Iceland - Day 13 : Laugarfell
Today would be my day off, so I slept in. At least 20 minutes later than normal I started walking. I had enough time to sleep in everyday, but then it wouldn't feel special anymore. I didn't really feel like walking but the thought of the hot spring worked miracles. After 6 km a herd of horses arrived. Those roamed free the entire summer and you could also rent them for travel. While taking pictures a man asked where my horse was, I said I kept it in my backpack. They had started in Laugarfell (the campsite I am heading to) and said the spring was nice. I hurried on.
A car passed with all passengers applauding, I could use it. 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 tomorrow 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 but whom I told I came here 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 ate dried food so he had a gift for me. He revealed 4 fresh pancakes, 2 apples, 3 tomatoes, a bell pepper, and a cucumber and gave them to me. I didn't know how to tank him. This was really great after all those days of 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 stones. 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 an 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 resting two French hikers arrived that were walking a very similar route. 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 coast to coast, but both the internet and the brochures in the bus station said it was near impossible to get there by public transport. With all the delays in my flight I hadn't specifically asked about it. Apparently it was possible if you transferred to a different bus company along the way. The hikers had also seen me in Nyidalur and told me about the great dinner the lady there had made them. That was great to hear... One of them is called Matthew and the other Thibaut.
The entire trip I have 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 talking in the bath I went to sleep, it is another 95 km to Varmahlid, the village on the ring road.
Distance walked: 12 km