of the boss by phone he wanted 18,000 kroner for it. That felt ridiculous and unfair. For that kind of money we could rent a car t and drive to Akureyri or Húsavík. At the campsite I found out that going to Húsavík by bus was another option. Bus would leave at 11:40 and return at 17:15. Being alone for some time felt attempting, Húsavík had always attracted me somehow, maybe I could find a solution for my almost empty batteries for my camera there and Tobi and Annette had some shoppings that needed to be done. Monique, Tobi and Annette would go horseback riding.
HúsavikHúsavik, Iceland
It was a very nice harbor village, especially with the now totally blue sky. Fourty minutes by minibus, partially over gravel roads. Nothern corrugated icon houses and high snowy mountains on the other side of the fjord. The man in the shop with all kinds of electronic divices couldn't help me with the battery despite all the telephone calls he make to find a charger somewhere in town. For an Icelandic town Húsavík is quite big. For us, just over two thousant people isn't that big but this town lookes very busy. Those kind of villages/ town (how is that decided) are alse a center for a very large area.
A somewhat bigger German lady at the terrace didn't go out whale-watching, she only had a half our stop in Húsavík. She made a ten days trip in Iceland. She got an impression and I obviously couldn't argue with that. The second lady I asked for it after see came sitting at my table didn't go whale-watching as well. Her stop lasted one hour and the tour fourteen days.
Monique has tilted
Back at the campsite it was too late for the early dinner. It would probably very busy between 18:30 and 20:3 in the restaurant. So we started with cocktails first made with lots of lime, rum, orange juice and of course and bit of sugar at the edge of the cup. And really stupid midges, they just flew in our eyes. After the horseback-riding Annette, Tobi and Monique were quite tired. The girl from Denmark that had guided them worked three months in Iceland. Five days with people on ponies, two days free and she got payed with a five-day horseback ride at the end.
Skyr, kind of yogurtCocktail bij de tent. Rum, limoensap, multivruchtensap en suiker.
According to the man from the reception it would be best to follow the jeep track to the North just West of Krafla to head eastwards to the northwestn tip of Eilífsvötn. There would be enough water and nice spots to camp. From there we could follow the north bank of the lake to Selfoss and Dettifoss. The hut south-east of the lake was nothing special.
In the restaurant we had the dish of the day and the salat of the day, plokfiskur and a kind of Greek salad. Why should a dish of the day have to change? You can have the same dish of the day every day. Girl from the Brennivín this afternoon had to laugh when she heard what I had to pay for it in Húsavík.
Tuesday August 10th - Mývatn to Krafla
It was a very good year for bleu berries
Early out of bed doesn't mean leaving early. A shower and a delicious breakfast. Coffee, tea, skyr, oranges, it was a real day off breakfast with shops nearby. Tobi had found the start of the route the day before already so we walked directly from the campsite to the path. Past the reception take the thirth terrace on the left. On the end over a small hill and you're there. Very well marked with yellow poles, entire walk actually, and clear signs at divisions. Lots of blueberries and more and more beautiful environment. Via a detour we arrived at the beginning of a very easy crossing through the large lava field Leirhnjukshraun. Looking around one could see that it could have been much more difficult. We arrived from a different direction as last year. Bizarre fresh looking black-purple lava streams over almost untouched lawns as if they flowed there the day before. It was unexpected but after all previous encounters we could have seen it coming, we met Gerhard and Emma again, surrounded by lava. Hitchhiked up and hitchhiking down again later.
Fresh lava from the Krafla Fires that lasted until 1984Fresh lava from the Krafla Fires that lasted until 1984Fresh lava fields near KraflaFresh lava fields near KraflaTunnels of lava near KraflaTunnels of lava near KraflaTunnels of lava near KraflaIn Iceland you see a lot of bizarre lavaLeihrnjukur, lava field near KraflaFresh lava from the Krafla Fires that lasted until 1984
It was quite busy at the parking at Leihrnjukur, it's a very special area of course. Toilets, water, nice lawn, just about everything to camp here. It would become quiet in the end we supposed. Propose to the other two later on we thought. Striking how often it smells like Christman with all this Icelandic moss.
