Iceland, A Photographic Tour, Day 6

On Day 6 we left Hrauneyjar and headed south, our destination being the guesthouse at Hrifrunes. Our route took us over the mountain region onto the Hekla volcanic plain and further along to Fjallabak, which means the back of Katla. The southern region, where I will be staying until day 9, is in the shadows of the big Katla volcano, whichwe heard  when in the North had been sending out small earth quakes. Volcanologists say that the volcano is long overdue an eruption and as it is covered by a huge glacier, this would cause major problems in the South. Hopefully, it will wait until I leave.

Our road throughout the journey was no more than a rocky dirt track and we had to cross a large number of rivers, three were fast flowing and difficult to cross even for our large 4-wheel drive. The wind was howling and rain in the air, this made photography with a tripod impossible for most of the day. The conditions also made it necessary to adjust the camera settings, causing a lot of noise on some pictures.

Soon after we entered the Hekla area I took the following shot of the lava plain created by the volcano. This area was used in the Star Wars film Prometheus.

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The second shot shows Hekla, the white topped mountain in the distance, from a different angle and the lava in the foreground is known as a’a lava because it is so rough to walk on.

 

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We drove along the Krakatindur route as we traveled up into the mountains. It was a very slow ride over a rough track. The next photo shows the area we drove along with the glowing moss and a small clump of Campion flower in the foreground.

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The dark mountain of Krakatindur stood out against the smooth moss covered hills. The wind was so strong when I took this picture that the camera was shaking in my hand.

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In the distance we saw an unusual occurrence: an ash storm, caused by ash from the 2010 eruption of Eyjafjallajökull. The high winds we were experiencing had obviously caused it. We were not to know that we would have to cross through the blowing ash before we got to the guesthouse.

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Quite a few hours into driving, we spotted a single little hut for hikers at Dakalofinn. More important was the unexpected toilet in this wilderness. The warden and his wife offered a very welcome coffee. Hikers use the hut and we came across two who were striding out with heads bent in the wind. The warden, who owned the hut, told us that it was in this region, in a more barren area, that Niall Armstrong practiced for walking on the moon.

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Near the hut I took this shot of the moss and water. The landscape here is very colourful.

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Not far on from near Dakalofinn there was a waterfall, well hidden and without a name. I took two shots here, one of the fall and the other of the canyon that the water fell into.

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We took a detour and drove to the top of a hill. The area is only accessible for a few months because being so high the snow is slow to melt. The mountain is Laufafell and the moss by the stream was glowing in the sunlight .

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As we drove the last stretch of the journey, the ash was blowing strongly so that I had to wind down the window to take this shot.

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I was relieved to finally reach the Hrifunes guesthouse where a delicious dinner was waiting me.

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