From the southern part of Iceland to the north, within five hundred kilometers, we leave from the glacier to geothermal. It's really a song of ice and fire.
Day 05. Höfn -> Lækjavík Coast -> Gufufoss -> Hverir -> Mývatn Nature Baths ->Hverfjall [423km]
The fifth day in Iceland is the longest distance we drived in our whole trip. We drived from a southeasten port town Hopburn(Höfn) to the northern part of Rice Lake geothermal area (Mývatn), it's almost 500 kilometer. It seems to be an ordianary day, but Iceland always brings people amazing. We passed the cliff coast,snowy mountains and finally get to the magic geothermal areas where we feel like being into the outer planet.Relaxing in the Hot springs, the Fatigue in all the day fade out.
The first destination in the plan was Vesturhorn Mountain which also called 'Batman Moutain'(Maybe it looks like the Batman logo). There's a group of 454m height Precipitous moutains stands on the gentle on the gentle black sand beach. A beautiful sight of snow on the summit attracted us. Unfortunately, It's not the good time for climbing .The peaks are completely enveloped in the clouds and would not disappear in a short time. So we have to go back.
But going on the north way, we met a unknown peak which is slightly similar to the Vesturhorn Mountain. The great view made us stop, we take a vedio about the rolling clouds at the summit which is full of momentum.
【Tips】How to be the Vesturhorn Mountain？
Away from the small town Hepburn (Hofn) about 16 kilometer, Vesturhorn Mountain is not easy to find, but you could Navigate to the Viking Cafe. It's probably the only one charging attraction in Iceland as a private way to Vesturhorn Mountain. There's a sign in front of the cafe notifing ISK 600 for one ticket. The money is mainly use on road maintenance and environmental protection. if you get there earlier than the cafe's opening, you can consciously put the money into the mailbox too.
On the Lækjavík Coast, as the elevation is higher,the scenery of coastline is more magnificent.Road on cliff besides sea, it makes people link to the Great Ocean Road in Australia.If there's any difference, it must be the special temperament of Iceland. Cliffs, boulders,waves, black sand beach and countless seabirds, it should contains cold tone. Accompany with the wind on the cliff, it make people tremble.
All of the schedules are completely change when reaches the town Djúpivogur. It's neither in our plans, nor the town at the first side of the road around the island. We get to there occasionally on the way finding toilet.Near Noon,the sun rises. The little harbor stand back by the snow-capped mountains as beautiful as a painting which totally different from what I've seen in Iceland, as if returned to the sunny New Zealand.
Djúpivogur has become a turning point in our trip.It's always sunny day after that.Even be a happy trouble.
Continue north along Highway One,there's a cut-off point near Egilsstaðir.Turn left on No.931 Highway are Hengifoss and Litlanesfoss,both of them are falls between black basalt columns which resembles the Black Falls ( Svartifoss) near ska Naphta (Skaftafell);Turn right on No.93 Highway is Gufufoss, located near Seyðisfjörður. Owing to time constraints, we turned right. To be honestly, it's nothing special for the Gufufoss, but the snowy mountain road to Gufufoss gave us a surprise.
The day was fine. I volunteered to drive. The No.1 Highway is the Best way in Iceland, although the vast majority of roads are two-lane. As there're not much car on Iceland's road and drive with cruise control,I don't feel tired. After 80 kilometer's driving, we got into No.93 Highway.Unexpectedly, the traffic turns bad meanwhile the road is getting narrowing.We suddenly climbed up the steep slope and began walking hairpin mountain drive.180 degree sharp turning is normal thing. What the worse is a car suddenly came out in front, the followed car sliped.We wedged in among.It's very dangerous.However, I was an excellent driver who could easily drive during Shanghai's rushing hour.But as I haven't drived almost 3 years. I was scared when facing this situation.After a few 180-degree bend, it turns a small piece of life-saving parking platform.I ask Jerry to drive.
The coming twenty kilometers, all the way along the winding cliff and on the mountainside gradually reveals the snow, with a white, waterfalls and snow, a move a quiet, dotted in the mountains.
It's the first time I saw this such thick snow,so we stoped without hesitation, taked some photo.
