Monday, 1 December 2014

Day 6 - Looking for Hekla

The weather has been none to great today, very windy and quite wet.  We decided to have a drive around and see if we could see the Hekla volcano from route 26.  I plotted a round trip where we went down to route 32 (Þjórsárdalsvegur) going up the valley and then up to meet the 26 (Landvegur) to go back down the valley to route 1 and pass Hekla about 10 km to the South.  On the way we were going to look out for places to stop which might be interesting and worth taking a few pictures.  

Our first stop was this ancient sheep pen which was a large oval shape in the centre and separate pens all the way around.  The separators had paths on then so you could walk around the top of the pens, presumably to keep control of the sheep.

Here's Ginny in a pathway between the pens as I was walking around the top.

Next to the sheep pen was a pile of rocks with a plate on it which we couldn't understand, but it made a nice foreground subject to the odd shaped hill behind.

A little further along the road was a sign which took us up a road to a car park but no explanation for why except there was a vantage point to see the water in the valley below.

A few miles further down we found one of the sites we were looking for at Þjóðveldisbærinn. Unfortunately we had missed the waterfall at Hjálparfoss, but we have seen quite a lot of waterfalls already this holiday. Þjóðveldisbærinn is a recreation of an old village using some of the traditional building methods.  Unfortunately it was closed but we had a wander about it anyway.  This first shot is of the small building with the little waterfall in the background.

The second shot from here was around the back of the large building showing the two little extensions.

The last photo is of the whole site with the little waterfall between the two buildings.  We has a short sharp shower of rain/hailstone while we were here and unfortunately on most of the other photos I took I had water droplets on the lens which I hadn't noticed at the time.  I may be able to fix them later.

A little further along again was this patch of rocks where there were lots of them piled up.  The main reason for the shot was to show the windmills but they have disappeared into the background a bit.

The next shot was from the same area but this time looking back to where we had driven from.

Not long after this we went past a small building on a stream which looked to contain electric water turbines which were being fed from the Sultartangalón reservoir higher up the valley.  We were in a very large lava field, presumably from Hekla and every so ofter there were small pillars of lava sticking up.  I took this photo with one of the pillars in the foreground and a small mountain in the background.

Soon after we met route 26 and turned to head back down the valley.  The road was quite normal for the first few hundred yards but then turned into a very rough, ash covered track.  The weather had become even windier and we were getting frequent bouts of heavy rain during the journey.  Ginny told me that there was a route that was marked for 4x4 vehicles only a little way ahead and when we reached it there was a parking area which had boards showing the ordinary cars were not allowed to take this route.  It was quite difficult to make out as a road but I'm sure it must have been there.  While we were there I took this last photo of another pile of rocks with the little mountain behind.

Eventually the route 26 track turned back into a proper road as we approached civilisation and then we made our way back to the apartment.  In the evening we went to the Linden Restaurant across the road from the apartment. We had a wonderful wild game meal which the chef brought to the table to tell us that he had prepared Rudolf, making everything from scratch.  After the meal he came back out to talk to us and asked us if we'd ever had shark meat.  We'd read about Hákarl so we were prepared to be given a sample of rotten shark and it was pretty awful.  He did include a shot of some white spirit which made it slightly more palatable and because Ginny does drink alcohol I had a second shot.   When we left the restaurant the weather had become even worse so the waitress let us out of the back door which was even closer to the apartment so we ran as fast as we could in the circumstances.

Last full day tomorrow, not sure what we're going to do, it depends on the weather and how we feel I guess.

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