Skaftafell - Svartifoss
sunset over Skeiðarárjökull
We got into Skaftafell at 8.15pm and drove to the furthest field, which we
had almost to ourselves. (There were maybe 200 people all up on the site,
but there must be several thousand at peak times. There's a photo of the
camping area on the next page.) We ate dinner while watching the sunset.
Feeling lazy, we drove back to huge toilet block near the Information
Centre, which had plentiful hot water. Camilla showered, but we didn't
have enough 50 króna pieces for me to as well. Back at the tent I played
with long-exposure photographs (nothing turned out particularly well)
and read and wrote for a while by torchlight, going to sleep at 11pm.
Friday 29th August
It was a bright sunny morning. I woke up at 7.30 but went back to sleep,
and we didn't get to the Information Centre till 9. There we paid our
camp fees and boiled water for muesli, soup, and coffee. Camilla found
a drying room, so she did a load of washing while I tried to dry the
tent. In the end we set off at 10.40 - the plan was to do the most
ambitious day-walk on the "heath" Skaftafellsheiði, up to the peak of
Kristinartindar and back.
Climbing through the woods, first we came to Hundafoss (Dog Falls),
then the dramatic Svartifoss (Black Falls), which plunges in between
hanging basalt columns reminiscent of organ pipes.
From Svartifoss the track climbs up to the Sjónarsker viewpoint, which
offers a panorama of Skaftafellsheiði, Kristinartindar at its top end,
the mountains on either side of it, and the plain below. The centre of
Skaftafellsheiði is a flattish alpine area, obviously rather muddy when
it rains, though the tiny pockets of mud were just a curiosity for us!
We had lunch at 1.30 on the western edge, then stopped again at
a viewpoint west of Kristinartindar. There were superb views of
convoluted coloured mountains over Morsárdalur and of Morsárjökull and
its prominent medial moraine.
Next: Skaftafell - Kristinartindar
[Alternative spellings: Skeidarajokull, Skaftafellsheidi, Sjonarsker, Morsardalur, Morsarjokull]