Nomadic. Storyteller. Soul searcher. Experience hungry. Music carnivore. Dreamer of better things.
Húsavík, Ásbyrgi, Stuðlagil Canyon and finally Egilsstaðir
If I recall correctly, I start this day around 5 a.m.
The light was just breaking, but with a heavy cloud layer blanketing the land. As I try to stay awake with my 3rd cup of coffee, I see a group of Icelandic horses engaging in a most interesting routine, although whether they are dancing or showing dominance, I am not sure.
A huge flock of birds fly over a glacial river as they head towards the sea. Sheep look at me curiously as I take in the landscape. No one else is around.
It’s not even 8 a.m. as I arrive in Húsavík, a small whaling village along the coast. Nothing is open though, and the clouds are still covering the ocean for the most part, so I just keep on driving. Eventually the cloud cover breaks somewhat, and I see the raw beauty of the rugged coastline and cliffs around me. I stop and walk for a spell along the high coastal edge as birds squawk and circle above me.
I see a sign pointing me in the direction of Ásbyrgi. Legend has it that this area was formed from the hoof of Odin’s eight legged horse. I could have seen the hoofprint if I was at the top of the canyon, but instead I went hiking down in the valley floor. I find serene pools and fascinating rock formations, quiet nature trails and wooded wonderlands. The place was full of magic.
I leave the lush greenland and find myself driving through an alien, lunar landscape as I pass Dettifoss. In the middle of this empty but beautiful area there is a lone shop where you can get petrol, supplies and a meal. The place is packed with it being the only store around. I am enchanted though with it’s eccentricities, and order a bowl of Icelandic lamb soup.
The owners are asking for donations so they can go to Japan. I give them a paper Icelandic bill and they are more than grateful. The amount I donate was probably too much, but I don’t do a currency exchange rate to see how much I gave. It didn’t matter anyway. I sit and am joined by a Mother/Daughter as seating is limited. They speak only a little English, but we manage to get through a conversation as I sip my soup and they enjoy their coffee’s. I can tell they aren’t the biggest fan of Americans. We all laugh as I tell them I feel the same way.
I hit a “traffic jam” of Icelandic horses as they make their way across the road. The dust billows as the horses parade in front of me.
The afternoon is quickly turning into evening, but I want to try and make it to Stuðlagil Canyon. Rain falls one minute, then lets up the next as I race to get to the canyon. I find that I need to get off the highway and travel along a single lane dirt road for what seems like forever. Once I get to the parking area, I find that I would need to hike another five miles to see the most prolific part of this place, but I don’t have the time, unfortunately. Additionally, the heavy rains and water runoff have turned the river a muddy brown instead of it’s usual glacial blue.
Eventually I make it to Egilsstaðir, on the edge of East Iceland. I’m staying on the shores of Lake Lögurinn, the third largest lake in the country at 35 kms long. My accommodations here are my favorite so far of this trip. The place is family run. My room has a floor to ceiling front facing window so I can take in the scenery. They also have soak tubs overlooking the Lake, which I do right after I get settled in.
The husband is the chef here, and I have a wonderful evening meal before settling in for the night. The rain continues to lightly fall, and the pitter patter sound lends to a peaceful night’s sleep.