Inspired by Iceland
TusVeSa
Travel Diaries And More by Samloka
Aug
18.

18.08.08 Askja
by Garik and Lena
  • Today we are going to Askja. The bus departures at 11:00 AM so we could afford ourselves to wake up late. Today we packed our stuff slowly, it took us about hour and a half. The night was pretty warm and in the morning, the midges were all over the place. We sat near the local supermarket, waiting for the bus. We ate our breakfast there and I had to buy myself another 2 Lt bottle of sparkling water, pear flavored. I must admit, I am addicted! Also I bought my self a bourekas with honey and walnuts, all for 450 ISK. While sitting there, I used the spare time to make calls to Landmannalaugar huts, ask if it is still possible to book for the next week trek in Landmannalaugar. Unfortunately, there was no room in the first hut, at the start point of Landmannalaugar trek… now, it is impossible to send our backpacks with the bus driver on Friday, as we’ll get there, we need the tent to pass the night outdoors. I called RE to ask them whether it is possible to send our backpacks the next day in the morning (more like as noon…) with a bus to Reykjavik and form there to Þórsmörk, before we start our trek. Their answer was that it shouldn’t be a problem, the cost will be proportional to the weight of the baggage. Pleased enough, I called the huts again and booked all nights in the trek except the night before the start of the trek, and including the last night, after we finish in Þórsmörk. The last hut is not where the bus stops, so we’ll have to walk the morning after, about half an hour to the bus station. I tried to pay with my credit card, but something was wrong, it couldn’t be accepted, so we payed with Lena’s. The vouchers will wait for us in the first hut in Landmannalaugar, all we have to do is to get inside and tell my name. It was a bit strange, the girl from the other side of the phone wanted to deliver me the vouchers that same day… she asked me where I am… so when I told her where am I and what am I going to do the next four days, she said I can get them there… strange… When I done with booking huts, I called my credit card company, to ask what’s wrong. I waited for 10 minutes before I was answered. Their answer was that no attempt to charge my credit card was reported. Well, I’ll have to try use it in some other place.
  • The time was 11:00 AM, the bus arrived. We agreed meanwhile to send Lena’s small day bag in her backpack with all the stuff we don’t need for the trek to Þórsmörk, so she could walk with my day bag during the trek and I will be with my backpack.  Most of the people on the bus were German, also there was a trio from Portugal, us and a local couple. One of the German couples was at least at their 60s, close to 70s… In the next day we found out what are they made of, those Germans!… The bus driver is also our guide, isn’t it funny… Mr. bus driver – guide… He was a nice fellow, at his mid 40s, smiling and talking to much… But this driver had an enormous amount of knowledge. We were only 20 minutes on an asphalt road, after that we took the 4×4 Icelandic path. I repeat, Icelandic 4×4 path! We had a 4×4 bus!!! Our stuff was in the trunk, the back part of the bus, it was designed specially to prevent water to get in.
  • Our bus driver told us many stories about the region, we liked most the story about the mountain Herdubreid. Herdubreid has been described as a birthday cake. Also there is a place called Herdubreidarlindir, this is a beautiful green oasis in the deserted Icelandic highlands. It has a long translation, something like “the stunning cold water in the spring that melted from the icecap of Herdubreid”… it was really impossible to remember it. On our first stop, we were given a time to eat. There was a hut there, so our bus driver told us that we can get inside but with two rules: one who mess up must clean and that we must take off our shoes. It has nothing to do with religion he says, it’s just because Icelanders think that cleaning is boring! We decided to stay outside the hut!
  • Our next stop was Askja caldera. Out bus driver – guide told us that it’s only half an hour walk each way… it took us an hour! There are two lakes there; Oskjuvatn the bigger and colder and Viti the smaller and thermal. Both probably were formed at the 1875 big eruption on the island. Couple of Germans with the Portuguese trio and the local guys decided to take a bath in the Viti… we didn’t. They did it just as it written in the book, fully naked! While they changed to swimming suits we took a walk around and even found some snow…
  • After Viti we continued another 2.5 hours on the bus, with one stop to take picture of a waterfall on our way. Now as we approached final stages of the way, our bus driver – guide was determined to pass two small minivans going ahead of us. His excuse was that these are Italians, and that we must pass them so we come to the hut and start cook immediately! Otherwise they will take over the kitchen till the late hours of a night… We found it hard to believe, so when we arrived, first we started to set up our tent. When the tent was ready, I continued with sleeping bags and mattresses while Lena went to the kitchen to make supper. When I finished and entered the kitchen in the hut, I realized that all Lena could take over is a small stove… All other were taken by the Italians!
  • We bought yesterday something we didn’t know what it was, now we cooked it and realized that this is a sauce… Lena ran quickly to the tent to bring some noodles… Whew! So we had a soup and later noodles with some sauce, I don’t know which… Italians took their time with cooking, but when we were about to leave to the tent, there was no room in the kitchen, all Italians were there.
  • It was cold that evening, but without wind. We thought to take a shower but then discovered we have to pay 400 ISK for 5 minutes of a shower… Maybe next time. As it concerns me, I’ll stink that place to hell, but I won’t pay 5$ for 5 minutes shower!
Herdubreid

Herdubreid

4X4 Bus

4X4 Bus

Herdubreidarlindir

Herdubreidarlindir

Viti

Viti

Askja

Askja




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