I took a four-day trek in the south of Iceland. This area is known as the Highlands and is characterized by volcanic deserts, black soil and lava fields. There isn’t much plant life except nearby rivers/runoff from glaciers, the result of which is mind blowing green in the desert. The tundra is unlike anything I’ve seen, partially because Iceland is (geologically) extremely young. Remember the film Prometheus, the sort of Alien prequel? Yeah, it was filmed here along with other sci-fi flicks.
Pics will appear in separate posts, thanks to Tumblr uploading complexity!
The hike started in Þórsmörk, we rose a few hundred meters, crossed a few frigid rivers and had ol’ Eyjafjallajökull in view most of the trip. We arrived end of day at a campsite in Emstrur.
Second day was a ‘typical’ Icelandic highland desert. This is where the super-green on black tundra became cosmic.
The hike was about 15km and ‘flat’ (Icelandic for rolling hills). One of these hills was used for the bibliopic Noah (note person in foreground for perspective).
Back to the green. Pics can’t do this justice, which is why I made video! Some foul language, but it’s all for good cause. See next post.
Our campground in Álftavatn was nestled in the middle of a valley on a lake. That’s just dumb planning, and our guide agreed. It’s a bit like broiling a steak for 15 minutes. Why?
Day Three ended up being a bit nasty. We were supposed to hike 24km to Landmannalaugar but made it to about Jökultungur. As we ascended, the weather grew increasingly bad. Winds were 40+ mph with hail which only sucks if you aren’t prepared. Our guide suggested we retreat, and we were soon glad we did.
Saw some random horses and yours truly decided to pursue a small flock of sheep. The key thing to trap sheep is the element of surprise, something I clearly lacked. In one pic I can’t help but wonder if the sheep weren’t saying “what was up with that?”
We arrived at Landmannalaugar relatively early in the afternoon, giving us lots of time for the hotpots and exclusive mountain shopping.
The next day we took a day hike in fabulous weather, then packed it up for the trip back to Reykjavik!