Surprise continues. After a sharp turn,we were being to the top snowy mountains unexpectedly. It's a flat top. The road on both side is endless white. I always consider it as the unique scenery belongs to winter.Unexpectedly it's belong to the Iceland summer as well.There's a ski slopes sorrounding here. But it's close maybe the owner thinks no one would skiing in summer.It's heard that Beijing was also snow.It may be a very common view from the northern kids but to me, a guy born in southen and live near equatorial,it means heaven.I was too excited to open the Dormer, cried to the camera.
In this situation, the destination seems not so important to us. We enjoyed ourself all along the way. Gufufoss looks like the Skógafoss, just a little smaller. we all expected to see the rainbow in a such sunny day, but it's pity to meet the backlight.
It's 6pm leaving to Gufufoss.There's still nearly 200 kilometers away. In order to be more flexible on the trip, this is our only day without booking ahead. We plan to drive as far as we could, defintly it's better to be Myvatn hot springs.The only good news is, the day has been lit, there is no risk driving at night. We both feel tired and took turns driving in the rest.
In Egilsstaðir,We brought dinner from Subway in gas station which is the unique well-known fast food restaurants in whole way. The Papa Johns in 'The Secret Life of Walter Mitty' is not avaliable in Iceland. When traffic is good, I drove while Jerry slept. After 50 kilometers away, I felt hungry and woke Jerry up. It turns to his driving and I enjoyed my dinner.I was planed to drive after dinner, but I was too sleepy to keep my promise. Jerry has to drive by himself untill the Rice Lake. His wished to take some photos on the half way, but it's hard to find the place for parking.
About 10pm, we reached to geothermal areas, I was awoke up by the smell of sulfur.
Mývatn Nature Baths open until midnight. No place to live is not important,it's satisfation to enjoy the hot springs bubble in the sunset.The scale of Rice Lake Springs is much smaller than the Blue Lagoon in capital Reykjavík. You will not feel crowded here. Mývatn Nature Baths is an entire spa pool area is divided into two blocks, there's a litte gate in the middle. The water temperture is not very stable that you may move for your preference heat sometimes.
After enjoying Hot springs, we drive 10 kilometers to Hverfjall.It's not high but it has a diameter of about one kilometer huge crater formed in 2500 years ago.Mountain grayish black,reddish shine in the sunset.until driving to the foot of the mountain, we could see the whole picture.But it's too close to have a photo. So we have to take a panorama by iPhone.I have chosen the middle sunken crater made into a convex shape of the mountain, accompanied by this red sunset.Suddenly it looks like Uluru.
The lack in the bottom of the mountain reflect a perfect geometry under the sunset. The mountain turns into reddish light only a moment.After that, it turns back into gray and black. We feel very glad to catch the Short moment.
At this time, midnight passed, a short gap between sunrise and sunset, We parked in the parking lot Hverir geothermal areas, lower seat half lie down.Outside the window, the surrounding is a mottled surface, a little further part looks like a pink sky.accompanied by slowly rising geothermal steam, a static one move, like a piece of extraterrestrial scene so completely not willing to close their eyes.
Have you notice the screen flat-topped snow-capped mountains in the distance yet? I have no idea weather is morning mist or vapor.It shrouded the mountainside, so dreamy.
The sun does not appear as expected, and sometimes we even confusion, where should be the sun rises? Inadvertently to find, a ray of geothermal steam reveals dazzling gold behind the distant sky, as if the torch, where is the original direction of sunrise.I realized that at high latitudes near the Arctic Circle where the summer sun is rising from the NNE, NNW fall short, both to the north to see the sunrise and sunset on the right.
In 3AM, we are going to sleep a night in the car.In the camp (Bjarg Camping Site) were told when we use the toilet, it's not allow arbitrary Myvatn region overnight, even if you want to sleep in the car, must be parked in the camp.The fee is ISK 3,000 (about RMB150). However,stop the car in camp is more ease.It's not allow to start the car in case wake others.All the thick clothes cover the body, we barely slept more than four hours.
There's another interesting things in Rice Lake area.Sorrounding the Krafla. In a barren, there's a flush toilet and hot shower faucet, yes, still hot! Completely open, out of tune with the surrounding environment. We had wanted to stop at that night, and later because of too tired to drive, I had to give up. It is estimated that the world's most exotic toilet.It is said that there is a geothermal power plant near here, two employees of the power plant has bet, can take advantage of geothermal water in the barren land to build a toilet out of thin air? I did not think was really true.
This trip is devided in to 16parts, go to the nex part for excited journey.