Start of the trek in Skogar. It’s 8 am and it’s rainong. After half an hour we decide to go because it can also go on for the entire week and we want to go for our trek. 318 steps to start with. We have to go up the waterfall to get on the 26 kilometers trail for the first day. We suffer from the weight of the backpack. Legs too. Time for our bodies to be ready and it’s already much better. The sky is clearing up little by little as we’re walking. We can enjoy the wonderful landscape all around us. We go up the river and discover many small waterfalls.
Later we went past a first refuge, crossed the first glacier which is melting. And we went on towards the volcano Eyjafjallajökull which last dated back to 2010. Crossing the lava fields was quite amazing.
We arrived at the top of the hill Fimmvörðuháls then crossed the crest Heljarkambur. At that time of th day we are tired and our knees are painful. Going down the valley of Mýrdalsjökull towards Þórsmörk seemed to me awfully long and I long for my tent and my sleeping bag to sleep into.
Departure from Þórsmörk after a good night’s sleep. It wasn’t not early but our legs were better. We knew we’d have to cross several rivers. We crossed the first one after only half an hour. The stream was strong and we were happy to find a bridge. We’re brave but not bold !
The first difficulty is to cross the first mountain, it was not very long but the difference in height was steep to arrive at the Þrönga river where there’s no bridge. Shoes around our necks, trousers rolled up, we crossed the iced water while being sure of where we walked. I couldn’t imagine what would have happened if my bag had fallen into the water…
Then we crossed the very nice valley of Almenningar. We didn’t meet anyone during the last two walking hours but the trail is well signed. A small bridge and a last uphill slope, we could see the refuge of Emstrur. It is situated high and the place is very windy, so the fine and black sand is always moving. I thought that the night was going to be a long one.
After a hard night we departed at sunrise. Noone to be seen. Only the huge Hattafell mount. Crossing the Emstrur desert is amazing. We were alone. No noise. Noone around. After a few hours in these deserted fields the start of the Álftavatn region was like an oasis. Everything was green. There were thick moss and high grass alla long the path. Until we arrived to the lake, to the east, where the almost deserted campsite had become the playing field of the sheep. We crossed several rivers, there were different levels of deep rivers, from our ankles to our the high of our thigh. One of my favourite part of the trek.
We left the lake. After walking for an hour, a small river to cross and we ended up in front of the most difficult thing of the day. Once we’re up on the hill we turned around to see how many kilometers we walked. There are some rays of light to brighten the valley and it was there one of our most beautiful point of view. Far away the lake, mountains on each side, green everywhere and the light… Perfect. We went on towards the south and walked past our first jet of steam. The gaz out of it coloured the earth. It smelt like a rotten egg but it was beautiful. We could see far away in the distance the refuge of Hrafntinnusker. The ground was hilly and muddy but the clouds behind us motivated us to get there as quickly as possible.
Once we were there the keeper told us that a huge storm would be coming during the night and advised us not to sleep in our tent. Okay, one night under a roof would be good for us… Only it’s around 42 euros a night. Around twenty trekkers gathered and we spent the next 36 hours together, the storm went on for longer than expected…
So we were forced to rest for a longer time, we started again for our last step. The rain was still falling on us but the wind was down. The difference in level is good for us and we knew that we would see the hot sources in two or three hours. But we didn’t go too fast and we enjoyed this part of the trip. It was as beautiful as the others. We went on in the rain for an hour then the sun came out. We could see more and more rainbows along our trail. We saw one of the most beautiful thing ever : a small green hill with hot rivers of which got out water and was crowded with sheep. It was so beautiful and so unexpected. We crossed the Brennisteinsalda mountains and then the Laugahraun lava fields to finally go down the Landmannalaugar valley.
So this was already the end. We discovered in Landmannalaugar one of the Icelandic pleasure : the hot water sources. The water was 48 degrees Celsius, it was a real happines for our bodies after those long walking hours ! There was a message to alert us on a bacteria in those water, but I didn’t see it. There was also a grandfather who sold some food in a very old bus next to the campsite. It was expensive but it was nice to eat something else than the freeze-dried food we ate. It was a shame there was no cheese !
The area allows us to wander around for some nice walks without the backpacks. Everything to get busy and to enjoy, while waiting for our bus in 24 hours to get back to