Sunday, December 4, 2016

Day 13 - Breakfast -> Check out -> East Fjords -> Dettifoss -> Selfoss -> Lunch Sandwiches -> Námaskarð Pass, where boiling mud pools -> Lake Mývatn -> Dimmuborgir, the "Dark Castles" -> Hverfjall Crater -> Pizza Dinner at Dalakofinn Laugum -> Check in Hótel Edda Stórutjarnir

No breakfast was provided by the apartment/hostel so we made our own with bread, eggs and hotdogs bought from the supermart .

After breakfast & checkout, we continued on road 1 through Almannaskarð tunnel to Lónsöræfi, a mountainous wilderness, ringed by extinct volcanoes and traversed by glacial rivers. Drove past towering mountains with bare rock faces that plunge almost vertically into the sea. Then we proceeded to the magnificent East Fjords, some are now deserted and each a world of its own. An interesting option in summer is taking a boat tour to Papey Island, near Djúpivogur, where thousands of puffins and other seabirds nest in summer. However, we did not do that route. It was a very tedious and long journey through the mountainous wilderness where no public restrooms were available. You either hold your bladder or do not drink water at all! At one point, I was thinking of using the huge bushes as restroom but it was cold! And so gave up that wild idea.

Enroute, spotted another anonymous waterfall.

Continuing towards Lake Mývatn on road 1, we drove through Hérað district and further across the empty vastness of the highland desert plateau Möðrudalsöræfi. Shortly after crossing the river Jökulsá á Fjöllum, we made a detour on 862 to Dettifoss, the largest waterfall in Europe. From the carpark, we had to walk about 10-15mins before reaching the fall.

Dettifoss, a waterfall in Vatnajökull National Park , is situated on the Jökulsá á Fjöllum river, which flows from the Vatnajökull glacier whose sediment-rich runoff colors the water a greyish white and collects water from a large area in Northeast Iceland. The falls are 100 metres (330 ft) wide and have a drop of 44 metres (144 ft) causing a massive, crashing spray down to the Jökulsárgljúfur canyon. It is the largest & ost powerful waterfall in Iceland in terms of volume discharge, having an average water flow of 193 m3/s. Visitors generally approach Dettifoss on the east side of the River Jökulsá where the road through Hólssandur is better.

Selfoss is a smaller waterfall a little way upstream with a drop of 10 m. There are easy paths from Dettifoss, which allow a pleasant 1 km walk.

Rainbows at Dettifoss

We were too lazy to walk to Selfoss which is another 15-20mins walk. Just took a photo of the selfoss waterfall from a distance.

Next was Namaskaro Pass where boiling sulphur mud pools and flashing colours merge with lava and ash from the Krafla volcanic system. The stench of rotten egg from the sulphuric mud and steam filled the air upon approach!

Situated on the north side of Iceland’s Lake Myvatn, this geothermal wonder of hot sulfuric mud springs and steam springs is otherworldly. Black rivers and bubbling pools of sulfuric mud cut through a landscape that’s rich with colorful minerals and is continuously steaming hot.

Next destination was Lake Mývatn. Enroute to Lake Mývatn.

Heated geothermal pool near Lake Mývatn.

Dimmuborgir, the "Dark Castles". Dimmuborgir, which means "dark forts" in Icelandic, is an area of volcanic arches, pillars, caves and bridges along the east shore. The black lava formations are the result of a 2000 year old lava flow, and numerous trails lead through the area.

Lake Mývatn is a shallow eutrophic lake situated in an area of active volcanism in the north of Iceland, not far from Krafla volcano. The lake and its surrounding wetlands have an exceptionally rich fauna of waterbirds, especially ducks. The lake was created by a large basaltic lava eruption 2300 years ago, and the surrounding landscape is dominated by volcanic landforms, including lava pillars and rootless vents (pseudocraters). The effluent river Laxá is known for its rich fishing for brown trout and Atlantic salmon.

The name "Mývatn" is derived from the vast numbers of midges that gather at the lake.

Hverfjall (Hverfell) Crater near Skútustaðir - Pseudocraters are distinctive landforms generated when a lava flow moves across ground containing either water or ice; the heat from the lava causes the water or ice to flash to steam, generating localized explosions through the lava.
This 2500 year old, nearly symmetrical tephra crater rises 463 meters high and is 1040 meters across. It is accessible via a trail that runs from Reykjahlíð to Dimmuborgir. Access to the bottom of the crater is not permitted in order to prevent erosion.

Lake Mývatn

Dinner was at a small cafe called Dalakofinn at the gas station. Ordered two large pizzas and mutton soup. Total cost was S$91.71. Did not take any pictures since it was the normal fare.
The night' accomodation was Hótel Edda Stórutjarnir, a hostel turned hotel duirng Summer holidays.
We had a twin room with bathroom and 2 twin rooms with shared facilities. The twin room with attached bath were in a different wing from the ones with shared facilities so it was a little inconvenient.
Hostel room - bed wwas quite comfortable.

Bedroom with attached bath


Room number

The hostel room

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