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Published: November 11th 2017
We crept out early, but Filip still managed to see us off. We first visited Gođafoss then headed to Húsavík where we boarded Náttfari, got decked out in overalls and headed out to sea to search for whales! The sea was very, very rough & we had to hang onto the rails to stay upright - many people ended up hanging over the back rail losing their breakfast. We did spot 2-3 humpback whales and Chavaunne managed to get some good photos – I’m claiming some credit for them as my job was to brace her against the rail allowing her two hands to hold the camera! Lots of sea birds, guillemot & fulmars. Plus they gave us hot chocolate and cinnamon buns on the way back to port.
The sickness tablet Vicky took meant she dozed in the back seat for most of the early afternoon so Chavaunne & I did a very expensive mini-shop having walked all around the building before finding the door to the store! We drove the gravel 87 over the mountains and down to lake Mývatn - a major birding spot in Iceland. Sadly all we saw on the lake were a handful of
(Photo from Vicky)
mallards, swans and goldeneyes! We briefly stopped at Sigurgeir’s Bird Museum hoping there might be some tips on where to find more birds but there wasn’t so we headed to the east side and down to the Höfđi nature area where we saw more trees than anywhere else so far! This beautiful wooded lava headland was a lovely place to stroll around after so long in the car. Plus there were lovely flocks of redwings in the trees close to the paths.
We then went to the giant lava field at Dimmuborgir (literally “dark castles” how cool!). We were getting close to sunset by now so we did one of the shorter walks to the ‘church’ – where we met a chap with an awesome moustache! The poor light made photography tricky and my shots do not do justice to this place. We just had time & light to pop up Hverfjall (a classic tephra ring for any geologists reading this) – the track was very steep & quite honestly I’m not sure it was worth it in the dim light. Looked very much as I imagine the wastelands of Mordor. We celebrated completing the climb with some chocolate
(Photo by Chavaunne)
Chavaunne had brought from America.
That night we stayed in Vógar hostel, as hostels go it was lovely. A series of cabins so not too many people in one place and a decent fully fitted kitchen! We used up the rest of the pasta sauce with more veg before heading out to the Mývatn Nature Baths. The air temperature dropped from 7.4 to 3.8°C whilst we were there & this was the only time I felt really cold in Iceland - running between the changing block & the water (thanks to my lovely new warm coat & many layers the rest of the time)! It was raining when we arrived but the water was lovely and warm (albeit rather eggy smelling). Whilst we were in the baths the rain stopped, the clouds cleared and we got to see the stars, at least one shooting star, and then the northern lights appeared briefly! Perfect!
We then braved the cold air to get back to the shower block then returned to the hostel for more hot chocolate and cinnamon buns before heading to bed. Thankfully we had a room just for the three of us.
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