Thursday, August 2, 2012

Bike & hike: Fossavatn



Fossavatn
Today I am bound and determined to reach Fossavatn, the serene mountain lake. 

I set out early on my bike, wave to two older ladies out walking on the way who smile and nod and probably know exactly who I am. Not many people are out this early. It’s a bit chilly on the bike and the day starts out cloudy but it’s supposed to clear up later and become a fine day. 

Cottongrass at Fossavatn
This time I ride all the way to the end of the road and across the bridge. The power station is fenced off but there’s a parking lot. There’s also fenced-in farmland and a shed and no one in sight. In any case, there’s really no way to go from here. I ride my bike on to the farmer’s property and scout the area. I don’t get very far and turn back. If this is the way, it’s time to leave my bike somewhere. As I’m snooping around I see a car off in the distance approaching slowly and watching me. Soon the farmer pulls up and we have a nice chat. He gives me permission to park my bike on his property and points the way.
Mánaljós

I hike through his fields towards the waterfall, exit at the gate and hike straight up along the falls. It’s steep but grassy and not difficult. There are zillions of blueberries to pick along the way. At the top there’s a nice view over the valley with Ísafjörður in the distance and the waterfall is cute too. A few old planks across the water help keep my feet dry this time. 

Blueberries
The hike is about 4 km, real easy following along a jeep track the whole way. There seems to be some kind of hut up here, probably in connection with the power station, so I imagine a maintenance vehicle might have to come up sometimes. However a vehicle would have to cross the deep river down at the spot where I tried a few days ago and probably wouldn‘t get across the planks at the waterfall. At best an ATV might make it. 

Fossar
The kind farmer
It’s pretty cloudy at the top and difficult to see if there’s some kind of trail continuing on over the mountains, but the jeep track is definitely at an end here. I sit for a long time along the lake and relax, nap, have lunch and just hang out until it becomes chilly and I need to get moving again. It would be nice to camp up here one day.  

On the way down the sun starts coming out and it turns into a beautiful day. I stop near the waterfall with a great view over the valley and pick lots of blueberries. On my way down, I see a couple of people off in the distance. Back down at the farmer’s shed I notice two bikes parked next to mine and the farmer says a German couple has stopped as well.

All in all, this is a real nice and quick day hike just out of town, but also a good spot to spend more time, with a picnic lunch and maybe even a tent.