I arrived at a great time. Visibility was pretty poor, wind was howling like it had somewhere to go, and the rain was coming down in sheets. It still looked beautiful in its own way though.
Being in Iceland for such a short period of time I figured there was no sense in splurging on a rental. After a bunch of emails back and forth I settled with SAD Cars. This ended up being a mistake. They did end up refunding my money when I emailed their head office with my experience so I suppose it was not a total loss.
A 15 meter footbridge named ‘Leif the Lucky Bridge’ takes you over the growing rift. The Eurasian plate is on one side and the North American tectonic plate is on the other.
These two plates are continuously drifting apart under massive forces. Rather slowly though, so no rush if you can’t find parking! It is pretty neat to be able to stand on two tectonic plates so close to each other.
It was a little difficult to take all of it in as the rain and wind was a constant beating force. One of my favorite portions was the black sand though. Short of coal dust, I’ve never seen black sand before and as odd as it sounds, it looked stunning!
Continuing the counter clock wise loop it was off to the Geothermal Park called Krýsuvík. Boiling mud and danger signs remind you that boiling mud is hot. There is a nice elevated walkway that was built above the geothermal pools to help prevent human interactions buggering up the natural beauty.
F road stands for Fun roads and in Iceland they don’t allow cars on fun roads. Only 4x4s. I happened to be in a Toyota Yaris so I was missing the rear diff and any resemblance of ground clearance.
Technically the F-Roads are a designation for the gravel and mountain roads where cars are not permitted due to a lack of bridges over rivers, their rough nature, and other unforeseen obstacles.
My next stop was supposed to be a cave. I could not locate it which resulted in about an hour of walking around in a windstorm with my cheeks fluttering like a pug who stuck his head out the window. A lot of tour groups were cancelled for the day as well due to the wind so I couldn’t even locate anyone to follow. Next time I suppose! A rainbow materialized though so that was rather pretty.
After that I went to track down another cave. The access road for it was blocked off though. The unfortunate part is I had now had to carry and fly with a bunch of caving gear that had no use for two weeks. The landscape was out of this world though, it would stretch as far as the eye could see in every direction and once you hiked a short distance from the road it looked the same in every direction!
In the village of Hveragerði, I stopped at the Bónus to pick up a few groceries. They have a café at the entrance with a lot of delicious looking pastries. Considering how expensive everything in Iceland is, this massive chocolate donut was pretty cheap, it was also very tasty.
After leaving Bónus I went to Kerið. Kerið is an ancient volcanic crater and at about 3,000 years old it is roughly half the age of some of the surrounding craters.
A hiking trail follows the perimeter of the crater. There is a cost of £4 to be able to see the crater. It is a little ironic that you can see some of the amazing sights for free yet to see a hole in the ground you have to pay. The crater sits on private land though so I suppose they want to monetize it.
As you hike around a couple smaller craters can be seen in the depressions which have been overgrown by the local grasses. The water in the craters center is about 7-12 meters deep.
I didn’t really get a chance to look into it, or have done any subsequent research on it, but there is a huge amount of horses in Iceland. At least in the southwest corner that I was in. I felt a little bad for them as I could barely stand up in the wind and here they were just munching away on whatever grass they could find.
As darkness started to arrive as there was no visible sun, I was nearing one of the stops I was really excited about, Black Pebble Beach. It might have been the atmosphere but it felt like driving into a Jurassic Park scene.
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