Iceland - Day 13 : Laugarfell
Today would be my day off, so I slept in. At least 20 minutes later than normal I was on my way. I had enough time to sleep in every day, but then it wouldn't feel special anymore. I didn't really feel like walking but the thought of a hot spring worked miracles. After 6 km a herd of horses arrived. Those roamed free the entire summer and you could rent them for travel. While taking pictures a man asked where my horse was. I said I kept it in my backpack. The horse riders had started in Laugarfell (the campsite I was heading to) and said the spring was nice. I hurried on.
A car passed with all passengers applauding. I could use the support. The campsite turned out to be a bit further than planned, but around noon I saw the cabin. To get there I needed to cross a river, which I would have to cross again first thing the next morning.
The lady working at the cabin was very friendly and asked if I was thirsty, as my lips were broken. I told her that had happened a few days ago and didn't hurt anymore, but she still brought me some free sports drink. Later a man entered who looked familiar. He asked If I had been in Landmannalaugar last week. It turned out to be the same man who had offered me a ride which I had declined and replied I came to Iceland to hike. That was really coincidental. We talked a bit more before I started putting up my tent. Suddenly I heard 'Hey, friend' and saw him walking towards me. I thought he just wanted to chat some more, but he told me how hikers usually only eat dried food so he had a gift for me. He handed me 4 fresh pancakes, 2 apples, 3 tomatoes, a bell pepper, and a cucumber. I didn't know how to tank him. This was really great after all those days of eating only nuts, rice, and macaroni.
The banquet given by my Icelandic friend
Later it was time for a bath. The hot spring was similar to Landmannalaugar but here the pond had been excavated and heightened with rocks. I got in the water and realized a man was looking at me strangely. He had heard me moan, from 50 meters away.
I was the only one in the bath and it was super relaxing. I had just hiked 10 days through one of the most beautiful and remote parts of nature I had every seen and was now floating in a hot bath that wouldn't be out of place in the average spa. Just while I was enjoying the view two Icelandic ladies joined me. Koen and Bart really made a bad decision not to join me. After some time two French hikers arrived who were walking a very similar route as me. After some talking I learned they were the two hikers I had seen a few days ago at Nyidalur. They had started in Skogar, a town about 20 km south of Porsmork. I had wished to start there as well, so I would really walk from the south coast to north coast, but both the internet and the brochures in the bus station said it was near impossible to get to Skogar by public transport. With all the delays in my flights I also hadn't specifically asked about it. The hikers had also seen me in Nyidalur and told me about a great dinner the lady there had made them. That was great to hear. One of them was called Matthew and the other Thibaut.
The entire trip I had been thinking about the northern lights. One time I had gotten up at 23:45 but it was still light out. Now I called home and my parents told me there had been so much solar activity that the northern lights had been visible as far south as the Netherlands. Great. After a few more hours of resting in the bath I went to sleep. It was another 95 km to Varmahlid, my destination on the ring road.
Distance walked: 12 km