Saturday, June 28, 2008

Northwest Iceland: Reykjavik → Ósar 12 May

12th May 2008
Reykjavik → Ósar

Via: Route 1 - Route 50 - Route 518 - Route 523 - Route 50 - Route 1 - Route 72 - Route 711

The plan is to make a detour to Húsafell (Route 518) to visit lava tubes, which are formed by flows by molten lava beneath the solidified lava crust. We did see vast lava fields but no lava tubes in sight. After making a few turns and still nothing in sight, we decide to make our way back to Route 1 and head straight to Ósar on Vatnsnes Peninsula (Route 711).

Vistas of the Drive

Route 1

The road behind me is Route 1

Route 518

Route 523

Driving thru the lava field

Lava field

Lava rock. The moss that grow on the rocks took a thousand years to form, it is protected in Iceland.

Back to Route 1

Route 711
Once we hit this road, we have reached the western side of the Vatnsnes Peninsula. We plan to drive along the coastline around the peninsula to catch a glimpse of the seal colony before getting to our stay for the night at Ósar, on the east side of the peninsula. It is said that Vatnsnes Peninsula has the largest colony of seals living off its northern tip, Hindisvik, which location reflects in my GPS but we simply cant locate the place, let alone seeing a single seal soul. Eventually, we gather from the Ósar owner that the farm owner is upset that tourists are upsetting the seals colony by getting too close to them, hence he closes the road leading to the colony. Nevertheless, there is one right in front of Osar.

The lighthouse

Coastline of Vatnsnes Peninsula

There is something about this gate. It seems acting as a gateway to nature, reminding us as we leave our civilisation behind, to respect the seals and the birds' habitat and what nature has for them.

Sigriðarstaða Lagoon

Seal colony, on the opposite bank

The curious seal that responds to our whistles, swims nearer to check us out.

I'm very touched upon seeing the seal colony for the first time after seeing them on National Geography channel after all these years. Life should be like this, free and easy of no boundary. They do not belong to the zoo or in any captivity. While we humans change the environment to suit us, not forgetting we have the power to protect them and their habitat as well. We all beings share the same mother earth. Life is especially beautiful when there is freedom.

This bizarre sea stack 15m high rock is the result of wave action which eroded it into a strange and whimsical formation. Legend has it that Hvítserkur was a throll caught by the sunrise while attempting to destroy the Christian monastery at þingeyrar. As with all trolls caught by sunrise, he was turned to stone.

The same gate opens us back to where humans beings should belong

The rugged tractor path leads us back to our accomodation. It cut through the dairy farm, which the owner also runs the farmhouse hostel.

View of the Sigriðarstaða Lagoon from the hostel

Accomodation: Osar Farmhouse Hostel

Common area for guests with TV and internet service.

Kitchen on the second floor. The door next to the fridge is our room. As there are no shops around the vicinity (the nearest petrol station is 30km away), we have to bring provisions along to cook our meals. The good thing is it is off tourists season during our stay and there are only 2 other guests in this hostel, hence we do not have to queue to use the kitchen.

The other corner of the kitchen is the dining area.

Click to see next - Northwest Iceland: Ósar → Húsavík 13 May


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