Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Northwest Iceland: The Mývatn District 16 May

16th May 2008
The Mývatn District, Northwest Iceland

Mother nature is kind to us so far, the weather has been very accommodating to our itinerary. There are enough sunshine to brighten up the morning view from hotel room window and lift our spirits after a gloomy and wet day yesterday. A good day for hiking.

Reykjahlíð village

Lake Mývatn

By 8.30am, we are out of the hotel, geared and ready for our journey. Below are the views around the hotel.....

Hotel Reykjahlíð, where we stay, at the edge of Lake Mývatn

Hotel Reykjahlíð and Reykjahlíð village

Directly opposite the hotel is the supermarket and the self-service petrol station

Lake Mývatn

Here we go, to the starting point of hike, 10 minutes walk from our hotel

The Hverfjall & Dimmuborgir Trail

This is the map of the whole trail. This route starts at the crossroads by Reykjahlid, and takes 2-3 hours to complete. After trekking for 2 hours, we wonder why the path become more and more difficult and rugged, so much as we have to start climbing up the heaps of rocks to get through. Also we have not seen any direction signs for the longest while. Hverfell Volcano is still in front of us and yet we are no way close. Yet my GPS still shows us that we are on the right track. I'm getting a bit panicky as we are in the midst of the lava field, even though it is still late morning. This is when we realise that the GPS has hung for the longest time (Ditch HTC, for peace on earth). By the time we get on back to the right path, it's almost noon. We come to the first intersection with the slip road which brings us back to the main road, walk all the way back to the hotel, dead tired.

This is the starting point of the trail.

The beginning part of the trail lies through richly vegetated country. Ahead of us is the Hverfell Volcano.

We are enjoying the full sunshine and scenery without realising that the path is getting difficult. Eventually I begin to ask myself, if this trail is meant for hikking, how can it be getting so difficult that we have to start climbing over one after another huge rock formations? This is when we decide to reboot HTC and relaunch the GPS program. We have diverted from the main path without knowing that the GPS has hung for the longest time. See what I mean? You are lost in a vast open lava field, every angle u turn, it looks the same everywhere and worst of all, no path at all.

This is what I mean the rock formation that we need to climb one after another. This picture was taken way before we realised we are lost.

Eventually, we make it back to the main path and come to this area that is blighted by wind erosion, where sandy plains and lava formations lies.

Moss growing on some of the lava formation. These hideous looking rocks freeze the last fiery moment of the lava.

Here I am, standing on top of the lava formations and straight ahead is their creator, Hverfell Volcano.

It is interesting to see these lava formation, particularly how this tree is spared when the lava stopped just right at its foot.

At this point, which is only a third of the whole trail, we decide to take this slip road out, back to the hotel. We are terribly behind schedule and it will good to drive to Hverfell and Dimmuborgir instead.

Sometimes in life, as we close a door behind us, there will be another door opens ahead of us. True enough, should we continue with the trail, we would not have seen such good views on the way out to the main road. Perhaps we should thank the GPS for failing in the morning? hahaha.

This is the main road, we have to walk about 30 minutes before reaching our hotel.

It feels good to be back to civilisation, a beautiful house by the side of Lake Mývatn

Click to see next - Northwest Iceland: The Mývatn District 16 May cont'd


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