Iceland Day 3 – Selfoss, Dettifoss, a hitchhiker, Godafoss and the perfect spot for the night

March 28.

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Selfoss

The day started late for me just around 8am, the last night had been late. Breakfast with James and his mum and Luise in the kitchen / common room of the campground.

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James and his man toy

Then I left for Dettifoss with blue skies.

When turning of the main road, I picked up a hitchhiker from Brazil. He was standing there in the wind with two backpacks on a road with basically no cars. The road to Dettifoss was a bit slippery, but with no cars easy to drive. Getting to the parking area where paths to both Dettifoss and Selfoss started, the wind started picking up.

I spent a longer time at Selfoss, walking up as close as possible. No other vistors. Beautiful.

Dettifoss, the more famous and bigger waterfall, was a bit crowded and the only access was a sightseeing platform at a distance.

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Dettifoss

I took the hiker back towards Myvatn with a stop at Namafjall, a geothermal area.

 

After a quick stop at Myvatn for gas and some groceries, I drove on to the next waterfall Godafoss, right at the ring road.

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Then wind really picked up – see the video below.

I was getting adventurous and wanted to try a spot for the night North of Grenivik. The Beautiful drive on the 835 North to the potential camping spot turned out to be the most beautiful road I had seen so far on Iceland. The gravel road had spots covered with snow and ice – and my van finally got dirty!!

I arrived at the spot at 5.30pm – for me a perfect place to spend the night. 

At this beautiful spot, I will sleep again with  open curtains… hoping for northern lights.

And guess what… around 10pm, the show started!!!

Perfect finish for a beautiful day.

Iceland Day 2 – Bakkafjoerdur, Porshoefn, Asbyrgi, Husavik, Myvatn and my first hot hotpot experience

March 27.

Woke up with the sun coming over the horizon – had a good and quiet sleep despite the wind. I enjoyed a slow breakfast with muesli and Skyr – and some big black coffee. I continued driving North, mostly following the coastline. The weather was nice most of the time with sunshine and blue skies.

Passing Bakkafjoerdur, the road was unpaved for a while. There were some beautiful spots to stay for the night but I was planning for Myvatn tonight, so I moved on.

The coast with ice on the shore had its own beauty.

Coming closer to Asbyrgi, the landscape changed to very flat lands. I drove into the park, walked around a bit – the famous canyon, shaped like a hoof.

Passed by Husavik, famous for whale watching. Noted the time, maybe tomorrow. But that will depend on the weather.

Met up with Herbert and his wife and Luise again at the campground in Vogar near the Myvatn lake. They invited me for coffee and cake in their camping trailer – what a nice treat. Afterwards we drove together to the famous Grjotagja cave nearby with a hotpot underground. Getting in there not too easy, climbing into the cave. Next challenge was getting undressed on a small spot… then the water is really hot. 45 degrees hot.

Some more tourist show up, look, take photos… After two sessions, we leave.

Dinner at the campgrounds pizza place with internet. The campground was very basic – just a parking lot with electricity outlets and a building with facilities. I am surely looking forward to some wild camping during the next days.

Luise had her van parked closeby in the same campground and was working to get her heating running. I provided electricity for the hairblower when she tried to unfreeze the Diesel line – but no luck. James has no heating, so nothing can break in his Landrover. Herbert has his electric heating in the trailer for the night.

Iceland Day 1 – Seydisfjoerdur, Egilsstadir, Hengifoss, Iceland Horses and Vopnafjoerdur

March 26.

After breakfast in an empty cafeteria, the ferry arrived at 9am in Seydisfjoerdur. Since the ferry was so empty, also the unloading of the cars was rather quick. Just a bit of backing up needed, then there was space to turn around and drive off the ferry.

First stop was customs. Many of us were not sure about the amount of food we were carrying – there is an official 3kg limit on food besides the usual restrictions on tabacco and alcohol. A very kind customs agent waved me through – welcome to Iceland!

I continued straight through the village towards Egilsstadir with its super markets. We would all reconnect at the Bonus supermarket there. Bought fruits and vegetables, the famous Icelandic Skyr yogurt.

While my intention is to go North following the ring road, I wanted to get my bearings in the area first. So I visited a major waterfall Hengifoss, just some kilometers South of Egilsstadir.

On the way there, I saw some closed campgrounds. It seems they will still offer free parking, just no facilities or water/electricity while they are closed for the season. I hope I will be able to do wild camping most of the time. At least there is no need for showers with the amount of public hotpots throughout the island.

It was a nice short hike going up to Hengifoss. A few smaller waterfalls along the way. Still beautiful weather with sunshine and blue skies, just the wind picked up. I saw a handful of vistors coming down from the waterfall. At the waterfall, Luise caught up with me.

With nobody else around and nobody I could bother, I started the drone to take some footage from Hengifoss. All good until the flight back – the drone was caught in the winds that got stronger and stronger and carried away. I could just watch on the camera how it drifted off, not strong enough to return against the winds. With a big lake in the back, I was close to panic. Luckily, I could force it down on a field despite its impossible tries to return to the starting point. It had drifted away nearly a kilometer. I drove as close as I could and found it shortly after all intact. What a stressful first flight on Iceland. Will need to be more careful with these winds.

