Laugavegur hike - rivers and rains

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June 30th 2014
Published: December 13th 2014
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River crossingRiver crossingRiver crossing

Right after starting Day 3
Day 3:

Hvanngil - Emstrur (Botnar)

10 km, 4 - 5 hoursElevation decrease: 40 m

We saw a really lot of people one starting on the trail. We were wondering where all those people came from, probably there was some way for the buses to get in. Right after leaving the campsite, there is a bridge to cross one of the river Kaldaklofskvísl. This was a really nice area with rivers, stones, lot of streams, mostly flat. Then we saw service road and a bus driving in a distance. So that would explain sudden appearance of so many people on the trail. It was like a mela. Soon the second-deepest river of the trail needs to be crossed. Typically it would take some time here to find the right spot, but since there were so many people on the trail, we just followed another group. Needless to mention, the water was ice-cold, and for me it was calf deep. We quickly dried our feet and started on the trail again. This was going to be a very long and flat walk. It was also knows
Long walkLong walkLong walk

The long walk, huts are just beyond that high point
for strong winds. Our going was slow, not sure why, probably just tired. It was partly sunny today. There were some mountains surrounding the lava flats, but mostly its just walking and walking. After long time we reached a high point, took break to eat. From here suddenly lot of sand appeared. The Emstrur huts are a short steep way down. We were surprised to find not many people here, plus some really good campsites. We were actually early arrivals. There was also a small lingering patch of snow here. Some people had made camp down next to a stream, but we decided to camp up near the hut for better views. Sun was still shining, so this was a good opportunity to dry some clothes and warm up.

After setting camp, we cooked food and ate. The bad weather front was moving in and there was prediction for some rain next day. We thought of sleeping early, getting up early and hoping to beat the front.

Day 4:

To Porsmork

The last day was also most terrible! We did not beat the rainy front. Rain started falling as we woke up. Thankfully not
Lava fieldLava fieldLava field

long walk through old lava field
before, so at least the tent was somewhat dry when we packed it up. We very quickly decamped and packed. It was started to get very cold and drizzle was constant by the time we started. We had as usual made the mistake of not getting proper rain gear. The beginning of trail is steep way down through sand. There was a tiny rocky section that needed to be crossed with rope. I was a bit iffy here and lost my balance once, covered in mud now. We kept walking as fast as we would. Water was not seeping in everywhere and starting to get very cold. I just wanted the trail to be over now before getting hypothermic. We did not take time to stop to eat or anywhere. Just walk as fast as possible, stop only if absolutely necessary because stopping = getting cold. Then we reached a higher plateau. This is where view would have been marvelous if it was not covered with clouds. From the high point we could see the river below that we would need to cross, then another plateau and Porsmork beyond that.

Down at the river Pronga, deepest of the trail we were faced with final dread of crossing it. Due to rains the river was even deeper and flowing faster. Also due to rain we did not want to take too much time here. So we shortened the hiking pants, put on the extra shoes and started wading hand in hand. In the middle it got quite deep, close to my knees and I felt we might get washed away. Someone from other side came to help us stabilize. Once out we were almost hypothermic. Rain has relaxed a little by now. We dried our feet, out on all the warm clothes we had and started walking again. Porsmork is not very far from here. Though surprisingly we lot our way at one point. As you get closer to Porsmork, the signs start to appear and they are not clear. At one point you need to take a left into a narrow trail. The trail will take you down and then up the final hill before final descend into Porsmork. It was such a relief to see the hut! I was happy we made it safe. We put on whatever dry clothes we had left, sat in a hut and waited for the bus to arrive.

Even through the clouds I could see how beautiful this place would be, and decided to come here again in dryer weather. Once the bus came, we were happy to get back to civilization. The bus crosses many rivers, the whole area is just amazing! Back in Reykjavik we could not find a place at our old hostel. So we had to go to main town and try to find something. Finally we ended up at another hostel near downtown which was not as cozy as old one, but still ok.


14th December 2014

We love our time in Iceland and your blog brought back some great memories.

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