You don’t notice the rain when the Skogafoss waterfall is thundering behind you…..
A long journey to our final hotel and we have a choice of route. Our travel company suggest we drive the rough mountain track to Landmannalaugar, one of Iceland’s most scenic spots. But as we read about the route we have second thoughts:
“There is a fairly deep river to cross, which is best forded by taking a wide arc to the side, so avoiding a deep pool in the middle……There are several fords which are no problem in normal conditions but greater care is needed after heavy rainfall. NOTE: REMEMBER THAT YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY DAMAGE TO YOUR VEHICLE INCURRED DURING RIVER CROSSINGS, REGARDLESS OF WHAT INSURANCE COVER YOU HAVE”
I imagine you can guess what our response to this is. Landmanna-whatsit may well be one of Iceland’s jewels but the thought of our rental car bobbing along downstream is too much for us to contemplate. It is also a pretty grim day, raining, with poor visibility so the delights of the destination will be somewhat restricted anyway. So we decide to dispense with the prescribed route and follow Route One along the south coast. I’m positioned in my usual spot, in the back seat with maps and books spread everywhere, though I have an annoying habit of mentioning interesting sights after we’ve passed them.
I deliberate about whether to stop at Kirkjubaejarklaustur but can’t pronounce it so go to Vik instead. Vik apparently has a factory shop outlet. My shopping radar is on full alert but I’m very disappointed; it’s not exactly TK Maxx. We don’t stop very long and continue the journey by making up several rude limericks concerning a man from Vik!! A few terse exchanges between driver and navigator and soon we’re taking a small detour to the beach at Reynishverfi. The weather is quite atrocious, howling wind and rain, so we park at the black sand beach and the boys refuse to get out, preferring to eat their sandwiches and look out of the window. Mrs Action Woman however, still empowered from the glacier hike of yesterday, decides to brave the elements. A walk over the beach is rewarded by the sight of fantastic basalt rock formations and a colony of puffins. Of course husband and son think I’ve disappeared and have to come and find me but they agree it was worth getting out of the car for!
An afternoon of waterfalls follows. Skogafoss (pic above) is a magnificent sight and it’s positioned just off the main road . However there is a long steep footpath up the side of the waterfall to reach the top. We decide to climb it but heaven knows why as the view is much better from the bottom. Seljalandsfoss is next and its unique feature is you can easily walk behind it and experience the water tumbling down over your head. Of course I get soaked, look an absolute fright and therefore drive quickly onto Hotel Fludir, hoping for a hairdryer this time! Result! Wonder whether I should rename this blog “Around Iceland Without a Hairdryer”? It has a certain ring to it….