September 23 – Today was another big travel day, but not because of time.
THERE’S SO MUCH TO SEE!!!
We had a rough idea of what we were doing this day, but our mantra was (and remains, I think), let’s wing it and see where we end up!
It didn’t rain but was a bit misty, and soon we left our little camp behind and stopped for gas. There are a few areas where you need to make sure you have plenty of gas, but for the most part there’s a lot of places to stop, N1 being the most popular I think. One thing we quickly became aware of was that while the gas pumps are available and everywhere takes a credit/debit card, sometimes the shop isn’t open. Meaning no coffee. NO COFFEE. AHHHHH!
We started driving east and soon found a hotel with a small shop next to it. Unfortunately it wasn’t open yet, so we thought to go in and ask at hotel desk. The lobby was pretty nice, and we asked the gentleman at the desk “Where can we get coffee nearby?” He replied “Well, here you can!”
OH YES! Not only was he incredibly nice, but the coffee was very good! He gave us a tourist map and told us how to pronounce Mývatn (ME-vat I think!). Across the street were some walking trails with sheep (go figure) all over the place. There’s a lot of interesting things to see on the landscape, and it was a nice walk. Very peaceful, except one sheep on the hill that kept yelling 😀
We drove on from there to check out a hot spring nearby but it was closed until 11am. Oh well, off we went. We did stop and a hot spring that’s not used anymore due to cave-ins, but it was incredible. The water was soooo nice (we just stuck our hands in). I’ll recommend if you go to Iceland, take those little side trips, they’re almost always worth it. Look for this:
Soon we found ourselves at the actual springs… the springs that smell like rotten eggs. Okay, this is no joke. The area looks like the moon, is very barren, and has steam bellowing out everywhere. AND YOU ALMOST CAN’T BREATHE. It’s incredible to see, but we didn’t stay terribly long. We were on the road again!
We stopped a few other places of course, but definitely wanted to detour to Dettifoss. We walked around quite a bit here and took a lot of photos. The trails follow the river and I’m not exaggerating when I say how close to the cliffs they are. Like very, very close! This waterfall is the most powerful waterfall in Europe and well worth the side trip!
Off again, we continued toward our destination of Seyðisfjörður. As you come down the road into town, the winding road you’re on is the one Ben Stiller/Walter Mitty is skateboarding down in the movie. It was pretty moving for me actually. Ha! The road was moving for me… that’s funny.
We got into town and looked for where our camp was going to be. After doing a quick loop, we found it.. and kept driving. It wasn’t what we had in mind, so we drove by and heading down Ranagarta, east. Not long we found a parking lot and some one of the most beautiful spots thus far. There are old stone buildings and an amazing hiking trail right there! It’s unbelievable how beautiful this spot is, really. We hiked up the waterfall and did a bit of the trail, and then headed back down. We found a place to park and walked around the town a little. It was nice, and if not late in the day (and season I assume) there’s more to see and do. We got back to the car and decided to head to the camp we had passed earlier, but it was closed. I went into the office and there was a note to put the fee in and slide it under the door, so I did. We found a nice little spot and as it started to rain, drifted off to sleep. There’s a great little sign on a hill nearby, and it was pretty cool to see light up the night.