?
Tobi and Annette were not as enthusiastic about our camping spot as we were, too many people. There were still at least twenty cars. They would be gone tonight but at what time would they be back tomorrow? But there were few alternatives nearby and all the water here, even warm, made it attractive again. Put up our tents and started cooking quickly. Fast starting didnt ment fast eating however. Even during our camping cooking can take a while. The new rum for the chocolate milk was an improvement.
Due to a lack of alternatives we camped just next to the car parkDue to a lack of alternatives we camped just next to the car park
Maybe we have to say goodbey tomorrow again. Tobi and Annette wanted to pass Krafla north and head directly eastward to walk from there to the north, idea from Dieter from Isafold.de. We tend more to the route of the man of the campsite but that includes eight kilometers of jeep track, not very attactive. But the man from the reception could probably compare the two routes, Dieter probably only knows the route he walked. North of Eilífsvötn should be a very pleasant walk again. Anyway, we can walk the first kilometer together and see how the jeep track looks then.
Wednesday August 11th - Rest day at Eilífsvötn
We were all up early this morning, long before the first cars around 8 - 8:30 hours arrived. Walked to Viti after breakfast. Parting was soon. Always weird, do we meet again, here, in Reykjavík or somewhere else. If it is as with Gerhard and Emma it will be OK, otherwise they will visit us in the Ooij or we come to Bielefeld, when we go lookinhg for a camper perhaps.
Viti near KraflaTobi and Annette
We take the easy route. Clear jeep track, occasionally on gravel, lava of course, usually on sand. Lava flows were clearly recognizable as a black river through the landscape. After about seven kilometers we decided a more direct route to Eilífsvötn, jeep track wandered too far away. Direct line to col between two tops of the Hágangnahali was easy. Occasionally jump from pimple to pimple, sometimes by the apparent paths between them. Descending from the pass was just planned but was also doing good. Along ran a 4 snow chickens with their mother a lot for us. Eilífsvötn was beautiful from above and to our west side we saw several streams. With the beautiful summer, many streams on the map only gravel beds. Arriving at the lake we were right at the perfect camping spot. Vanbovenaf Mannavík seemed the best place to stay, here we had a stream, lake and a very beautiful piece in a flat on kommetje.Of Mannavík also running water out there was the question. For the daily distances would not constitute much the first few miles along the northern edge of the lake, according to the GPS yet again jeep track so easy. So today, but walked three hours and fifteen minutes. Everyone here seems occasionally to take a day off, today we do just a little more rustdag.Als it was shallow, we might still be able to swim.
Vulcanisch activiteit wordt in de gaten gehoudenRoad from Krafla to the NorthWithout path you just go cross countryWalking ladyFamous grouseAlmost at EilífsvötnMooie vrouw
Swimming was a bit overdone, though splashing and washing our clothes good be done. A lake five kilometers long at it looked as if it was just for the two of us.We were wondering how the trip would have been for Tobi and Annette, who must have reached the other side of the lake by that time.
Eindelijk weer water, 2010 was een uitzonderlijk droog jaar in IJslandEilífsvötn
After washing we drank Isostar. Some find this old-fashioned, we are very enthusiastic. We had taken it for during the walks but never used it then so far. But afterwards you also get fit quickly and it drinks delicious.
Eilífsvötn, a five kilometers long lake, just for the two of usThis years most beautiful camping spot next to Eilífsvötn
We lie naked in the grass for the first time in Iceland. All alone, great tasting water, a whole afternoon and evening in front of us with a beautiful view over the lake. Tonight will be the night for apples in vanilla sauce. Because of the chaotic preparation of our holiday the food is a surprise every day. Tonight, tuna with samphire, seaweed and tarly and a Scandinavian s prawn soup as starter.Calculated for Monique that after tonight we only needed only about 132 grams of chocolate so that we could eat more than 250 grams.We thought that the all very accurately weighing saves us a lot on weight but we could also take some extra things so we could offer other people something to eat or drink. Last night we could offer Tobi and Annette some chocolate milk, a few days before we offered them the same but it turned out we did offer them something that we didn't have anymore. Back home we will copy Tobis insulating sleeve for the pan. Just from foam mattress and needle and thread. I always thought it would rip off, it already worked for him for several years. Hay box but easier.
