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Iceland - Day 5 : Alftavatn and Landmannalaugar

In the morning I didn't feel rested and it was raining. It took about an hour to eat and pack everything. I set out into the fog and soon started going uphill.

foggy hike

After a while I needed to cross yet another river. I didn't really wanted to in the rain. By carefully stepping from stone to stone I made it across without getting wet. Then the road really went uphill. It was very steep and muddy. On top I had 'the' view. I had seen it a 100 times in movies and blogs and it was pretty cool to be here in real life. Unfortunately it was super foggy so I couldn't see very far.

Alftavatn
Alftavatn

After the climb I arrived in a completely different landscape. There were hot springs everywhere and a lot of smoke that smelled worse than Bart's socks after a week of cycling vacation. The rocks where blue, red and green. I was pretty sweaty from the climb and felt cold due to the rain. In total the climb had taken over an hour.

landmannalaugar
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landmannalaugar
landmannalaugar
landmannalaugar

The route continued over a big pile of snow. Suddenly I noticed holes in it. It turned out I was walking over a river and there was a meter deep hollow directly under my feet.

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landmannalaugar
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During the last section I was completely surrounded by fog while going higher and higher up the mountains.

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Het berghutje met de camping

laugavegur

It was beautiful here
 

I was completely exhausted when I arrived at the cabin and not super warm. The end of the laugavegur trail was another 12 km. As it was only 11:30, freezing, rainy, and windy, I didn't plan on staying here long (although it would have been great to see the landscape in better weather). I started going downhill, in the distance the sun was shining.

landmannalaugar
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hiking iceland in the mountains

I passed a few hot springs, which were pretty cool to see in real life.

hot springs in iceland
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hiking at hot springs in iceland
hot spring in iceland

A few hours later I started seeing more people. I was getting closer to the Landmannalaugar valley.

landmannalaugar
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Later I passed even more sulfur springs and unusual rocks.

rotten egg smell iceland
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After the descent the landscape became greener.

landmannalaugar
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vulcanic rocks in iceland

The last few kilometres were tough but I made it to the campsite around 17:00. 

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Today I had walked 24 kilometers through the mountains and rain carrying a 22 kg backpack. I shouldn't do that every day, but was glad I did. In the last 3 days I have walked 59 km with still had a good amount of time to rest left, so my planned average of 18 km/day for the trip should be easily attainable. 

There was a large campsite because there was a hot spring large enough to swim in and a bus stop. I passed a bunch of Belgian scouts. A girl was just telling a guy that she would lay down in her tent. He asked why. She replied she was going to masturbate. This might become interesting.. Accidentally there was no place for my tent anywhere except right next to hers. I bought a beer and bread in the local store before heading to the hot spring. After the tough hike it felt super relaxing, the water was over 50 degrees at its hottest point.

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The hot spring
 

After I was all relaxed I headed back to my tent where I discovered I had cell service. I called home to tell my parents I was still alive and to tell Bart that he was boring by being at home with his girlfriend while I was in a hot spring in Iceland with a lot of hiking girls. Later I drank the beer in my party tent. 

camping in iceland

The partytent
 

The beer was horrible. I also needed to get out of my tent regularly to fix my pegs. It was super windy but I couldn't manage to get them properly into the ground. There were containers with rocks specifically to anchor your tent.

 

From tomorrow onwards I will be following my own route. After 170 km there will be a small cabin with a campsite, apart from that it will just be lava fields and nothingness. I will likely also see a lot fewer people. Thus far everything is going fine in terms of walking and eating, but it will likely be quite the adventure.

Distance walked: 24 km