Myvatn - Detifoss - Husavik

Trip Start Aug 05, 2012
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Trip End Aug 19, 2012


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Where I stayed
Saltvik

Flag of Iceland  ,
Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Wake up at 7:45 am under grey skies and scattered showers. Tents are packed despite the rain and we drive to the pseudocraters of Skutustadagigar. The rain stopped on the way and mosquitos make their apparition ! Pseudocraters are formed by gas explosions when molten lava flows into the water. The example here is the best-known around the lake, and is surrounded by hiking trails which show off the crater from different angles. Walking around will only take around an hour, and gives some fantastic views. Many birds choose this location for nesting. It is a national monument.

  





 

 
We then drive to Dimmuborgir, the dark castle. We wander with Pierre among those amazing basaltic structures while Alex drives Pinto to the garage in order to fix the clutch. The Dimmuborgir area is composed of various volcanic caves and rock formations, reminiscent of an ancient collapsed citadel (hence the name).

 
   







 
The Dimmuborgir area consist of a massive, collapsed lava tube formed by a lava lake flowing in from a large eruption in the Ůrengslaborgir and L˙dentsborgir crater row to the East, about 2300 years ago. At Dimmuborgir, the lava pooled over a small lake. As the lava flowed across the wet sod, the water of the marsh started to boil, the vapour rising through the lava forming lava pillars from drainpipe size up to several meters in diameter. As the lava continued flowing towards lower ground in the Myvatn area, the top crust collapsed, but the hollow pillars of solidified lava remained. The lava lake must have been at least 10 meters deep, as estimated by the tallest structures still standing.




 













 

 
We then take a walking path crossing Dimmuborgir towards Hverfell crater. Some of us decide to climb to the top of the crater. It is a 15 minute hike, very steep, but very worthwhile once on top! The view is absolutely breathtaking, all the more than it is now very sunny. One can enjoy the perfect alignment of Hverfell crater with Krafla volcano and Namafjall, thus defining the axis of the rift area.  

  
 
 








 


 
We then walk quickly downhill and meet Alex near a natural hot spring in a cave. We have lunch there and then get in the cars heading north. We drive to Detifoss by the eastern rim along a dusty track. We finally reach the biggest waterfall in Europe. The scenery is amazing and breathtaking. The waterfall makes such a noise ! We sit close to the ridge for a while in order to enjoy the moment. We then walk to Selfoss, an other waterfall few minute walk before Detifoss. The scenery is very different as the waterfall is much wider than tall compared to Detifoss, but in the meantime it is much quieter and nobody else was there except us. 

  
  

 






 









 



 

 

 













  

We take the car for a 5 minute drive and we stop at Hafragilsfoss. This waterfall is much smaller than the previous ones, but what makes this stop interesting is the view over the whole canyon of J÷kulsa river until Detifoss. This river runs from the Vatnajokull to the arctic ocean ! 

We then continue heading north, crossing the 66th parallel, and finally arriving on the arctic ocean shores ! The weather is beautifully sunny and the sea brighter than ever. We drive along the coast to Husavik, a small harbor nested in a quiet fjord. We drive for a few more kilometers to the cottage where we will spend the night. The place is lovely, with horses in the fields, nice bedrooms and an outdoor jacuzzi ! After a short walk around the house, a delicious dinner, and a relaxing jacuzzi, we finally go to bed around midnight. 
 

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