Thursday August 12th - Day in the dessert
Again we woke up early, the sky was gray and the wind quite strong. Luckily we had put the tent in a sheltered bowl despite the nice weather of yesterday. Those hard biscuits for Monique again and porridge for me. Nowadays it says for children up to fifteen months on the package but maybe it's allowed for me because I started eating it before they made up that rule.
Dessert
Walk was a real dessert trip. Basically the same desssert as last year, just a bit more to the north. Big plains with almost no vegetation. We saw the yellow tent from the German couple from a distance. Not a very nice day for a rest day really but a nice spot. We walked along the nothern edge of the lake. Just below Eilífur we found the jeep track again. That took a wide circle around the rivers that flow to Mannavík. Just after the turn back south again, we headed cross country to the east. A lot of small hills and dry sand but nevertheless easy walking. No water again.
It
We saw the Jökulsá áFjöllum river from a distance but the canyon with the big falls a little downstream was kept totally hidden. Even very near we only saw dessert in front of us. Tobi told us the walk along the river above Selfoss should be very beautifull so we headed for a spot about one kilometer above Selfoss. In the distance was Herðubreið all the time. Not a bad idea of the Icelanders to vote for this mountain as being the most beautifull one on Iceland. Walking the shore of the river was beautifull indeed, every rapid was impressive.
Jökulsá á Fjöllum, a 35 kilometers long canyon in the North of Iceland
Then we arrived at Selfoss, the 'small' fall, what violence, what a water. Before Dettifoss we put up the tent. Location of the camping seemed a bit unclear but we it turned out we arrived there in a staight line. First a car park with a very smelly toilet building in which the water was not drinkable. According to a sign 200 meters further, 500 meters according to us, was the camp site. Nice bowl, not very green, mostly very dusty sand. Two big jerry cans on a kind of table with a funnel attached to it. Tea, Isostar, soup, thirts is gone quickly.
Selfoss, little smaller brother of Dettifoss
After all the drinks Dettifoss. That was even more impressive. More than 100 meters wide and 46 meters high. Vapor cloud that originated underneath came blown up again a few hundred meters further up the canyon. There were a lot of people, especially on the other side. Car park there was nearly full, a lot of touring cars. Dettifoss was so big that one hardly noticed though. Typically Iceland that except for the two car parks and the camp site there was nothing more. In the Netherlands there would have been a lot of terraces and shops as well.
Dettifoss, fall with the largest currentDettifoss, fall with the largest current
Back at the tent we had new neighbors. Tobi and Annette in their yellow turtle tent. The weather was not very rest day, very nice for walking though. Their journey yesterday pasted a little stream two times, their campsite at the hut seemed not so nice as what we had found.
Camp site at Dettifoss, jerrycans with water were filled from Vestudalus everydayCamp site at Dettifoss.
Tobi had made plokkfiskur from dried ingredients, delicious. For our trip next year I want to make instant plokfiskur.
After dinner another tour around Dettifoss and Selfoss, now without people on our side. On the camp site it had gotten more busy. Italian couple on the bike and a guy from Fairbanks, Alaska, whose dream it had always been travelling around Iceland. Hij had walked up the canyon from Ásbyrgi and was totally impressed. Only had dropped his cigarettes into the water so he was very happy he saw me smoking.
Fairbanks is situated approximately at the same latitude as Iceland, so he had experience with winters as they have in Ijsland. Weren't that bad according to him. Days are very short indeed but then the get longer again pretty quickly. Days can get longer by seven minutes or more a day. That makes it a bit more bearable.
Tobi told us to walk along the shore of the river above Selfoss but they had missed it. It turned out that they probably heard it from the guy we hoped to see in the tourist information in Reykjahlíð.
Camping turned out to be perfect for socializing. Monique is talking to four Germans, I talked to the guy from Fairbanks and our phones were usable again here so I heart that everything at home, with my mom and the rest of the family, was going well.
