arrow&v

Iceland - Day 3 : Porsmork and Emstrur

At 5 in the morning my alarm went off. I started packing my gear before realizing I hadn't changed my phone to Icelandic time, which meant I had woken up two hours early. I slept for 2 hours more and headed to the bus station. Along the way I passed the Hallgrímskirkja, a large church in Reykjavik.

Hallgrímskirkja

The Hallgrímskirkja
 

The bus lines were confusing as each bus was running multiple bus lines. We first drove through some alleys and villages. Then the driver informed me I needed to transfer. We stopped at a nice waterfall before going off-road.

5-2_edited.jpg
6-2_edited.jpg
icelandic waterfall

The bus drove through a large lava-field from the volcanic eruption in 2010. We drove straight through rivers and stopped at a nice view over a glacier.

icelandic landscape
icelandic landscape
12_edited.jpg

There turned out to be 3 stops named Porsmork and I had no idea which was the right one. I talked to the guide in the first mountain hut, he explained how the other two stops were further north and advised me to start walking here. I would probably reach the second hut before dark. I realized that 'before dark' didn't mean much as the sun didn't set this time of year. I was glad I had brought hiking poles. The path went up and down very steeply and I was top heavy due to my backpack. After a few kilometers I left the forest and arrived at a large river.

icelandic landscape
wading a river in iceland

Two girls just came out off the water and confirmed it was freezing. That wasn't a big surprise as the water had just run out of a glacier. I tied my shoes together and hung then around my neck. Then I rolled up my trousers and started walking in the river. It was ridiculously cold, especially because it was flowing fast. I needed my hiking poles to keep balanced. When I reached the opposite bank I could hardly feel my legs anymore, but as soon as I got out of the water the cold disappeared. I noticed I had cut my feet but hadn't felt anything. I had considered bringing slippers but had decided to leave them at home, I would only wear them for maybe 30 minutes during the entire 3 week hike.

 

After the crossing I reached open plains surrounded by beautiful mountains. About every 20 minutes I would meet someone and everyone was very friendly. After taking a break to drink, the trail became more deserted, likely because most people were walking only from bus stop to bus stop.

17_edited.jpg
18_edited.jpg
20_edited.jpg
icelandic landscape

I was pretty tired from the previous two days, but need to walk for another 1,5 hours to reach the closest campsite. I climbed over a mountain and arrived at a bridge. Shortly after the road stopped and I needed to climb holding a rope.

22.jpg

The bridge
 

I estimated I had already walked 15 km by then, plus 5 km to the bus stop. That was a lot on my first day, carrying 24 kg of luggage. I had some bruises on my hips from my backpack's hip belt and a sore back, but not as bad as I had expected. After another climb I saw the mountain hut in the distance.

23_edited.jpg

The mountain hut
 

The girl working there told me I could pitch my tent anywhere and pay when I wanted. I camped along a river so I had fresh water at hand. I made a meal of macaroni with ham and cheese, which tasted better than I had expected and was quite savory. It always felt great to have a good, warm meal after a long day of cycling or hiking. It had been around 20 degrees Celcius during the day, but quickly cooled down at night.

24_edited.jpg

The expedition meal 'macaroni with ham and cheese'
 

After brushing my teeth I noticed I had no cell phone coverage anymore. I updated this story before going to bed, the following day would again be though.

Distance walked: 20 km