Iceland - Day 21 : The bus
Usually I woke up around 6, fall back asleep, and then get up at 7:30-8:00. This morning I woke up and decided to check the time 'just to be sure', 8:30 shit! The bus wouldn't leave until 12:10, but if it would take nearly an hour to pack and if walked 4 km/h as usual I wouldn't arrive until 12:00. Twenty five minutes later I was on my way, I ate breakfast while walking. I had seen many kinds of birds along the way and even more tracks. Some tracks were really large, I finally found out what made them.
Only 2 km to go
Because I walked fast I arrived at 10:50. There was a campsite and beautiful hot springs there.
Hot spring in Hveravellir
There was also a very old authentic Icelandic house, built in between the rocks and moss. I went inside to find 15 people having breakfast, I think they were renting the place and I had just walked into their living room.
The rocks clearly once had been viscous magma.
View away from the hotsprings
Hveravellir from a distance
Before the bus arrived someone kept asking questions about my solar charger. He wanted to buy the same one and explained he had been waiting for the bus for 3 days. He had bought the tickets beforehand and had hiked faster than expected. The cabin had a sign saying the nearest garbage bin was 100 km away.
When the bus arrived the driver had no clue how to sell me a ticket. Halfway through our conversation he walked off. I took a peek at the price list and saw it was 4300 Krona. When he returned he pretended to know how the table worked and asked for 6800 Kr. After I explained him how the price table worked I still only paid 4300. The bus was even more magical than the hot springs. First it started to rain, but I didn't get wet. Then we suddenly started moving without me needing to walk.
After five minutes I already wanted to get off, though. The view from the bus was very nice and I could see much farther than when I was walking. However, this wasn't the right way to travel through Iceland. Without the pain, fatigue, loneliness, mosquitoes, and hunger you don't experience it in the same way. After an hour we arrived at another campsite and another hour later at the second bus stop. The area through which I had hiked the previous days wasn't bad, but this was definitely nicer, there was way more green. I was surprised to see a boy get off the bus carrying only a backpack. I think he was going to a cabin 8 km away.
The other campsite
Nothingness along the way
The boy getting off
After many other nice views we reached the paved road near Gulfoss, the second largest waterfall in Iceland. We had 25 minutes to walk around. To make sure I saw everything I ran from viewpoint to viewpoint. Completely out of breath I returned to the bus.
A nice mountain along the way
Fifteen kilometers further we stopped at the geyser Geysir, where I would stay on the campsite.
We passed many meadows along the way
It wasn't like somebody had been lazy in naming the geyser Geysir, the word 'geyser is derived from this one. Before going there I visited the souvenir shop. They had lots of cool stuff like a mug with "I have no clue what this says" written in Icelandic. They also had funny shirts about the failure off the Ice-save bank and the volcanic eruption that happened a few years ago, such as: 'we may not have cash, but we've got ash". Later I saw a framed rock, those were only 30 euros, and cans with 'Icelandic air'. I wanted to buy the later as a gift for my parents, but 8 euros for an empty can seemed a bit much.
The framed rock
Campsites and busses had been fairly priced. However, all fresh or warm food was at least twice as expensive as in the Netherlands. I guess that makes sense as everything needs to be imported. Fifteen euros for a bowl of soup with some bread was a bit much though. Outside I noticed the same monster trucks I had seen during my hike, this was a good time to take a picture.
At 184 cm I just reached above the fenders
After drinking a liter of cola it was time for the geysers. I learned that Geysir is the second largest geyser in the world, but hadn't ejected since 1920. There was still a working smaller one that blows water every 6-8 minutes to a height of 25-35 meters. That one was the fifth largest globally. First the water came up into a large hemisphere before exploding. Afterwards the water would flow back into a seemingly bottomless hole.
After taking some nice pictures it was time to take a few from farther away. It blew up twice within 10 minutes but not nearly as high as I had seen before. I figured I would first look at the other hot springs. As soon as I walked away the geyser erupted twice within 10 seconds and the highest I had seen thus far. Eventually I did manage to take good photos.
A different hot spring with a bottomless hole
The real Geysir that doesn't blow any more
Along the way to the campsite I passed three hitchhikers from the USA. An hour later they were gone, I think hitchhiking works well in Iceland. The campsite had a level field of grass. I went in search of a local hot spring open for bathing. The one in Landmannalaugar and Laugarfell were really nice. This one had been converted into a tiled swimming pool. That made it ugly and had only been done the earn money. The people who come up with those ideas should be forced to hike through Iceland for 3 weeks as punishment.
The campsite did include a free pass for the swimming pool, I decided to go the following day so I wouldn't smell as bad in the bus. My neighbour on the campsite was a Belgian guy with a bike. He has been cycling along the fjords in the west and confirmed that cycling in Iceland is nearly impossible as soon as you go off-road. I had seen a few groups of cyclists from the bus, but at least half of them were walking.
The bus tomorrow wouldn't leave until 14:00 the next day, so I had some time to look around and rest. The hiking part of the vacation was (un)fortunately over, but I still had some nice plans for exploring Reykjavik.
Distance walked: 9,5 km