From the north and
Diary 2, I now enters the eastern Iceland.|
6. It is a real sunny day, when I leave the hotel at six. I have a long drive ahead, towards the east - and sun, but I won't be speeding! I soon reach Road 85, which was recommended to me. It is nice, but at first; nothing special, and I wonder if N1 would have been more interesting - but police-infested.
Here are soft, green hills, mirror fjords,
scattered sheep and a lot of birds. The road follow the coast all
the way, and despite is seems quite fertile, here are hardly any
settlement. It is a bit like tundra, but I guess way warmer at
Then I reach the town of Ůˇrsh÷fn, but don't turn in, as it look like a industrial harbour. The road turn into gravel, and leads through some swampy meadows. Some of the bays are littered with white drift wood, which seems to have lost its value by now. I make a stroll along a stony beach with kelp and plastic. In other places, the vertical rocks reach way out into the sea.
Then I reach Vopnafjararhreppur, a little settlement around a harbour. Here start to grow some conifers on the slopes, but the grass and rocks still dominates. A sign show off to Drangsnes, and it turns out to be a real nice waterfall. The sun hit the spot, and I'm happy.
The road finally turns inland, and start to climb. I reach the barren rocks and snow at 400 metres, and the gravelroad continues upwards. I have passed through the clouds, and the bright sunshine make the scenery even more fantastic. This is why I drive Road 85! I struggle to get the car to move, when I stops upwards: No grit at all, with the worn-down tires. I reach the top at 645 metres, and soon faces a sea of clouds.
Down on the other side, it is real lush, and more and more bushes covers the ground. Then the road leads over yet another pass, this time only 615 metres high, but the plateau is covered in ice. When the descent starts, I can see a town in the button of a fjord, way down.
Before I reach it, there are just some more real nice waterfalls to be photographed. One is Gufufoss, and it is a classic, found in a horseshoe. Many other, higher but more narrow falls are found everywhere, and I start to have a bit of a pickle, telling them apart.
I reach the town in the fjord, and it is the beautiful Seyisfj÷rur. I park at the Blßa Kirkjan, and make a stroll all around town. It is located on both sides of the narrow fjord, and scattered with nice houses. And the warm sun, mirror fjord, the snow-coned mountains a deep blue sea and sky just add.
The road, leading down to the church is named Rainbow Street, and it sure is. Realising I got pictures enough - half an hour ago, I head on. I head up through the snow and ice once again, and have to stop once again for photos. Here are blue ice in some of the partly melted lakes, and it look se Greenland-like - I think.
I find the perfect spot for lunch, overlooking Mjˇifj÷rur, way down at another fjord. When I reach sea level - almost, the amount of trees raises. And it is trees, higher than 15 metres. And I even see lumber, stacked up along the road. I drive through forest for kilometres, and then reach my hotel for the night. Or rather; farm. I just make a mug of tea for now, and head on, into the forest of Hallormsstaaskˇgur.
I make a long walk between Birch, Aspen and Rowan, along with some conifers like Larches and Spruce. The stems reach 50 centimetres, the trees 15 or even 20 metres in height. The sun is strong, and I could have done without my skiing underwear! And I even left the jacket in the car. A big loop brings me down to Lagarfljˇt, which is a long and narrow lake.
It have been a long walk, and the sun only disappears, when I reach the car. My last sight of the day, is a short trail; Hengifoss Trail, and despite I walked quite a lot, I head for the 2*.2,5 km tour as well. A but unexpected, the parking lot is almost full. Usually, I only share it with one or two cars. And the trail might only be 2,5 kilometres, but it is heading steep upwards.
At least, I'm not the huffing and puffing fart, and I maintain a good speed, all the way up along the river. Several smaller rivers and creeks meet the bigger, most in waterfalls. I almost sweat, when I reach the Hengifoss waterfall, with its straight fall of 128 metres. The sun have gone for the day, and photos are real challenging. I do a loop around, and head back. I meet several familiar faces on the way down - but they are still on their way up, soaked in sweat.
Back at the hotel, I cook and work, till not that late for once. And planning tomorrow seems scary easy; two sights only??? Not sure exactly why? I better prepare something more.... Turns out, I might do something (crazy) instead: Road F910 up to Kßrahnj˙kar Hydropower Plant. And do the other sights the day after tomorrow, as I pass them anyway. Photos in Day 7.
7. The Yr.no forecast predicts 20-24C in the eastern Iceland the following days, and I skip the skiing-underwear. Even the highlands should receive 20C! I start early, but at the office. No sun in the lowlands at seven, but I head for the highlands.
Within long, I have penetrated the clouds, and get up, into the sunny highlands. At first, it is around 600 metres, the up to 800 metres. It is quite barren and real flat up here, but I find some of the familiar plants, just smaller, and a few new ones. Here are hardly any snow, which I had expected.
A sign show off to Laugarfell, and it turns out to be a real nice waterfall. Some of the basalt rocks have been given a layer of Ferro-oxide, and look a bit off. Despite here are rather barren, there are a few sheep, and a few swans and some geese. I can see the snow-covered mountains quite close, but there are no roads to them - why would there?
The road I'm following; 910 leads to the Kßrahnj˙kar Hydropower Plant, and it is sealed. But the rest of the surroundings seem totally unspoiled, and I enjoy the drive. I pass the pass, and on the other side, I find the Kßrahnj˙kar Hydropower Plant. Well, at least the dam, and it is huge, but without that much water by now.
On the other side, the river leads downhill, and in a massive crack. I could go back, but 910 - now F910, continues and connect to F907, way up north. It is through a real barren landscape, even without geese and swans. And I haven't met a car today. Well, it is only additional 60 kilometres, and a great sunshine up here at 600 metres height.
Here start to be a bit of snow, but the the road descents. It get even more barren and smooth, till I reach a edge. An ancient river have cut itself deep down, and the sides are green. Minor rivers joins in, crossing the road. I meet F907, and have only 30 kilometres of gravel road back.
It is in the lower parts, and quite green. The so pretty Moss Campion / Cushion Pink; Silene acaulis get a bit bigger, and are found in huge numbers, most defiantly my favourite Icelandic plant. I follow the big lake of Saenautavatn - real close, and eventually, I get out on Ring-road. Just before I enters, a sign states: Only 4*4. Would have been useful in the other end! I might have to dust-off the care, before I hand it back...
Before long, the large Rj˙kandafoss with its 139 metres drop is found right next to the road. Strangely enough, I have it all to myself. A but further down the road, I see an old sheep-house, build in the local rocks. And then some old turf houses; Hjararhaga are right next to the road. They are the last remaining of a larger settlement, and are still in use for the sheep.
A turquoise river make me stop, but the sun have vanished for now, and I head on towards Egilsstair. I try to find the town, but apparently, it is only a few modern shops along the Bonus, two gas-stations, and some domestically houses.
I head home to get some lunch and refill the tea-mug. Then I do a loop around the lake of Lagarfljˇt, which is roughly 40 kilometres long. I have driven some part of the way, but not in such a nice sunshine as now. The eastern shore is dominated by forest, where the western side is a mountain.
only see a few sights - besides from the many waterfalls. One is a
sheep-lucky-wheel, made in rocks. I have seen another one in wood. Quite big, and presumable to sort sheep
in. I make a stop at a cairn, and enjoy the sun.
Considering how hectic the next days in the east will be, I better start on Diary 4.