Iceland - Day 9 : Another day
This morning was similar to all the other ones. I woke up not knowing where or who I was. Then I stepped out into a landscape that could be directly copied onto a postcard. The other hikers were still asleep. After I ate and packed everything they started waking up. I said goodbye and went on my way. In the morning I still walked through the dry hills but later the landscape became more swampy. After 10 km I passed the first car of the day. A bit later a second one passed. The driver was a park ranger who asked where I was going and if I slept in a tent. He was kind but said everything was STILL ok, with a lot of emphasis on still. I think he was worried that many hikers would walk off the paths and damage the fragile landscape. I just tried to be as kind as possible in case I would meet him again later. In the afternoon I had a nice view over the Hofsjökull, the glacier I would be walking around for the next few days. Later I passed a lake.
I tried to take a decent picture of myself. This was quite a challenge with the hard wind and without a camera stand, but then again it wasn't like I had anything else to do.
After the course of a few hours I suddenly got a lot of blisters on my heel. I wasn't sure if that was simply because I walked so much or because I had accidentally switched my left and right socks. After lunch I noticed two dots in the distance, which turned out to be two hikers. It took over half an hour before I reached them. One was from England and the other from Germany. They had started in the north and were walking south over a slightly different route. We talked about hiking stuff like what type of food they carried, how far they walked each day, and how heavy their backpacks were. The English guy asked if I wanted one of his granola bars. It was a classic expedition bar that would last for another 10 years, but he assured me that it tasted better than it looked. As I joke I offered them some rice in return, I didn't have anything else I could spare.
I told them to take a small detour over the Laugavegur route, as it is so beautiful. They said they had been in a hot spring a 'while back', which turned out to be 2-3 days. They had expected to see more saunas to which I replied I also hadn't seen any by the side of the road. I really enjoyed meeting some people in the middle of nowhere. The remainder of the day was busier than I had expected, being 80 km from the nearest village. Then again, those 3 or 4 cars that raced by every few hours did little to break the solitude.
A bit later it got cloudy and started drizzling. I had the choice between stopping next to a lake, where there would certainly be mosquitoes, or get water and carry that a few kilometers further. I picked the lake, so I could be sure my tent was pitched in case the rain would increase. Fortunately, both the mosquitoes and rain weren't too bad. I walked pretty far today. After some rest I wrote today's story and looked at all the photos I had taken thus far. It was interesting how much more I experienced here compared to back home.
For lunch I had eaten the luxurious meal of chocolate covered peanuts, so for dinner I had to eat a simple meal of plain rice, with the Englishman's granola bar for dessert. While cooking, it suddenly felt like my tent was lifting off. It turned out several pegs had come loose because of the high wind. The soil was very loose and powdery. Only when I put 5 kg heavy stones on top of the pegs they stayed in. I took a pee while listening to "you ain't nothing but a hound dog" and looking out over the lake and mountains. So much freedom!
Distance walked: 27 km