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Iceland - Day 4 : Elmstrur and Alftavatn

woke up at 6:20, clearly not adjusted yet to Icelandic time. I ate my breakfast of 150 grams of granola. That wasn't a huge amount, but enough to not be hungry. When most people were just waking up I already started walking. The surroundings were very different from the day before, with a lot of green hills.

Elmstrur
elmstrur

After two hours I still hadn't seen anyone. It was pretty cool to be all alone in such a vast valley.

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alftavatn

turned a corner and entered a beautiful valley with a river, although it was a bit cloudy. I took a break at a waterfall.

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Three hours later I saw the first people off the day. A bit later I had to cross another ice cold river. A group of people arrived, followed by their own support car. That must be very peaceful... According to my thermometer the water was 9 degrees, but it felt a lot colder due to the strong current. 

icelandic landscape
wading rivers in iceland
hiking in iceland

One of the many rivers and moss covered hills along the way
 

My feet started to hurt, not because of blisters, but the bottoms were just in pain from carrying my backpack. The winter jacket I had brought was definitely too warm to wear during the day. In a few days I would likely have enough space in my backpack to put it in there and just wear a t-shirt. I passed another bridge before arriving at a cabin, where I took another break before walking the last 5 km to the campsite.

hiking in south iceland

View from the cabin
 

The surroundings changed slowly into grass plains. In the distance I could see rocks in many colors, I would be walking there the next day.

hiking in iceland
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After crossing yet another river I arrived at Alftavatn, a beautiful lake. This was also where my next campsite was. During the following days I would follow the Landmannalaugar trail for another 20-25 km before starting my home made route, running straight through Iceland's interior until I reached the ring road in the north.

alftavatn
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It was only 3 o'clock but I needed to get some rest so I wouldn't crash only a week into my hike. My feet felt like they were on fire and I felt a bit vague in my head. I think I drank too little and had gotten sunburned. I hadn't expected that to happen in Iceland. 

After dinner and dishes I washed my socks in the river and took a closer look at the lake, where apparently several movies had been shot. Although the water was close to freezing there were several people swimming. I decided to pay more attention to how much I drank the next day and also check my GPS more often, as I had taken a few small wrong turns during the day. It would be 12 km to the next mountain cabin and then another 12 until the end of the Laugavegur trail. If I would get a good rest 22 km seemed doable, although I remembered it involved a serious climb.

Distance walked: 16 km