Inspired by Iceland
TusVeSa
Travel Diaries And More by Samloka
Aug
09.

09.08.08 Hellissandur
by Garik and Lena
  • We woke up this morning without an alarm clock, quite late. It was a bit chilly outside the tent. After a quick breakfast we read in the book that it is possible to see seals on the western cliffs of the peninsula somewhere near the Vatnsborg crater or something like that, so we decided to take a walk to the cliffs (something like 12 Km each direction). We’ve started walking on 08:15 AM, after an hour or so, we passed the highest structure in Iceland (some US radio antenna), an old house where fish were salted and stored and an Irish well with whale skeleton near by.  We decided to skip the last two places for now, and if we’ll have time on our way back, we’ll go see them. For now we had other main targets, seals, two lighthouses on the edge of the peninsula and a golden beach where a vikings’ skeleton was found in the 60s’.
  • We found the golden beach with no problem, but we couldn’t find the place where the skeleton was found. In the guidebook all that was written is that the skeleton was moved to the national museum.  After that we had to decide which way to continue, on the map of the area were two paths – one brown and one green which followed the shore, we choose the brown one, we followed it till a sign “2km to Vatnsborg“, “well we must see the crater” we thought, “how long is 2km?”…. We turned from the brown path heading the crater, Lena walked ahead and I walked behind her. I just couldn’t spot the small poles marking the way. And so we walked and we walked, sometimes without see the small poles, seeing only the path on which someone walked before, and as walked we saw a huge mountain ahead, but we still didn’t realized that we are going to reach it!  Lucky for us we didn’t had to climb the mountain, the crater was much smaller and was near the big mountain. Though the path to the crater was steep and a few ropes where attached to the rocks to help us climb up, we used our walking poles. The view was worth it!
  • When we climbed of the crater we’ve noticed a sign pointing some another place to continue, only 900 meters ahead. We were stupid enough to think that there are the cliffs with seals, so we continued… At the beginning the path lead us towards the first lighthouse but then the path changed it’s direction toward some mountain, after 20 minutes of walking we realized that it was a dead end. Well it’s a no nice situation… Going back is a 3km – an hour walk. We didn’t want to loose so much time and we did saw the top of the lighthouse from the place where we stood, so we decided to cut straight to the lighthouse! We walked right on a lava field, full of swampy grass. It was a bit scary cause we didn’t know whether we are stepping on a solid ground or not. After an hour or so we’ve reached the cliff but we didn’t see any seals… and the lighthouse still was far away from us. We continued along the cliffs towards the lighthouse till we reached, at last, a walking path! Yei!!! After couple of minutes we’ve reached our first lighthouse for today, from there we saw birds and even puffins swimming in the ocean. We counted 11 of then and hoped that in Latrabjarg we’ll see more of them…
  • We continued our walk to the next lighthouse, another hour walk or so. There was no cliff and the lighthouse it self was a bit small. Here, our batteries in both cameras depleted and we started to take pictures with a backup film camera. From here we decided to cut the way back to Hellissandur by walking on the shoreline. This way wasn’t more easy… We walked through horse path, which is very narrow for human feet and sometimes even disappeared. Our feet were in pain as we struggled through this path. On our way we came across some sheep. These sheep were unsupervised, and we were a bit frightened by them. We took a picture or two with them and decided to by-pass them. Cause there was a dude sheep which was staring right at us… This sheep continued staring at us while we walked around the herd. When we reached the golden beach at last, we sat to rest a little and eat something. The time was close to 16:00 and we have something like 3 hours walk ahead of us… We were exhausted!
  • After the break we literally crawled back to the camp site, we didn’t feel right to ask for a ride and we were convinced that we’ll go to see at least the Irish well. When we approached the footpath to the well Lena decided to give up… I was sent to the well to take pictures while Lena continued to the camp site, I was told then to catch her up. When I reached a place that I thought it was the well (some rocks and wood columns) I realized that this is not the well yet, 100 meters from were I stood was a sign. When I approached the sign, I saw that I would have to go another 700 meters the opposite way I came to see the well.. Here me give up too, this is too much for me for one day. I took a photo of that sign and began to run through a field as quick as I could to catch up Lena. On my way back I have been scratched and stabbed by the bushes and awaken some birds… Sorry… When I was back onthe road, Lena was a small orange spot somewhere far away from me.
  • I did managed to catch her up, after half an hour or so. When we entered Hellissandur, Lena continued straight to the tent and me to the supermarket to buy salad and chocolate! After we paid for another night in the camp site, we decided that tomorrow we’ll have an easy day and we’ll have breakfast in the hotel near the campsite as normal people, not before awaking without alarm clock. So we can have a decent night tonight!
  • Also we wanted to wake up some night to see how are the sky here at nights? Will we see starts or what?… Maybe tonight, if not, maybe when we’ll be in the West Fjords.
Snaefellsjokull National Park - view from Hellissandur

Snaefellsjokull National Park - view from Hellissandur

Can you spot our first lighthouse?.. Look for a white dot with red top...

Can you spot our first lighthouse?.. Look for a white dot with red top...

The Golden Beach

The Golden Beach

The endless lava field

The endless lava field

Here it is - the first lighthouse

Here it is - the first lighthouse

Second lighthouse

Second lighthouse

Baaaaad sheep...

Baaaaad sheep...




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