Denise Goldberg's blog

Monday, September 06, 2010

To Mývatn

Yesterday was quite warm at 20 degrees, the only day since I arrived where there was no wind at all. Today? It warmed up to 15 degrees under a sky that wore shades of gray. That was quite a comfortable temperature in spite of the brisk wind. And then... it started sprinkling by about 2 in the afternoon. The rain intensified, dropping the temperature back to 10 degrees, and the wind never stopped.

Do you know I haven't had any non-rainy days here? Not a problem though...

My final destination today was Mývatn. That means I headed to the east in a line curving north, then south, and finally southeast. I climbed through mountains and followed water. I watched as the ground cover changed, showing touches of yellow and rust in addition to the ever-present green.

My first stop came a bit earlier than I expected. It's a good thing that I knew the name of the waterfall because the sign only contained the name - nothing mentioning falling water. The Goðafoss waterfalls were amazing, thundering in multiple pieces, stretching 30 meters across a curved line. I started on one side, then realized that there was a foot bridge down by the road to allow easy access on the other side too. I walked, I watched the water tumble, mesmerized.

On to Mývatn... What a beautiful body of water, populated by many birds, surrounded by rocks that are obviously the product of a volcano. There were similarities to my favorite Hawaii, differences too. I headed down a quiet one-lane dirt road and had to laugh at the bird behavior. I wish I knew who these birds were... instead of flying off when they heard the car, the started scurrying away by foot, eventually taking to the air.

I managed to get in two nice walks before the dry air turned wet, sprinkles morphing into rain. The first was around the pseudocraters at Skútustaðir, a nice walk made even more interesting when one of the cattle happily grazing there decided it might be interesting to see how close he could get to me while I was trying to grab a photo. Yup, I moved!

The next wander was to see some lava formations standing in the water, well worth the walk. The sprinkles started as I was heading back, turning to solid rain not too long after that. I completed the circle around the lake by car, not having much desire to walk in what seemed like a cold rain. Ten degrees Celsius (50 Fahrenheit) feels pretty chilly when there is water flying about.

Mývatn is on my list for a return visit, likely for another trip. You didn't think this was going to be my only trip to Iceland, did you?

After my rain-shortened wander around Mývatn, I headed back to Akureyri. I initially thought about driving a bit further to the west today, but somehow staying still felt right to me. I stopped by the information office in town to find a place to stay. The hostel was fully booked tonight, and B&B's and guesthouses can be a bit hidden if you don't know the town. It makes more sense to ask someone who knows the area. My home for the night is the Skjaldarvik guesthouse. It's 5 kilometers outside of Akureyi, a reasonable jump back to town distance to find some evening food.

Tomorrow feels like a driving day, reversing direction to head first west, then south and east.