Sunday, December 4, 2016

Day 15 - Breakfast -> Icelandic Seal Center at Hvammstangi town -> Hraunfossar and Barnafossar Waterfalls -> Deildartunguhver hot spring

Again, the morning breakfast was uneventful and after checkout, we drove towards Blönduós to the Icelandic Seal Center at Hvammstangi town.
It is a research and exhibition center, investigating the lives of seals, found in and around Iceland.

Icelandic Seal Center at Hvammstangi

Around Vatnsnes peninsula, there is an unique opportunity to watch both harbour seals and grey seals in their natural habitat.
The main watching locations are Svalbarð and at Illugastaðir on the west coast and at Ósar on the east coast.
It is usually best to see the seals at low tide, since seals usually rest ashore during low tide. We attempted to drive to Svalbarð
but caught no sights of any seals at all, probably due to high tide by the time we arrived, much to our disappointment.

Then we were back on the road again. After driving road 1 across fertile farmlands of Húnavatnssýsla District and along the shores of
Hrútafjörður Fjord, we crossed Holtavörðuheiði Heath to the Borgarfjörður district. Took 518 which brought us to the beautiful Hraunfossar
and Barnafossar Waterfalls.

Hraunfossar (Borgarfjörður, western Iceland) is a series of waterfalls formed by rivulets streaming over a distance of about 900 metres
out of the Hallmundarhraun, a lava field which flowed from an eruption of one of the volcanoes lying under the glacier Langjökull.
The waterfalls pour into the Hvítá river from ledges of less porous rock in the lava. The name hraun comes from the Icelandic word
for lava. The Hraunfossar are situated near Húsafell and Reykholt and lava-tube cave Víðgelmir is close by. The falls here are gentle
cascades of bright, turquoise water, emerging from under the moss-covered lava to tumble down a series of rock steps into the river.

Literally a stone's throw upstream from Hraunfossar is another waterfall called Barnafoss. Its name, the waterfall of the children,
comes from an accident which is said to have taken place here previously. A modern footbridge now affords an excellent view of the water
churning violently as it channels through the ravine below.

Next stop was Deildartunguhver, the largest highest-flow hot spring in Europe.

Deildartunguhver is located in Reykholtsdalur. It is characterized by a very high flow rate for a hot spring (180 liters/second) and
water emerges at 97 °C. It is the highest-flow hot spring in Europe.

Some of the water is used for heating, being piped 34 kilometers to Borgarnes and 64 kilometers to Akranes.

Car Park

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