As supposed, the camping was free of charge, so we got up and hopped in our van to explore the remaining Southeast of Iceland. Our next destination – Skaftafell, where Vatnajokull National park filled with a collection of peaks and glaciers situated. On the way to the park we enjoyed observing Lomagnupur, a 767m-tall palisade of cliffs, with snowy mountains and glaciers on the background. Of the many trails available in the park we decided to make 2 easy ones, which in total shouldn’t take more than 6 hours. The first, which was supposed to be the easiest, turned out to be even the most beautiful of the two. The trail was a flat pass between the mountains surrounded by small rivers and waterfalls, which led to the face of the Skaftafellsjokull glacier. After reaching the end of the trail and getting acquainted with the security measures, we came as close as possible to the glacier and took some shots of the lagoon with floating icebergs in it. From here we could see several guided ice walking tours, which we decided not to make yet and instead headed back to the information center, took a small break for Skyr (since we got addicted to it from the previous evening) with chocolate milk and got ready for the second trail, which brought us to the Svartifoss waterfall. This trail was 1,7 km long and mostly uphill. There were numerous bridges surrounded by tiny rivers and waterfalls before reaching the actual destination, Svartifoss waterfall. The peculiarity of this waterfall is that it’s installed in huge black pillars that create an impressive frame, which stands for the waterfall’s name itself (black waterfall). Frankly speaking, this was not the most amazing waterfall we’ve seen here and despite being one of the most famous, it didn’t get into our top 3 Icelandic waterfalls. Anyway, we enjoyed the view as much as it was possible, even though had to fight for the place on the viewing platform, and headed back excited to have our lunch. The way back was much easier, since it was almost all the way downhill, and we reached the info center quite fast.
After having lunch while exploiting all the plugs available to charge all our devices, we set our direction to one of the most popular Icelandic destinations Jokulsarlon, a glacier lagoon on one side, and a diamond beach on the other. The ice lagoon is basically icebergs detached from the glaciers which are floating toward the ocean. Despite being frozen we tasted this spectacular view, touched some icebergs, observed the nesting arctic birds and crossed the road to see what diamond beach stood for. Here, the pieces of the icebergs moving via the shortest Icelandic river Jokulsa from the lagoon land on a black sand beach. The weather wasn’t much on our side since the wind started blowing very hard and it was really really cold. So, after sacrificing couple of fingers to get a few pictures, we literally ran to the van and started looking for a camping to settle in for the night.
Earlier, when lunching in the park, we have found a brochure advertising kayaking tour + ice walking. So while choosing the camp site, we targeted the closest one to the farm, from which we had to depart the next morning for the kayaking tour. And despite the Southeast is the most famous touristic part, we found 0 campings all the way from the Vatnajokull National park to the farm, so we had to drive to the nearest town Hofn, which was approximately 40 km from the farm.
After a lousy shower and dinner we set our alarm to 7 am in the morning and closed ourselves in the sleeping bags. How did the kayaking go and who fell down from the boat you’ll find out on page 6 🙂