Iceland Road Trip: Day Two

Day 2

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After a cold sleep & and a quick Irish shower, we hit the road in hopes of making it to Hofn by nightfall.

First, we found Santa…

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Then I learned that they were serious when they told us that wind can literally rip the door off its hinges. While I was fighting with the door, Brigette laughed and took pictures through out the struggle….

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We stopped in the middle of nowhere to take silly pictures of ourselves in the road.

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Truthfully, we had no idea what we would see along the way, but whenever we saw the little sign that indicated a tourist attraction that was less than 50km off the main road, we would take that turn & see what we found. We stumbled upon Godfoss waterfall first & we had the place all to ourselves. IT WAS SO COOL.

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HUGE WATERFALL, blurry selfie. check, check.

We trudged along a very muddy path to look down upon Hverfell crater. I remember this crater fondly every time I lace up my sneakers and find another crevice where the mud still remains.

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Next we ran into Leirhnjukur lava fields.

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We hunted for Grjótagjá hot spring, which is recessed in a cave in the middle of nowhere.  We found it & had a lengthy debate about whether we should climb down into the cave (which looked rather dangerous).  Luckily some locals passed by and advised us that the water is actually too hot to go in, so problem solved.

IMG_0123We had read about Myvatn Nature Bath as an alternative to the Blue Lagoon. After a bit of a hunt, we did find Myvatn & it was a beautiful place, but we both decided it was cold & windy and the sulfuric odor (read: farts) was not how we wanted to smell for the remainder of our Day 2 journey.

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On we went…

Next we happened upon Dettifoss and Settifoss & made the 1.5km trek to see both. Beautiful! Lots of people were congregating by the bathrooms and in the parking lot but not a soul was around while we were near the waterfalls. It was wonderful.

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Dettifoss & Settifoss were quite far off Route 1, so we lost a lot of time getting there and back, but we deemed it was totally worth it.

We continued to drive, stopping to admire the pink sky at dusk.

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We stopped for food & fuel after dark & kept driving into the night.  Once we were in the middle of nowhere (literally)  the Northern Lights came out to play!  What a sight to see!  We were completely mesmerized but unfortunately weren’t skilled enough to capture the beauty on camera.  Luckily seeing the lights for the first time gave us the adrenaline rush we needed to keep driving to Hofn even though it was approaching 10pm.

It was all fun and games until the paved road ended.  We kept on trucking, both not letting on to how nervous we were about the road conditions as a little snow began to hit the windshield.  We pulled over just before the entrance to a one-way bridge to discuss our options (pull over & camp in the middle of nowhere, keep going, or turn around). As we were discussing a car pulled up along side us to ask if we thought the weather conditions were good enough to traverse the mountain we had unknowingly started to climb. A local headed in the opposite direction told us we should be fine once we get over the mountain. (LOL!)  So as not to bore any readers, I’ll leave it at this…When we finally reached the paved road there were tears flowing in both the driver & passenger seats.

After a long day of Hofn & pofn (see what i did there?), we finally reached Hofn well after midnight.  We parked in a hotel parking lot & tapped into the box of wine we had packed.  Night 2 was cold & at some points the wind was so strong we thought our Happy Camper would blow over…

Day 3 up next!

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2 Comments

  1. Caitlin

    July 10, 2016 at 10:50 pm

    Hi there, I was excited to see your posts, as my bf and I will be making this trip in September, also traveling via camper van! It looks like you’re packing in a lot of driving in each day–we will have 8 days…I’d love to get your feedback on which sites are worth spending more of our time!
    Also, how are you guys managing to sneak in a shower (of the non-Irish variety 🙂 )? This is the one logistical thing that I’m still wondering about…I can only handle so many days of smelling foul 🙂

    1. sarah.mamis@gmail.com

      July 11, 2016 at 12:39 pm

      Hi Caitlin!
      With 8 days you will have time to see everything! We were there in Novemeber, so a lot of the “F” roads were closed. If we had been there at a different time or had more time we would have explored the Westfjords. I’ve read a lot about how remote and beautiful it is there. I just posted our day 3 & 4 itineraries, and that will give you a better idea on the showering issue.

      I don’t know that I can pick a favorite site, because honestly the entire country is just beautiful. Even if you just drove the Ring Road and never stopped anywhere you wouldn’t be disappointed. Have so much fun on your trip! Let us know if you need any more advice!

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