Danny Yee >> Bushwalking & Travel >> South Iceland

Dyrhólaey, Kerið, Reykholt

Monday 1st September

In Iceland, summer and the tourist season both end on August 31st, and our weather suggested why: it cleared a little every so often and it only rained heavily occasionally, but it was basically damp all day. I used my waterproof overpants for the first time.

Braving some corrugations and pot-holes - the worst road of the trip - we drove out to Dyrhólaey, crossing the mudflats and then climbing up onto the headland. We got to see various islands, and the Reynisdrangur seastacks at Vik from the other side, and the lighthouse (and belaying points presumably used to drag the building materials up, since there was no road when it was built), but none of it was that impressive in the mist.

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a view from Dyrhólaey
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our car in the mist
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Dyrhólaey lighthouse

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mudflats, with fulmar and skua
On the way out, we stopped and went for a walk on the mudflats. There were swans and two kinds of brown wading birds we couldn't identify properly. We also saw one skua "guarding" a juvenile fulmar - presumably waiting for it to die - and a less patient pair taking turns to peck at another every few minutes.

We stopped at Skógar, so Camilla could buy some woolens from the museum shop, but ended up having a cake and coffee as well - and we had to have another look at Skógafoss, of course. It wasn't raining when we reached Seljalandsfoss, so we did the walk behind the waterfall, which we hadn't done when we were there before. On the road soon afterwards we saw what we're pretty sure was a merlin, dogfighting with another bird over the road.

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boot cleaning device near Skógafoss
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Seljalandsfoss
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Kerið crater

Hekla had her head hidden in the clouds. At Hveravöllur the Saga Centre had shut down the previous day. And we failed to find the museum in Selfoss, but had lunch there on the other side of the river, watching the gulls - it was windy and cold. We were now in "Golden Circle" territory, on the main tourist circuit, but we had the crater of Kerið all to ourselves for a while, until a tour bus pulled up.

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glasshouses in Reykholt
We got into Reykholt in light rain; in the gloom the glowing greenhouses were particularly impressive. Finding a swimming pool, we were afraid that at 4.50 it would be just about to close, but happily it stayed open till 6, so we had our first swim in Iceland. It was most pleasant to sit in a heated pool with light rain falling, and we even ventured onto the small water-slide a few times.

On the way to Geysir we stopped briefly to look at Flaxi falls, with what looked like a salmon climbing ladder, and another circular sheep byre.

Next: Geysir, Gullfoss, Þingvellir
Previous: Höfn and back

[Alternative spellings: Dyrholaey, Kerid]

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