Road F35, Iceland
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Our way from Myvatn on the ring-road until the turnoff to F35 would have been unspectacular, aside from the “usual” waterfalls along the route. But, we managed to meet a DHL colleague, circling Iceland the other way around, just in oncoming traffic and briefly stopped along the road for some exchange on tips and tricks – and of course to say hello *smiley smiling*
However, the title of this post promises more, right? Well, we discovered 3 limitations to us and our equipment within 3 days of travelling through the interior highlands of Iceland:
Limit number 1 hit us several kilometers onto road F35 (“F” roads are the ones, you are only allowed to use with a 4WD) and after we already spend quite some time only on a gravel road and its surface becoming more and more bumpy. On the way we already drove through some patches of the road that were still flooded with water from melting snow – sometimes using the straight way through, sometimes more circulating around what we expected to be the deepest areas of the water.
So approaching yet another such flooded stretch, despite it being quite long didn’t seem to pose a risk…
Continue reading The Highlands – Getting to know the limits
We needed to leave behind Bakkagerdi and the cute puffins going back the same route we came out here, as there is only one road connection. Heading towards west, we passed by a church from about 300 years ago – not in its original state of course, but reconstructed according to old descriptions, mainly made of turf for insulation.
Driving through seemingly endless empty planes where you only find stones, harsh winds and a lot of dust the gigantic waterfall Dettifoss looks somehow out-of-place. It is an unbelievable amount of water flowing over the cliffs, while the surrounding is dry and nearly without vegetation.
However, Dettifoss and close by Selfoss make a welcome opportunity to stop, stretch and have a short hike *smiley cool*
Icelandic for beginners: “foss” means “waterfall”
Just leaving the two waterfalls behind, we passed by the turn-off to Askia and, to our surprise, the road was open *smiley surprised*
Continue reading The North: Many “Fosses”, Myvatn and Akureryi
Jökulsarlon glacier lagoon, Iceland
We wanted to see Puffins, the cute black and white seabirds which dive for their food supply and have a parrot color bill (therefore called “Papageientaucher” in German). You can find them on every postcard in an Islandic Souvenir Shop in Reykjavik. The question was, if it is possible to find them very close by on land (i.e. avoiding a shaky boat ride and a 500mm lens). Guidebooks recommended boat tours but why not just asking the locals?
In Höfn we found a very nice woman who told us, that in the northern part of the East Fjords, there is a “small town” called Bakkagerdi and in season there is a huge puffin colony for breeding close by. Season was on, so why not heading to the “small town” to check this out?
The route to that “small town” was via a pass with snow and ice. All felt a bit remote and extinct, but with some entertainment from time. For example a group of sheep using the street for a race, a fantastic view at the pass and insight that the expression “small town” is an exaggeration. Bakkagerdi has 300 (human) inhabitants, a church, a small kiosk and a camping ground. That’s basically it, but what’s most important for us: the sun was shining and the landscape was amazing *smiley cool* !
Internet research leaded to the opinion that it is best to check out the puffin colony either in the evening or in the morning. At the end of the road there is a little harbor with a cliff which is the home of the little fellows. So we hoped being lucky to find a few and went there. Well, we were lucky… not a few… A megacity with 20.000+ puffins!!
Continue reading Puffins at arm length distance and wonderful landscape at East Fjords
The night at Skaftafell was good, despite quite some rain the tent kept us dry inside. Next morning also our car was “ready” again and the engine started up right away *smiley smiling*
We headed further east along the south coast towards Jökulsarlon a glacier lagoon very close to the sea. We could have taken a boat ride on the lagoon, but there were two things preventing us from doing so: 1) The boats do not really get very close to the icebergs as its too dangerous and 2) Just too many tourists of the kind “Ohhh my god, have you seen this? This is sooooo awesome!”
While they are right, the lagoon and the icebergs really look awesome, we opted for the walk along the shore of the lagoon…
Continuing along the ring-road we passed by an intersection that announced the F985 leading left into the mountains up to Jöklasel. I read about this before and that it offers great views and you really make it up to be nearly on the glacier. A 4WD was announced to be required – our Suzuki Jimney was one, so after some discussion I convinced Iris to go up there…
Continue reading South East Iceland: Glaciers, Sea, F985 and Waterfalls