Day 2: Northbound
From West Iceland to the small fishing village, Husavik. This was a looong drive day with some rest stops and scenic viewpoint stops in between. It’s hard to be bored when there’s so much to look at. Valleys, salmon rivers, lava fields, mountains, fjords, and a lot of green. Icelandic horses and sheep are scattered throughout the green fields and mountain sides. Every now and then, the fearless sheep would just appear on the road. Driving through the Oxnadalsheidi mountain pass was pure eye candy.
We then arrived at Akureyri; Iceland’s capital. It was a short visit but we managed to explore a bit.
And a good way to end the long travel day; Godafoss, the waterfall of the Gods. Iceland is loaded with epic waterfalls.
Once we arrived in Husavik, I couldn’t help but notice this lupine flowered covered mountain (Husavikurfjall – 1584 ft) behind the hotel. After dinner, the challenge was accepted. I ascended up what seemed to be the hike trail. It was a zig-zag rugged trail and quickly disappeared 3/4 to the top. By the time I reached the ice, the slope became too steep; more than 45 degrees with nothing to prevent me from rolling down after a slip. It was one of those moments where it was wise to turn back. I later learned that I was quite far from the actual trail, a long and easy walk to the top. The mountain won this time.
Day 3: The North
At Husavik, we started the day by sailing a few miles south of the arctic circle for some whale watching. The whales didn’t jump out of the water or anything but did show a lot of fluke tail. An even greater sight was watching the puffin tornado consisting of thousands of puffins circling their own island.
Next stop, the Skutustadir pseudo craters near Lake Myvatn (Midge lake). It had to be quick stop since swarms of midges (small flies) ruled these lands.
Next stop, the Dimmuborgir (Dark cities) volcanic caves and lava formations. There are plenty of trails for getting around this lava world.
Instead of the well-known Blue Lagoon, we instead headed to the Myvatn geothermal nature baths which seemed to be less crowded. It’s not an ordinary heated pool. There is a thin invisible line between hot and boiling, so tread lightly. Also, you have to keep your hair out of the warm mineral water since it doesn’t wash away easily.
Without a tripod, there is only one way to take a group photo with the photographer included, the epic selfie.
I couldn’t accept the failure of the previous night. After discovering the actual trail, me and David (66-year-old from Singapore who is full of life) hiked to the Husavikurfjall summit together. We were victorious! That night, we stood on top of our observable world during the midnight sun getting like we climbed Everest our something. One small leap toward Mt Rainier.
TO BE CONTINUED…