Friday August 13th - Canyon with blueberries
Eerste grote zij-canyon na de camping.First big side canyon after the camping siteMore bridges every yearOne of the many falls of StallaBizarre basalt blocksBizarre basalt blocksToch nog een riviertje doorwadenThere was one stream to be crossed, new traffic sign
It rained when we came out of our tent. We were a bit late, three tents had already left the camp site. It kept raining so we packed everything wet. We therefore decided to take the high route. On the path along the bottom of the canyon was a stretch secured with rope and some passages for those without vertigo. Park ranger didn't recommend this route for people with a big backpack, but it looked nice to us. But now everything was wet so we decided different. There was not much rain but when it's dry it is different. You can not sit around and rain gear is always too warm, how many vents you open. Canyon was quite impressive. Walls one hundred meters straight down, we also found an Icelandic Preikestolen, and saw lots of bizarre lava or basalt formations. In the afternoon the weather was fortunately much better. Still no sun but it was dry. We tried to stay as close to the canyon as posible. It became a lot less windy when we finally decended into the canyon. Canyon slowly filled with Icelands low forest and endless amounts of blueberries. Icelandic forests is always low but this got very low. We knew it was a very good year for blueberries we had never seen so many. with our attention to another couple strangely shaped rocks we missed the point where we had to wade Stalla, the small river to our left. Suddenly we discovered the route markings on the other side. Place to cross was not far back and it was an easy one. At least I didn't take my Crocs without reason, though I actually like them pretty well as camping sandals. Crossing was marked by a very cute sign that was totally new to us. Route was longer than the previous stage but a lot easier. Camping was great between steep walls and Icelandic forests. Girl in the information office told us the most beautifull routes for tomorrow and the day after. We get be busy around Asbyrki. First thing to find out there was if there was any water supply on our last stretch to Húsavík. If there is enough we planned to walk there in three days. For the camp site we had to pay 1900 crowns. Camping last night was for free despite the daily filling of the jerry cans they looked after from here. Besides Tobi and Annette, and our tent there were three other tents. One of a couple we had seen last night at the campsite at Dettifoss, one of a German family with a big car that toured around and a boy alone. There was a pickup truck with a camping unit on top.
In Iceland you find the most bizarre lavaIn Iceland you find the most bizarre lavaAlmost at VestudalurIcelandic forrestAlmost at VestudalurKarl og Kerling, man en vrouwCamp site in Vestudalur
Saturday August 14th - Easy to Ásbyrgi
Hljóðaklettar, echorotsen of beter: rotsen die lawaai maken.Hljóðaklettar, echorotsen of beter: rotsen die lawaai maken.Hljóðaklettar, echo rocks or better, noisy rocksHljóðaklettar, echorotsen of beter: rotsen die lawaai maken.IJslandse gastvrijheidThe church in Hljóðaklettar, John helps the worshiper that fell asleepThe church in HljóðaklettarHljóðaklettar, echo rocks or better, noisy rocksHljóðaklettar, echorotsen of beter: rotsen die lawaai maken.
We first looked at or better, walked through the echo cliffs. Very weird basalt formations that reflect sounds to all unexpected directions. Better translation of Hljóðaklettar would be noisy rocks but echo cliffs is a good alternative. Sound of the river always seemed to come from a different side. Walk between them takes a bit longer and is more up and down. From Vesturdalur just keep as close to the river as posible, it's certainly worth the effort. After Hljóðaklettar it's best to keep following the path close to the river too. Canyon there is again most impressive although you might become used to it after more than twenty kilometers. In Hvammssel, whatever it may be, the long path to Ásbyrgi is well signposted. We passed beautiful tundra vegitation and of course lots of blueberries again. Halfway there were some strange sandstone formations. Doesn't feel normal that anyone can just walk over them. But the sandstorms that must pass here regularly problably do them more harm. That's what made them like they are now.
