Retracing the route back to Reykjavik and stopping at some of the interesting points along the way was the plan for the last day in Iceland. Glaciers descending from the icefields and magnificient waterfalls just called for staying longer. Maybe next time.
It was time to bid adieu to the icy lagoon and drive toward Skafatell so we could catch our booked glacier walk. The sky was mostly sunny and meadows next to the road and snow and ice covered volcanoes of Vatnajukull made for great views. We stopped at one of them, Kviarjokull, on a dirt road a half a mile from the Ring Road. As we approached Skaftatel later on, the clouds thickened and a first shower rolled through.
|Route 1 and Fjallsjokull||Kviarjokull in BW||Kviarjokull||Lake under Kviarjokull||Lake under Kviarjokull||Willows|
|Willow flowers||Willow flower||Svinafellsjokull reflection||Svinafellsjokull reflection||Svinafellsjokull||Svinafellsjokull|
When we arrived at Skaftatell and started getting ready for our walk, a shower changed into a downpout that lasted a good half an hour. I ate a lamb skewers with fries. At some 22 US dollars it was some of the most expensive fast food lunches I ever had. Iceland is not cheap. The rain let up just in time for the walk and the light drizzle could not dampen our curiosity to explore. We went on a small bus to a nearby glacier, Svínafellsjokull, and set out with the guide. He introduced himself and admitted if we find his name hard to pronounce, we should just call him Eric. We walked through the rubble near the moraine and put crampons on before continuing on the ice. As we walked up the glacier, he lead the way around the crevasses and pointed it out the features of the bizarre terrain, and history of its exploration. The sun broke through the clouds and the surrounding beauty reminded me of some big glacier walks I had planned and hoped to still accomplish one day.
|Melting pool||Ice axe||Ice mushroom rock||Shoot out through an ice tunnel||Tunnel||Face mask|
|Leading the way||Glacial procession||Crevasse||Layers||Layers||Mountain scenery|
|Lake under the glacier|
We made few stops after we left Skaftatell, passing the "Desolation of Smaug" - glacier wash plains created by catastrophic volcanic under Vatnajukull and Mydalsjokull. We were treated to a rainbow along one of the less desolate part, and continued past the now somewhat familiar sights until the attractive sunlight near Seljalandsfoss made us stop and enjoy the waterfalls.
|Route 1 bridge across Skeidararsandur||Dramatic landscape||Rainbow on Route 1||Rainbow||Nissan framed by a rainbow|
|Ring Road||Looking toward Myrdalsjokull||Volcanic ladscape||Skogafoss||Waterfall||Meadow|
Our previous stop at this spectacular waterfall was marked by bad weather. It was sunny this time and the low sun illuminated directly the cliff from which the watefall takes its lengthy drop. A breeze was blowing the mist around and when standing close enough to the river just below the waterfall or on the left side some way up, I could see a circular rainbow. What a sight!
I got my last hot dog in Iceland at a funky looking stand in a small town along the Ring Road. We watched a few horses graze peacefully with a snowcapped volcano behind them - Hekla is a famous and one the most active volcanoes on the island. We arrived at an airport hotel close to midnight though the sun set just a short time earlier. After another short night, we said so long to Iceland a few hours later...
|Fowl||Horses and Hekla||Keflavik International Airport|