Sunday, August 15, 2010

Dreki --> Mývatn

Photos: (1-4) A few last pics of Dreki (1-2) The gorge “Drekagil”; (5) Lake Mývatn

I had the room to myself again, the people who had booked never showed up. I’m grateful for that since I was up most of the night coughing and sniffling. I find it hard to sleep in these huts anyway, the walls are so thin and every little noise is amplified. I much prefer the tent. I stay in my room for a long time in the morning, until everyone has had breakfast and left. I’m in no hurry, I’m just going to catch the bus back to Mývatn this afternoon.

It’s cloudy today with some rain and wind, and cold. I stay in the hut to kill time and strike up a conversation with an Icelandic guy, Marinó. He makes me a cup of coffee (my first in over 2 weeks) and tells me lots of interesting stories, in particular about how he and his friends just got rescued from a river a bit south of here – I don’t recall the details. When his friends arrive back after an outing to Viti, he’s off but about the same time a lone French guy arrives, Julien. He approaches the hut, soggy and smelly as a dog, with a large backpack on his back looking a bit dazed and confused. I know those symptoms – it means he’s been out hiking in the highlands. We end up chatting for a few hours until my bus arrives, and it was interesting to hear of his hike so far from Skógar through Sprengisandur, with a planned destination of Mývatn. Many of our hiking experiences are similar and we share stories about things like how we often talk to ourselves or sing when hiking alone, how we sometimes see illusions or people far off in the landscape that aren’t real, how we say a word of thanks at a beautiful spot after a rest – and of course, we talk about food.

But soon my bus arrives and it’s time to go, so we exchange information and vow to stay in touch (I later heard that he made it to Mývatn just fine and spent his last few days in Iceland just eating and sleeping, both in incredibly large amounts).

The bus arrives and Axel the bus driver recognizes me from before. The ride is uneventful – all of the passengers are tired from their day-long Askja excursion and most are dozing in their seats, me included. Back in Mývatn the weather is mild, partly cloudy and after a hot dog at the gas station I set up my tent right next to the lake. The evening sunset is beautiful and I watch two children playing at the shore right in front of my tent. I pick up the supplies I left at the campsite and turn in a bag of clothes to be washed in the machine – I’ve been dreaming of clean clothes for some time now and can’t wait to get them back, fresh from the laundry.

The next morning (Aug. 16) it rains until just after breakfast at 10am. I pick up a few supplies in town, including some things for my cold at the pharmacy, and write a few post cards. I then spend a few hours at the pool. I’m alone there at first and have the two hot pots to myself, but later a few more people come. Back at the campsite, I pick up my clean clothes, mmmmmm! and lounge around on my air mattress outside in the sun. It’s 20° but all of a sudden the temperature drops to 13°, the wind picks up and it starts to rain so I crawl into the tent for the night.

I’m getting restless and it’s time to move on tomorrow. My next plan is to have a look at a few of the villages in the Eastfjords.