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Published: July 13th 2014
Day 7 - Iceland
It was a beautiful morning, almost a completely clear blue sky. We got away by 8.45am with our usual 'to-go' coffee in our individual coffee containers that Kerrie & Gemma gave us (c/o Tea). We drove north along Tjörnes peninsula with its beautiful coastline. We saw the Puffin (Lundey) Island where we were yesterday.
We stopped at a number of viewing points along the way. We then drove through Húsavík fishing village and admired the picturesque harbour again. We loved the little town. Then we continued to the horse-shoe-shaped gorge Ásbyrgi. After visiting the Visitors Centre, we took a short walk through a small but lovely forest to Botnstjorn pond. The striking feature here was the massive canyon walls. We were about to drive through Jökulsárgljúfur gorge, which is a national park. It is 25 km long, 500 m wide and in many places, 100-120 m deep.
The advice we got from the Visitors Centre was that the road was gravel/dirt but was OK. It was a single lane but we took it steadily. Before we visited out 1st waterfall, we drove about 30kms and drove into see Hijodaklettar, where very unusual and large
rocks and columns of basalt with swirling, spirals and as well as column shapes could be seen up the walls of the rocks. Most were sitting in the middle of a river bed.
The driving was slow going as there were potholes and corrugations in many places. We took it cautiously.
Our 1st waterfall for the day was Hafragilsfoss waterfall which was a little further south. After driving a few mor kilometers, we came to Europe's most powerful flowing waterfall, Dettifoss, where around 200 cu metres of water per second thunders over the edge. Four hundred metres up stream, along a rocky path, was the very wide Selfoss waterfall. It almost looked like a mini version of Iguaçu Waterfall in Brazil. We have certainly seen our share of waterfalls and very satisfied with what we have seen.
It was now time to head back to the east coast of Iceland, to complete the circle we had driven around the iland. So the next spectacularly unusual landscape we drove through was over Möðrudalsheiði highland plateau to the east. This area was mainly rolling hills but almost completely denuded of vegetation. It was almost starkly beautiful. Finally we drive
through Jökuldalur valley to Egilsstaðir, and then to Seyðisfjörður where we started our journey after driving off the ferry.
The last 21kms of this journey that we had first driven through, was a different picture to when we landed on the island. We could not see more than 50 metres in front of us because of the cloud/fog. Today the sky was clear and blue. We saw some spectacular scenery including snow capped and spotted mountains, ice-covered lakes, and a beautiful river which often tumbled over cliffs and rocks to form multiple waterfalls and rapids. Tumbling down the mountains on either side were many waterfalls, small and large. We were so pleased we could see the scenery today.
We arrived in Seyðisfjörður at about 6.00pm and headed straight for a service station so that Tom could remove the ton of mud that Mollie had collected. We could hardly see our bikes on the back as they were covered in dried mud.
In the morning at 8.30am we lined up at the ferry Seyðisfjörður terminal ready to cruise to the Faroe Islands. By 11.30am we were sailing out of the fjord, under beautiful clear skies.
We were only on the ferry until 3.30am the next morning (!!!!!) on 11 July but we had to be out of our cabins by 1.00am. We knew that we would get off at Torshavn, on Streymoy Island, the largest of the 18 islands making up the archipelago of the Foroe Islands, and we would find a spot and go back to sleep before our next adventure.
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