Day 3 is really only our second day of exploring, so we make sure we cram in as much as possible. Unfortunately, the weather has other plans, so by midday, exploring outside is like taking a shower with your clothes on. We do our best not to be slowed down, because we certainly aren’t stopping.
Today’s drive takes us from Kirkjubæjarklaustur east to Hof, about 90km along Route 1. I didn’t mark too many things on the map for us today, so I do some quick googling in the car (thanks to the portable wifi we were given for free at the car rental place!!). Unsurprisingly, there are more things than we could ever hope to see during daylight hours along this short stretch of the country.
A short drive from our hotel in Kirkjubæjarklaustur, our first stop today is a canyon that is surprisingly green considering all the black rock we’ve been seeing that looks like something out of a space movie. We are not so lucky with the weather today, so it’s drizzling on and off while we hike around to various points along the canyon to snap photos. I don’t know if it isn’t a popular spot or if the weather has put people off, but we only see about 3 other people the whole time we are there! A perfect opportunity to slip past the safety barriers and take some photos. Cal won’t let me do anything too daring, because he thinks I have the coordination of a spider on rollerskates, so I settle for photographing him.
Foss á Siðu
Just a short drive along Route 1 back to the east, we stop for a quick snap of yet another waterfall and a very glacial looking river.
And this makes our third waterfall of the day. About a half hour from reaching our hotel in Hof, we stop for a quick hike out to another waterfall in Vatnajökull National Park. From the car, we walk 1.5km each way to see the unusual falls surrounded by strange hexagon lava columns. It almost doesn’t look real. Clearly my camera is upset by the moisture in the air, so it’s taken rather blurry photos, but in person it is just stunning.
Also in Vatnajökull National Park, just a few minutes from Svartifoss, we get back on the main road and then turn left onto a gravel road that takes us almost right up to Svínafellsjökull glacier. By this point, it’s approaching sunset and the rain is in full swing, so we don’t hike along the length of the glacier like we want to, but we do enjoy it plenty from 20 minute of sprinting around, frantically taking photos in the downpour. It is still so worth it. The glacier is incredibly blue, quite similar to ones I’ve seen in Patagonia, but far better than the one we saw recently in New Zealand. It appears I’ve coordinated my outfit with Mother Nature today. Callum almost didn’t want to get out of the car because of the rain, but he’s running around taking photos like mad as soon as he sees the glacier. A fabulous end to another great day in Iceland.