Krafla, Námafjall Hverir, Detifoss, Seyðisfjörður, searching for puffins, and surviving an arctic tern attack – Iceland Road Trip Day 5

We said our goodbyes to couch surfing host and his German guests in the morning and headed off pass Mývatn and on to Krafla. The houses were dusted with snow in the morning. During the day, rain turned to snow, and snow turned to blistering icy pellets.

 

We made our first stop at Námafjall Hverir which is a geothermal area full of fumaroles and mud pots. The smell was definitely distinct (it mainly smelled of sulphur). It was pretty impressive watching the steam come out of the ground and the mud bubble.

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Afterwards we headed up to Krafla. I think we drove up to Víti but there was so much snow and wind, there wasn’t much to see and the conditions didn’t allow us to go further.

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After Krafla, we went up the 862 (west of Detifoss since the 864 on the east was closed) to Detifoss. Again, it was windy and snowy and the walk up to Detifoss was wet, muddy, and slippery. The falls were still beautiful though and the coolest part is watching the enormous amounts of water roll down a fissure creating this magnificient waterfall. We saw Selfoss from a distance but with the snow, ice, and wind, we opted not to do the hike to Selfoss.

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After Detifoss, it was a windy and pretty deserted road trip down to the east fjords. We must have reached quite an altitude after Egilsstaðir before descending into Seyðisfjörður because it looked like a snow wasteland. As we descended into the fjord though, we began to see some greenery and lovely waterfalls along a few hairpin turns into Seyðisfjörður.

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We had a lightmeal and hot showers (it was really cold today!) then we braved the elements again to head out to Skálanes. Unfortunately, we ended up 4km short of our destination as we couldn´t ford the river before us in our 4WD Suzuki. Puffin friends will have to wait! We still had great views of the fjords and an enjoyable walk by the shoreline – that was until we were charged by an arctic tern. Can’t say it was’t exciting although can’t say it was fun either. It was a small adventure and I’m glad to live to tell the tale.

An arctic tern does a nose dive.

An arctic tern does a nose dive.

 

After our little adventure, we enjoyed the dining area of our hostel overlooking Hafaldan Harbour. The ferry is docked and apparently the town is busier than other days because the ferry heads out tomorrow so people generally come in early to catch it. Also lovely that the guests are all quiet. I could get used to this.

P.S. This is as close to a puffin as we got today:

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Can’t get enough of Iceland, check out my other posts here:

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