Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Day 86: Hveravellir Geothermal Area to Reykholar - Wed 30 July

Day 86: Hveravellir Geothermal Area to Reykholar - Wed 30 July
Still freezing cold but fortunately wind has died down to stiff breeze. Walked through geothermal field, surprised that wildflowers grow there, past tempting bathhouse, but declined when saw it was strictly no clothes! 


Pillow lava

Road improved as headed north, saying farewell to ice caps and glaciers. Passed dirty brown-yellow Blondulon Lake, with its low dammed wall and mini power station. Next two lakes were different colours, one blue (Svinavatn), one turquoise. Both are in the same light conditions but wind and clouds shift, fed by different sources, off hills, glacial melts, or springs etc. Sheep running from our vehicle, half-shed winter coat and dags trailing behind... Horses’ manes and tails so wild and shaggy. 



Back on Highway 1, left towards Western Fjords, for a "taster" trip of the land of Viking sagas, clan feuds, elves and trolls. Love their little huldufolk elf houses set into hills, and their painted rock people. Furious wind whipping up whitecaps and waves in Hrutafjordur. Arctic Tern making very little headway; great flocks of birds riding sea crests, too hard to fly into wind today. Strandir coast heaps of driftwood on beaches - mostly straight, probably pines from Norway, many used as fence posts in a forest-less country, boxes of rocks used as anchor posts. Driftwood not apparently collected from beaches, does it not burn well? Beautiful drive, road alternating between hills and beside water.

Strandir coast driftwood

Crossing to southern side of peninsula through pretty, narrow valleys dotted with sheep. Small lake with Hooper Swans and cygnets. Sudden ice patches, some in chunks fallen down hillside, some with waterfalls running underneath or holes/caves. 

Do the old babies not know about the new ones due??


Wow - spotted an Arctic fox in dark summer colours, stalking a sea bird, at entrance to causeway. Glimpsed sea eagles off shore on skerries. This turf house very "elven".....


Skerries - rocky reef, island or sea stack

Arctic fox in dark summer coat

Turned off to stay overnight at Reykholar - drove out to end of road and fishing pier. Then into main pier in town where workers were just knocking off from small factories producing salt or seaweed, fascinating to see powered by natural steam vents close to shore. Went for walk out through wetlands to inlet, spotting waders, ducks and sea birds.... 

Free underground steam
Of course you wouldn't go long way round fjord...

European Golden Plover

Black Tailed Godwit


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