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    • Day 5

      Day 5 - Glaciers & Icebergs

      May 15, 2022 in Iceland ⋅ ☁️ 8 °C

      Our room at Eyjar Fishing Lodge was so hot that we had to have the window open all night. I was awoken at 5am by the pleasant sound of waders (not fishermen’s boots) singing.

      By 7.30am we were making breakfast of coffee & toast in the hunting lounge. An hour later we were packing up the Duster when the owner appeared from his cottage attached to the lodge.

      He was in his 40’s, had dark lank greasy hair & an ill-fitting tracksuit that emphasised his moobs & belly. He was a real life Jack Torrance from The Shining. We thanked our lucky stars that we had survived the night. Jack informed us that the roads to the east & north were snowed in. Luckily we we were heading west & as we drove off all we could hear was “Here’s Johnny” ringing in our ears.

      Before we had rejoined Route 1, we chanced upon a flock of reindeer, the 1st we had seen in Iceland. We continued west around the Ring Road & took a very minor detour to Djúpivogur to see their ‘famous’ public art installation Eggin í Gleðivík. It was 34 underwhelming oversized eggs sitting along the harbour wall, each representing the 34 local bird species. The highlight in the town was another herd of reindeer relaxing on the town’s football field.

      We continued along the Ring Road towards Hofn on what was undoubtedly the most spectacular scenery we had seen so far on the trip. Green & black majestic mountains with cascading waterfalls on the right side of the road & black sand beaches on the left.

      We arrived in the nondescript town of Hofn & bought some provisions in Netto & fuel, because there would be no petrol stations for the next 200 kilometres. Fully refreshed & stocked up we returned to Route 1 & continued west.

      Not too far down the road, we spotted the tongue of a glacier, Hoffellsjökull. The signpost told us that it was a 4.5 kilometres drive to the glacier lake. Unfortunately 4 kilometres were over a rocky lichen field with just a partial track to follow. We eventually arrived at the glacier & unsurprisingly we were the only ones there. We took a few photos, then picked our way back to Route 1.

      Relieved to have rejoined the Ring Road without a puncture or damage, we put our foot down to the Glacier Lagoon at Jökulsárlón. The moment you pull into the car park your eyes are immediately drawn to the staggering beauty of the icebergs drifting in the lagoon. We wandered along the shoreline mesmerised by the sight & the seals swimming around them.

      Glacier Lagoon facts : The lagoon is 248 metres deep making it the deepest lake in Iceland & the surface area is 18 square kilometres. The icebergs are composed of ice over 1,000 years old.

      After marvelling at the icebergs, we shared a hotdog then returned to the car & drove across the road to Diamond Beach. The name needs no explanation as chunks of glistening icebergs were washed up on the shore’s black sand.

      Having felt like we had witnessed something quite special, we continued west to Skaftafell, a part of the larger Vatnajökull National Park. We parked in the car park & attempted to pay for a park parking ticket, but after 20 minutes we had still been unsuccessful, so we gave up & will risk the consequences.

      After getting our bearings at the Information Centre, we chose to walk up to Svartifoss (Black Falls) described as a stunning moody-looking waterfall flanked by geometric basalt columns. It was a 3.8 kilometre round trip up & down a mountain, but the bleak beauty of Svartifoss made it well worth the trip.

      Returning to Duster, we had a final hours drive to our accommodation for the night, Adventure Hotel Geirland. Upon arrival we took advantage of the Happy Hour with a beer. On the downside, we unwittingly engaged in conversation with an American ‘Adventurer’ who had a bald head covered in tattoos. He looked like a white supremacist who wouldn’t think twice about conducting a mass killing spree. He told us that he couldn’t imagine what the UK was like & he had some very disparaging opinions about Icelandic women that he shared with his fellow Adventurer diners. To top it all we overheard him order a Caprice salad starter, followed by mains of the beef burger & the lamb shank. Greedy bastard!!!

      We returned to our basic room for crackers & cheese & a couple of G&Ts.

      Song of the Day: Glacier by John Grant.
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    You might also know this place by the following names:

    Geírlandsá, Geirlandsa

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