Hljóðaklettar, echo rocks or better, noisy rocksRed mountainsRed mountainsHljóðaklettar, echo rocks or better, noisy rocksRed mountainsMiss op topHeather, blue berries and mini birchesBerkeboleetSandstone in Melar
We expected a turn to Ásbyrgi first but suddenly we were on top of the horseshoe-shaped cliffs that are so well known in Iceland. Standing on top and just in front of you the ground just drops 300 meters straigh down. Mini trees, mini cars, mini people, small lake, it's all too far away to be scared of. It's a pitty that even here there's a road. But in Iceland everyone seems to do everything by car so why make an exception here? There even seemed to be a festival area. One can imagine Björk or Sigur Rós performing, an act for Icelanders and the few tourists who just happened to be in the neighbourhood.
AsbyrgiKorhoenHelp everywhere when you need itOveral hulp als het nodig is
Almost at the camp site a little surprise. First some stairs along the almost vertical slope, then a rope. Rope does provide security and assistance but makes it scarier also. I wouldn't have done it without the rope but that would be different for someone without vertigo. We could see the camp site all the way and it was approaching quite fast. Rain was so little that a raincoat didn't look very important but one moment you are so wet that it doesn't make sense anymore.
From above the camp site was visible all the time, once down it was completely hidden behind small trees and bushes.
We put up our tent and went to the information center. They couldn't tell us much about the water situation on the route to Húsavík. In the cafe-petrol-station they couldn't help us too. Boy behind the bar was of Reykjavik, told it as if that explained everything. It became more weird when I tried to find out the ingredients for plokfiskur. All guests, it was quite busy at that moment, were not from Iceland. Boy behind the bar had never made it himself. Even in the kitchen nobody knew how to make it. I finally found three Icelandic people in the shop but even they didn't knew more than unions and fish. I had to tell them about the potatoes.
Icelandse schone
Beer in the shop was again water beer . But in the restaurant you could buy real beer. It should be drunk immediatly of course.
Petrol station Asbyrgi, as often the central pointPetrol station Asbyrgi, as often the central point
Back at the tent Monique phoned Svava for the plokfiskur recipe. White fish, potatoes, onion, white sauce, for us hollandaise sauce would be better she expected, cheese is allowed and plenty of grounded pepper. It appeared however that they didn't sell white fish in reasonable amounts. We could only buy a kilo. They sold dried fish but I wanted fresh to have a starting point when making the instant version at home.
Forgotten the charger but found an alternative
In the restaurant I was waiting for the charging of the batteries. The charger I borrowed was not exactly the right one but the voltages didn't differ much. I needed a thick coin between the charger and the battery however and a large standard normally holding postcards on top to ensure good contact. But it worked out, I can take pictures again.
We ate scallops, which you could buy in normal portions, some celery, a little withered, in crab soup from a can. Assortment of the shop was a bit unusual or vague and everything together. Coolers crammed and when I asked what kind of fish I found it turned out te be lamb. If you want to make sushi however, it's the place to be.
Sunday August 15th - Around Ásbyrgi and Fjöll
Again a very special day. Started with gravad lax, better than lamb, with cocktail sauce on toast from very thin dried rye bread. Started eating our food reserve as well so lots of cappuccinos. Dicided to make a short trip around Ásbyrgi to take the bus to the other side of the broad valley afterwards. We hope to camp somewhere near streaming water there to walk the old path over Tjörnes to Húsavík. We left our backpacks in the information center, had a coffee at the petrol station and made a lovely round trip through a real icelandic forrest. Full of blueberries of course.The environment changed halfway. First a beautiful last view over the canyon of the Jökulsá á Fjöllum then an easy descend in a much more open landscape overlooking the bridge over the river and the ocean.
Jökulsá á Fjöllum, a 35 kilometers long canyon in the North of Iceland
In the information center you can find everything about the origin of this strange area. Used their internet connection, I keep missing it when I'm on holiday. In the restaurant I bought a thirt beer for tonight and together we waited for the bus. One og the girls bihind the bar turned out to be German as well. Fell in love her and lives in Kópasker now. Worked in the school normally but in summer often in this petron station. Now it's very busy but in winter it's only open for two days a week. You learn a lot about yourself here, aspecially in winter, being on your own so much. Bus to the other side of the valey was 1000 kroner for the both of us. An other girl from behind the bar travelled the same distance.
