"Hiking Thorsmork to Landmannalaugar (Part II)" Vestur-Skaftafellssÿsla by mplessers
Vestur-Skaftafellssÿsla Travel Guide: 105 reviews and 349 photos
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August 13, 1999: Thorsmork - Botnar
Rise and shine at 7:30. And after breakfast and an Austrian coffee we are ready to pack our tents and backpacks. At 10AM we start a first (steep) climb. At the bottom of this first hill we need to get out our sandels. It's time for our first river-crossing...
it's a fastrunning stream and ice-iiiiiccce cooooold. The water comes just above the knee, but it takes out all feeling in your legs... From here on we follow the river (upstream). There are several other persons hiking in the same direction (Germans) and be noon we see that even more people are doing the hike in the oposite direction. But today the wind is blowing in there back.
After lunch we follow the route over morene's and lavadust. Now and then a drop of rain keeps the scenery in mistery. On the highest point of the pass, the wind is blowing us of our feet... man this is not a sign for good weather...
After today's last crossing (with the aid of a bridge) is another long climb to our campingplace. Since it's raining again, we manage to arrange a place inside to eat. Well we only need to boil the water, wait 5 minutes and diner is ready.
For the evening we make a small side-trip to a nearby canyon (Markarfljotsgljufur). A must for anyone who has a little knowledge of geology (and also for the other who haven't). After our return, the Dutch people want to go to sleep, and we are not allowed in the hut anymore... well since it's raining again we will have to take an early sleep (10PM).
It has been raining all night, and even in the morning we have to start in a wet climate... well, tis is celand...
Since most persons that slept inside have left (are they racing?), we can have our breakfast inside. At 10:30 we leave (in the rain).
After one hour over lavadust planes we have a short break. Here Koen realises he forgot his jacket. Our guide desides to put on his running shoes and goes running for the jacket. We slowly continue our walk: more lavedust... more rain...
At 1 PM we have lunch, and 20 minutes later the jacket (and our guide) have catched up. Now we continue at a fast pace (but still in the rain).
A last cold river crossing and we decide to stay the night in a stabble. Normally we should walk until Alfavatn, but with this weather we like it warm (or dry at least).
After warming up, we have dinner, and we even succeed in making some chocolat-mousse... and although it was not the classic way of cooking, it was the best mousse ever.
The evening is spend inside (while it's raining cats and dogs outside), and by 11PM, everybody is dreaming...
August 15, 1999: Alftavatn - Hrafntinnusker
At 7:30 David is waking as last one (by his own snorring). At it seems all rain is falling out of the sky... the sun is shining and no cloud in the sky. Todays breakfast is muesli.
We leave at nine to catch up with the last kilometers of yesterday. After the lake the path goes uphill and Koen has problems with his knee... we have to repack his load.
500m higher we reach the beginning of the "active land". Green and black is replaced by white and all colors of brown, yellow and red (with steaming vents and other "stange" ground-activities).
After lunch, the path goes up and down and at the end there is a final climb to Hrafntinnusker. The hut (and campsite) is surrounded with black glass-like rocks. Not easy to find a "save" spot.
Finnally I can get the food out of my backpack. Another kilo that's gone. It's cold outside and the water does not want to boil... we well need to heat it inside.
The German group is also here, they are sleeping inside. Since it's the last day, the extra portion of kip curry is also prepared as well... everybody needed it...
A last walk to a nearby boiling pound and a sunset from the nearby top prepares us for a cold night.
This morning there is a little ijs on the ground... and on the tents... so it must be freezing... After our breakfast (that drops like a stone in my stomach) we leave for our last day. And it's a good thing: today Karin has a knee problem, and I'm not feeling well. Luckely it's a short day today.
Along some mud- and sulfur-holes the path goes down to Landmannalaugar. Via a maze of lavadunes we finally arrive at the campsite. Together with Koen, Karin, David and Arsène, I walk slowly, but I'm exhausted and after setting the tent, I going in for a little sleep. But a with Cola and a Mars the energy is returning, and we are ready to go for a swim in the hot springs.
One more dried dish and then I'm back in my sleeping bag... Hope this doesn't last for the next two week of out trip.
Some of the group have enough energy to make another small walk, and to take a second hot-tob. They even see some flashes of the "Northern Light".
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