This was a day I very much anticipated. It was the first official hike of the trip and it would lead to an absolutely unearthly waterfall bracketed by hexagonal basalt columns.
We packed up our now-dry gear and headed out around 9:10am. We stopped to take photos of mountains and waterfalls and landed at our destination of Skaftafell National Park. I had a bit of a snit because we couldn’t find the entrance to the hike and I just about called it quits but Kai persevered for me and we found it!
Kai came with me for the first 2/3rds of the hike, and we saw three waterfalls already.
She returned on her own and I kept going. The feeling of going solo is something I so cherish. I had a huge grin and could almost cry. I felt so blessed to be there, in Iceland, witnessing this most amazing waterfall. I’m glad Kai turned back because after she did, the hike got pretty iffy. The trail was packed in ice and that plus the mud made some difficult stepping. But the view of Svartifoss (‘the black waterfall’) completely stole my breath. I remained there for some time.
Eventually I turned back, made my way down the steep trail, and found Kai at the visitor centre. From there we drove to Vik to see the black sand beaches. We grabbed a sandwich from the gas station, smoked salmon and egg salad on a poppy seed bun, and shared it, feeling human again. We walked to the beach and along the pier, taking photos of and recording the waves as they epically crashed against the rocks.
We were looking for the basalt columns along the beach but couldn’t find them but knew they were somewhere near, so we drove and eventually circumnavigated a mountain and found them. This beach was very busy but I still managed to snag a few photos of the massive rise of columns without any people. I loved it – nature is so creative in her endeavours.
We tried to make a cute photo in the sand with a heart and us in the background but it didn’t work all that well. We got a few photos with us taken with the camera timer on and some of those turned out well despite me sprinting back and forth!
We decided to stop for dinner after we’d been back on the road for a while. We were driving through Hvolsvöllur and saw a gas station/convenience store/restaurant. I thought it was called Björk which would be awesome so we decided to stop. It was confusing because we didn’t know how to order (at the desk, don’t wait for a server!) but we sorted it and I got fish and chips and Kai got a burger. Not the Icelandic fare we were hoping for, but that’s what you get at Björkin…
The food was okay, but very expensive for what we received. It filled us up, though! It was dark by the time we finished and our destination was maybe an hour away. Kai was exhausted and almost falling asleep at the wheel, which was terrifying. All I wanted to do was help her by driving but I couldn’t. It was also incredibly foggy along a very windy road and the visibility was low. Not a good drive at all.
Finally we arrived at Mosfellsdalur at an AirBnb at a farm. We had the place to ourselves! A lovely 2 bedroom apartment with a bathroom and small bedroom with a double bed. Right away I saw a cat and a goat which is apparently the owner’s ‘dog’. The farm is run by a woman named Nina and she was a superb host. She even gave us fresh eggs for breakfast! We were glad to be ‘home’ and settled for bed as soon as we could.