Bus driver had heard of our walk tomorrow and told us he would pass the end of our trip around a quarter to five. If he would see us ther he would take us to Húsavík. It's a beautifull country. Girl was picked up by a man in a car. Turned out to be her father.The drove to the starting point of our walk tomorrow, it started at their farm actually, and offered us a lift. Two border collies in the back were left out the car before our destination. Gave them the opportunity to have a good run. One of the two seemed a little sick, she didnt make the fourty kilometers an our she normally does. The other one, however, seemed to have absolutely no trouble keeping up with the car.
A few kilometers before the house the border collies where let out
In summer, the girl worked six days a week at the petrol station. Father always had worked in the salmon and trout farming company in the bay but saw his family little because of this so he picked up farming just as his dad has done. He still didn't know what he preferred. Still in the car he took us to a small stream at the start of our trip tomorrow and a place where we could camp. We didn't have to walk a step ourselves. We talked a while about the financial crisis and the situation of Iceland nowadays and then we were left alone on a really beautiful spot beside the old farm of his parents that was falling apart slowly now.
Old farm of FjöllOld farm of FjöllFjöll
De aardige man die ons hier gebracht had heet Olí en kwam 's avonds nog even langs. Vertelde over de man die hier dood gevonden was in 1946, een vrouw, Helgi, die nog veel langer geleden verdwenen was bij Helguhóll, op weg naar haar geliefde en waarvan de nagelopen voetstappen van haar in de sneeuw opeens ophielden. Nooit meer iets van gehoord.Over een groot rond gat in de grond, hier nog geen tien kilometer vandaan, 120 meter doorsnede, 60 tot 70 meter diep, een viking die onthoofd moest worden van mensen in Noorwegen waardoor de baai hier nu Öxarfjörður heet en het warme water dat hier onder de grond door naar zee stroomt waardoor het kweken van de vis hier in de baai zo goed gaat. De lava van Krafla was bij de laatste uitbarsting zo dun en daardoor zo snel geweest dat je het rennend niet bij kon houden. Hij had gevlogen, gedoken maar niks had zoveel indruk gemaakt. Door erupties onder de gletschers in het zuiden heb je hier ongeveer eens in de honderd jaar een enorme vloedgolf door de vallei. In het infocentrum hadden we nog foto's gezien van de laatste.De keus om de bus te nemen was wel een goede geweest. Het was toch een wandeling van ruim 25 kilometer geweest en helemaal zonder water. The nice man who had brought us here is called Oli and he visited us again in the evening. Told about the man who was found dead in 1946, a woman, Helgi, who disappeared long before that at Helguhóll, on her way to her lover, whose followed footsteps in the snow suddenly stopped. Nobody ever saw her again. About a big round hole in the ground, less than ten kilomets from here. 120 Meters in diameter, 60 to 70 meters deep, a Viking who was deheaded on behalve of people from Norway, the reason why the bay here is callad Öxarfjörður now, the hot water that flows below the surface to the sea that makes farming of fish in this bay posible. The lava from the last eruption at Krafla was so thin and therefore so fast that you could not keep up with it while running. He had flown, dived but nothing had been so impressive. By eruptions under glaciers in the south they have big floots every one hundred years through the valley. In the information center we had seen pictures of the last one. De choice to take the bus was a good one. It was a walk of over twenty-five kilometers and completely without water.
Monday August 16th - Last day in the rain
According to Olí it would start raining around twelf so it would be best to leave early. It was already pretty gray when we came out of bed. I didn't have a very good night sleep and when I sleep restless Monique doesn't have a very good night as well, so it wasn't that early. All night I heard strange noices coming from the ground. Something between a squaking door and a deep sigh I thought everytime I heard it. Wouldn't be able to repeat it now, however.
Old road over Tjörness, from Fjöll to Húsavik
Looking for water in the tiny stream I met a trout. That a fish can swim that far. He or she had just enough space to turn.
