Iceland Day 6

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August 1st 2014
Published: August 1st 2014
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Our first voyage into the interior of Iceland today, I suppose this makes it sound exotic, but it sounds better than 'today we drove inland'. We followed the route of the river Markarfijo inland to the Fjallabak nature reserve. Now we are away from Reykjavik as soon as you get a few miles inland the tarmac disappears and the gravel roads start. This is where Icelanders come out to play: all along the route today are hikers’ huts with beds and stoves. All you need to carry is your sleeping bag and food, everything else is provided for you.

As for the scenery, well the pictures do not do it justice, I doubt I can describe it either but needless to say it is spectacular. The road starts off following the river bed, in the spring thaw the road would not exist, for its entire path along the river bed it is just a levelled strip of the bed. Then it starts to rise as you climb over the mountains. It still follows the approximate path of the river but now the river is in deep gorges, and looking at how the land occasionally slips away into these gorges you do not want to go too near the edge. Eventually the river rises up to the same height as the road and we stopped on its banks for our lunch before the return journey.

It was a nice opportunity to get up close to the landscape. From a distance although magnificent and with beautiful colours it doesn’t look as if there would be much to see but close up there are so many different sorts of moss, alpine flowers and today we discovered some amazing bright orange fungi!

We stopped at more waterfalls, this time you were able to walk part way behind them, and then at the Saga Centre in Hvolsvollur – well worth a visit - before returning to the hotel.

Tomorrow we move on again into the highlands.

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