tiistai 27. elokuuta 2013

Walking from Hveravellir to Skógar (part III)

Days 7-10


Day 7.

I had been stupid thinking like Bilbo that the worst would be behind. We woke up in the stable. Wind had banged the door during the night waking me up every now and then. It had stopped raining and was chilly and windy morning. Clouds were speeding on the sky and we dragged our stuff outside to dry.

We were in better spirits than yesterday and started walking eagerly to the south, following marked vehicle track. The sun showed itself and the weather got immediately warmer. We saw arctic fox strolling in the distance and felt once again nice and relaxed. We were surprised that yesterday's exercise didn't bother our muscles.

Suddenly a dunlin appeared in front of us. It behaved strangely, ruffling its feathers and peeping pitifully. Then it flew few metres away from us and started again. Finally we saw the reason: three to four little chicks were hurrying away from us on the other side of the track. The mother tried to distract us while the little ones hid between shrubs. We also saw shy sheep and a curlew that was chased by two black skuas.

Walking along mountain ridge we saw Kerlingarfjöll, which had finally appeared from the clouds, towering in the north, Bláfell in the west and ahead some unknown hills. Hekla stood calmly on the left hand side. Its peak inside a cloud it was a majestic sight.

In the late afternoon it started to rain. We reached the ford in Fossá and waded through. Not so far down from the ford Fossá drops about 122 metres at Háifoss, the second tallest waterfall in Iceland. There were others at the waterfall too. Tourists in three cars stared at us in astonishment as we walked out of the fog completely wet, again.

Háifoss



The journey from the waterfall down to Hólaskógur hut lasted eternity. The hut was full of horseback riders, but we were lucky to fit in. Not everybody had been that lucky, though. The warden in the hut told us about the day before yesterday, when it had rained so much, that no-one had moved anywhere. A group had arrived in completely full Landmannalaugar, where everybody were sitting inside, and had to retrieve back to Hólaskógur.

We got a room of our own inside and got our stuff dry again. Since we were again running in schedule and it was predicted to rain the whole next day and the next day was my birthday, we decided to have a resting day in the hut. I think thanks to that, we were able to carry on our journey till the end, for it was close that we'd have finished our wet journey in Hólaskógur.

Blister
Walked distance: 20 km                                                                                Hut price: 4000 ISK each

Day 9.

The weather was most excellent when we left the hut in Hólaskógur. The sun was shining in the clear sky and the air was completely breezeless. We walked in a sweaty and hot weather towards Landmannalaugar and almost died in the attack of black flies. "Kesä ja kärpäset" ja erityisesti ne kärpäset!

Hekla
We walked through suffocating, hot ash fields, ran into fences and climbed over one hill to reach our next camping spot beside the lake Sauðleysuvatn. Originally we were supposed to stay beside Hrafnabjargavatn, but the soil wasn't good for tenting.


Hrafnabjargavatn

Sauðleysuvatn
Walked distance: 29 km

Day 10.

We left our mystic and misty camping site just in time before it was covered with white thick clouds. The way to Landmannalaugar was like walking in a dream. Bright green coloured hills had patches of silvery snow here and there and the whole landscape was just like it had jumped out of a painting. When walking towards these fells, we couldn't believe they were real.

Golden plover on a run

Sheep on a pasture

Horse riding tracks
Walking up, walking down, then descending into a valley engulfed by many meltwater brooks from a glacier. After jumping over running streams about a km and then walking across a lava field another km we were tired and happy to reach Landmannalaugar camping site.





It's not a very good camping ground. Just ever wet sand and stone. However, the place has a naturally hot pool and pretty good facilities let alone a "mountain mall" -van parked at the corner. We soaked in the hot pool for an hour after which I felt cleaner than ever before on our trip.

Walked distance: 20 km                                                                    Camping price: 1200 ISK each

To be continued...

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