Saturday, September 3, 2011

Arrival in Þórsmörk/Húsadalur

Photos: (1) On the way to Þórsmörk; (2) Resting during a nice hike; (3) Wearing my warm woolies waiting for dinner; (4-5) Amazing sunset

I’m up early and walk to the BSÍ bus station at 7am. It’s such a warm, peaceful morning. All the geese, ducks and birds are still sleeping and the streets are still. At the bus station, I meet my friend Súsanna and her sister, who will be coming along. It will be nice to have some company on this trip after hiking alone most of the summer. In typical Icelandic fashion, Súsanna has a big cooler filled with edible treats and goodies that I would never of dream taking into the highlands. But it turns out to be a great idea and I’m grateful to help her eat everything she puts on my plate. Anything is better than the freeze-dried backpacking food I have along.

In Hella we switch busses, there are only 2 other people in the bus besides us. The bus driver is kind, and snaps a picture of us during a rest stop. In Húsadalur my friends set up their tents while I get my room. I admit it will be nice to have a bit of luxury this time, especially if the weather gets bad. At the reception, I’m given a free upgrade and receive an entire cottage for the price of a single room. The lady says a large group is staying in the hut with the rooms and it might be a bit loud. What a great birthday present! My cottage is fantastic, with 4 bunk beds to choose from and a kitchen with a gas hotplate and a sink, and even a kitchen table and a few stools. Each cottage has its own grill and picnic table, which we will use later this evening.

After a quick cup of coffee we head out for a long hike. The weather is fantastic with a bit of evening sun. Later Súsanna gets the grill going and makes an awesome dinner. There are even grilled bananas with chocolate for dessert. We’re able to sit outside, even though it gets quite chilly. Everyone has a wool sweater on and those are really warm! After dinner we take another walk along the river. The sunset is amazing, and the colors in the sky are beautiful. The red above the mountains looks like a volcano erupting.