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Thread: Journey through the land of ice and fire

  1. #1
    Super Moderator Metric Kate's Avatar
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    Journey through the land of ice and fire

    Kerlingarfjoll and Hveradalir, Iceland

    The original plan of the 5 day backpack from Landmannalauger to Sgokar was kiboshed by a back problem that started at Easter and hasn't yet been resolved, so instead we hired a 4x4 and explored the interior of Iceland, spending two days at the mountain 'resort' of Kerlingarfjoll just off the F35 gravel road. 'Resort' = a collection of mountain huts welcoming backpackers, day walkers and families, and we got lucky with the weather, experiencing an Icelandic heatwave.

    The 13km route we took went from the campsite through the hills towards Tolkeinesque looking mountains (and Tolkeinesque sounding too - Fannborg sounds like it's come straight out of Lord of the Rings); we crossed old snow-fields, made volcanic discoveries, and then reached the geothermal area of Hveradalir. At first in Iceland when you smell that distinctive rotten-egg sulphur smell, your nose wrinkles, but soon when you sniff it on the air, excitement rises because you know you're probably going to see something spectacular. 'Awesome' is a word easily overused in Iceland, but Hveradalir ticked every box in awesomeness. Hot springs, hot rivers, natural Jetboils shooting out steam and water under pressure, bubbling mud, the list went on as we walked through a land of unnatural colour and smell. We took a couple of hours to walk round the 2km loop of the geothermal valley, then turned back the way we came, taking time to appreciate the flora of this unusual landscape.

    One of the oddest things was struggling to judge distance and height in an alien landscape. The climb to the bealach on the way out looked huge, but we knocked it off really quickly.

    Photos on my Google Photos page here.

  2. #2
    ‹bermensch
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    You seem to have had better weather than in the UK. Great photos.

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    Ultra King Matt C's Avatar
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    Yep, the pictures looked really good - made me want to go back

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    Ultra King Martin Carpenter's Avatar
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    Looks incredibly different. Honestly not sure if I'd like it myself - I really like greenery......

    Quote Originally Posted by John Kilgour View Post
    You seem to have had better weather than in the UK. Great photos.
    Eh, I could post some pure blue sky/sea pictures from Northumberland. It just didn't *stay* that way for too many days

  5. #5
    Super Moderator Metric Kate's Avatar
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    It was strange; there were parts of Iceland very similar to Wales and the UK, bits where it was Wales and the UK on steroids, bits in the interior that reminded me of Monument Valley and the deserts of the south-west US, and other bits that were completely alien. The lack of vegetation was indeed strange. The weather was unexpectedly 'good', in fact we got sunburned on the first day! I was enthralled by the lack of 'night', I'd only taken my Petzl e-lite with me anyway, and only needed that once when I lost something in my tent and needed it in the shadowy bits to find whatever it was I'd lost.

    I shall definitely be going back!

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