Tuesday, August 01, 2006

The trip around Iceland, Mon 17th of July Day 1

Reykjavík - After buying loads of Fuji 100ASA Dia and Black & White films I took off towards east of Iceland around 09:49, Monday 17th of July. I was following the road number 1 (also called the ringroad) not much stopping because I have been in this area recently, Selfoss, Hella, Hvolsvöllur, Vik, Krikjubærarklaustur... First proper stop was in Skaftafell national park.
The second national park, Skaftafell., established in 1967 (400-500 square kilometres), contains some of the most precious natural pearls of the country. The rugged landscapes, mountains and glaciers, the flora and the fauna have a magnetic influence on the visitors.In 1984, it was increased in area (1736 square kilometres) including a considerable part of Glacier Vatnajokull. In November 2004 the area of the park was still increased to 4,807 square kilometres. It now comprises the Laki Area as well as about half of Euorpe's largest icecap, Vatnajokull. http://www.nat.is/travelguideeng/skaftafell.htm

I took a hike up to a waterfall called Svartifoss, the weather was cloudy but warm and when I arrived to the Svartifoss (black waterfall) the sun nicely shone through a thin layer of clouds giving a nice reflection of the waterfall to a stone pillars behind it. After the waterfall I walked up a hill where fantastic view over the flat, black sanded fields and the other side mountain tops covered with glacial ice. I found a beautiful spot with soft moss and I took a small break by laying on the moss and listening sounds of nature. When walking on the paths a little bird was guiding my way, it was walking front of me and sometimes it flew few meters and waited me. The bird was singing nicely to me and I was feeling good.

Next destination was Jökulsárlón where I have been once before in winter time and I was really eager to see it in summer time. When I arrived there the weather was cloudy and windy that the surface of the lagoon was disturbed and I took a hike towards west end of the lagoon where the water was still. Then I went to a sea shore where little icebergs were on the beach melting slowly by salty water and summer weather. Those icecubes were from the lagoon carried by a river from the lagoon. After exploring the beach I was ready to continue my journey but luckily I looked towards the laguun once again and it was completely still and the sun just popped out from clouds, and I curved back quicly. It was one of the most amazing sunsets what I have ever seeing, result: uncountable amount of pictures taken there.

Prior to 1950 the 1½ km long course of the glacial river Jokulsa was uninterrupted by any lagoon. Since then the glacier tongue has retreated and a lagoon, gradually increasing in area, was created. The average flow of the river is 250-300 m³/sec. and the edge of the glacier snout floats on the water. It calves into the lagoon and icebergs of different sizes can be seen aground and melting rather quickly. The lagoon is very deep, at least 190 metres. The river gets shorter and shorter, mainly because of the constant sea erosion, which eventually is going to destroy the bridge (built in 1967). The result will be a deep bay, which is going to grow longer the further the glacier snout retreats. The lagoon's surface has been lowered almost to sea level and sea water enters with the tides, increasing the water temperature. Salmon, capelin and herring enter the lagoon and the harbour seals follow the food. Eider ducks are very common on the lagoon. It is an unforgettable adventure to take a boat trip between the icebergs to admire the natural ice sculptures and the blue green colour of the ice. http://www.nat.is/travelguideeng/jokulsarlon.htm

It was preatty late when I continued driving towards Höfn in Hornafjörður. After finding a Petroleum Station, which was luckily still open, I filled up the tank and myself with sandwiches. I was trying to find a nice spot to put up a tent and when driving around I found a nice place by the sea and I went to explore it, suddenly I got extremely cold, the coldness went inside me and I started shaking almost like having an epileptic stroke. I went back into the car as soon as possible and I putted the heating on full plast. - It felt like something had tried to take me over, something evil.. After this insidence I desided that I am not going to stay in Hornafjörður by any means (i should call Mulder and Scully to investicate that). http://www.nat.is/travelguideeng/hofn.htm

Being confused and a bit scared after what have happened in Höfn I drove to Djúpivogur, which was nice and small (dubious) village and same time keeping an eye on for a nice spot to put up a tent. Just after "dubios" I found a light house, Karlsstaðaviti, that I tryed to capture onto a film but some nasty seagull like small birds were constantly attacking me so pictures are not too good from there.

Finally I found a nice beach spot to have rest at Kross or Krossgerði. I was too tired to put up the tent so I just took a sleeping bag as a cover and slept a couple of hours in the car. After the power nap I continued the trip.


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