Old road over Tjörness, from Fjöll to Húsavik
Rain came a bit earlier, actually right from the start around 9:30. Path was steap and quite heavy from the beginning so we were not very keen on putting on our rain gear. It was the last day finally. Comfortable marked route the description said, not a very accurate description in out opinion. Maybe because we walked it the other way around but this was heavy. And then to think that this was the main to Húsavík not that long ago for people carrying a lot more lugage than we did now. The route was marked but with yellow post lying on the ground. Not just an occasional one, most of them lay flat on the ground. It was as if someone had overthrown them deliberately. On top of the col we thought we would have an easy descend to a farm somewhere North of Húsavík but there we got lost. We fortunately knew the diraction but didn't find the path again but just before the end. Hobble through swampy fields with large clumbs. We were so soaked that the rain didn't matter anymore and we even waded the deaper streams with our walking boots. No fun walking like this. We had a rained out last day last year as well. As a romantic I always believe the mountain are mourning about our departure but maybe they just want to discourage us ever coming back. Changed all our clothes in a small shed before we hitched to Húsavík.
Old road over Tjörness, from Fjöll to HúsavikOld road over Tjörness, from Fjöll to HúsavikOld road over Tjörness, from Fjöll to Húsavik
We found a room in Vísir, kind of guest workers pension in a building that clearly had been an office before. Lovely spacious rooms, PC with internet, big kitchen with everything you need, washer and dryer. It belonged to the fish factory, was normally used by their Polish workers but the factory was closed until September.
Tuesday August 17th - Húsavík en Akureyri
Woke up early. Stayed in bed until eight, bakery would open then. And when the bakery opens the supermarket will be opening as well I thought. Proved to be a mistake. The big Samkaup would only open at nine, the smaller one in the center only at ten o'clock. So no boiled eggs for breakfast, just a croissant and bread with our own cream cheese with prawns and instant coffee. Weather was still bad so we dicided to visit two museums, the whale museum and the cultural center of Húsavík, have a nice lunch and then go to Akureyri. An extra day in Gula Villan was no problem.
Whale museum in HúsavikWhale museum in Húsavik
Whale Museum was beautiful, especially all the skeletons of several whales were impressive. Cultural Center had beautiful photos of Iceland from long and not so long ago an exhibition on the fisheries and the life of that time.
Húsavik, IcelandRestaurant in HúsavikPolar bear int the Cultural House in HúsavikScheep in the Cultural House of Húsavik
In de haven het binnenbrengen van de vis bekeken. Er wordt hier met de lijn gevist, lange einden vislijn vol met haken. Vangst leek voor een leek best goed. Grote kratten vol kabeljauw en zeewolf. Wel een bloederige toestand maar wat een mooie vis. Zelfde zeewolf gegeten in het restaurant . Kunnen ze die hier nu zo goed bakken of komt het door de versheid? Eten in Salka was weer fantastisch. Na het eerste nam ik zelfs een tweede gerecht. Monique was helemaal verbaast over m'n eetlust, ik had alleen maar honger, misschien toch wat in te halen. In het café-busstation gtote lol gehad met drie meisjes met nogal onverwachtte nationaliteiten. Een Tamilmeisje uit India, eentje uit Ghana en de derde uit Litouwen. Volgden in IJsland een opleiding milieubeheer van kuststreken.
Haven van HúsavikCod in HúsavikWij gaat zo zeewolf etenVis in HúsavikFish in Húsavik
Busreis naar Akureyri was voor ons tweeën 5600 kronen en duurde zo'n anderhalf uur. We bleken opeens in het tweede Gula Villan te zitten, ze hebben twee pensions, maar geen probleem, de eigenaresse en haar man pikten ons op met de auto en brachten ons erheen. Een ritje via de camping om onze daar achtergelaten tas weer op te halen. In de boekhandel internet weer afgestruind, alle foto's bekeken en boeken gesnuffeld. Het kantoor van Ferðarférlags Akureyrar bezocht om te vragen of we nog iets moesten betalen voor het kamperen bij de hutten langs de Kjölur (nee) en bij de BSO een taxi besproken die ons morgen naar het vliegveld zou brengen. Daarna in ons favoriete café tegenover, Bláa kannan, begonnen met het selecteren van de foto's.
Petrol station Húsavik