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I checked out another campground in the area but decided to make some kilometers North.

Tomorrow evening, I want to be at Myvatn Lake to enjoy the hotpots there. I found a nice spot for the night around 6pm close to Vopnafjoerdur. Exciting first day – I am actually tired after the last days just chilling on the ferry. Sleeping with all curtains open – hoping for aurora / polar lights. 🙂

Stopover at Faroe Islands

March 25.

We were woken in our cabins by the speaker informing us that we arrived as planned at 6am at Faroe Islands.  I took my time with breakfast, enjoyed the views from the ship.

Connected with James and Luise, we headed out together at 7am discovering the island.

We walked from the harbor alongside the coast and got our feet wet. I won a bet – yes, there is really a lot of cars driving with winter tires with spikes here. Free beer for me tonight. 😉

We walked back through town, stopped at the Brell Cafe – a small and cozy coffee shop – recommendable. Spent a while there chatting and of WiFi. James and Luise are both spending several weeks on Iceland – we agreed to stay in touch there – with ideas on excursion, nice spots to stay or maybe help out each other.

Back on the ferry around 12pm – it is supposed to leave the harbor at 2pm. I checked on my car, got some food from there.

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The ferry continued as planned. The route led through the Faroe Islands with some spectacular views.

We will arrive in Iceland tomorrow morning around 9am. Faroe Islands already left such a good impression – I am really excited to get to Iceland.

The number of passengers was already low when we left Denmark. Now after the stop on Faroe Islands, the ship was nearly empty. James, Luise and I enjoyed some beers at the bar – the barkeeper opened the happy hour earlier for us ;-). Herbert joined us and we celebrated the last night on the ship.

A day at sea

March 24.

Breakfast around 8.30am. After breakfast, I inquired at the reception desk to get an opportunity to visit the bridge. Due to the weather conditions, it is not clear whether this will be possible today.

Due to the weather, some of the areas of the ship remain closed and some shelves got wrapped up in the shop.

I spent some time sitting at the open deck in the wind and weather protected space, watching as we passed some oil rigs.

The weather later calmed down as we passed the Shetland Islands – beautiful view with the sun coming through the clouds. And I even got some internet reception from these British islands.

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I enjoyed the day at sea not doing much – free time to read up on Iceland, chill, taking some notes for the blog and listening to music.

Tomorrow morning we will come to the Faroe Islands where I plan to explore the island during the few hours that the ferry will stop there.

Onto the ferry

March 23.

I enjoyed the morning sun at Lokken beach – having my breakfast there in the van. Left around 10am towards the ferry harbor in Hirtshals. I stopped on the way to fill up the tank a last time before sailing to Iceland. Also used the opportunity with Wifi to update the blog.

Finding the ferry terminal was really easy – Hirtshals has a small harbor and following the Smyriline signs took me to the checkin. I was there around 12pm with the ferry scheduled to leave at 3pm. In my queue, cars with height between 1.9m and 2.5m were other vans and some offroad vehicles. I got into chatting with some other drivers during the wait. Parking on the ferry with mirrors folded up was so tight that I had trouble to get our the van with my pack.

On the ferry, I met again some of the drivers – Herbert, a retired German guy traveling with his wife in a restored G class Mercedes with corresponding offroad trailer. He plans to leave the car on Iceland for a year or two and will fly in and out for his trips. He is a world traveler – and has another G class parked in Mongolia waiting for the next trips there in Asia.

James, a British guy traveling with a old Landrover. He is visiting for six weeks – as a professional sailor, he has this time now. He has been transferring sailing yachts all over the world – including a recent trip from Iceland to Norway by sailing boat.

And there is Luise, a German girl traveling with her restored VW T4 for two months in Iceland.

Had my pre booked dinner at 6pm – after realizing that the ship’s time is already on Iceland time, i.e. one timezone to the West. Went for the movie theatre at 8.30pm – finally a chance to see Bohemian Rhapsody. Great movie. The ship increased its rolling in the waves towards the evening – it was a kind of special effects for the movie.

Went to bed around 11pm – not easy to fall asleep since I was rolling back and forth in the bunkbed. Looking forward to tomorrow – a whole day at sea.

Into Denmark

March 22.

I headed out not too late and passed trough the rest of Northern Germany quickly. Stopped in Schleswig-Holstein, the most Northern state, in the little village Fleckeby where I grew up.

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When they write plattdeutsch (local dialect) on the signs… you know you are really North 🙂

That was also an opportunity to give it a try with the drone – thank you Lars for borrowing this gadget!

This is the low resolution video that is captured directly on the phone during flight. Not too spectacular, but I am excited to try this in Iceland vastness.

I continued through Denmark to the town of Løkken at the sea.

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Tomorrow is just about 1h drive left to the ferry terminal.