Monday, July 29, 2013

Reykjanes hot-potting

Reykjanes pool
 Yesterday I took the bus to Reykjanes after booking a room online for two nights (sleeping bag accommodation in a private room, ISK 4300). The hotel was once a boarding school, and it’s a bit run down, both inside and out. But I imagine it’s impossible to upkeep a place this size. 

It seems to be run by a single family and in the summer months they are busy with the hotel and restaurant and certainly don’t have much time for repairs. I’m not complaining. I like places like this and I feel comfortable here. I’ve always preferred the old over the new, and like the spirit of old houses with history.

Interesting mushrooms
The main attraction here though is the swimming pool. Reykjanes has naturally hot geothermal water. Whereas most places struggle with high bills to heat water for showers and things, Reykjanes has to put efforts into cooling the water to a usable temperature. The pool also has a naturally heated steambath. 

Too hot to bathe
Hot spots can also be found throughout the landscape with wild peppermint growing nest to it, and there is even a geothermal beach (Hveravík). A hot river flows into the ocean and there are numerous little hot puddles in the bay as well – way too hot though for dipping your feet in, despite the mixing with cold seawater. One can also walk up 500m behind the hotel to the old swimming pool for a look at beautiful geothermal colors.
Hotel Reykjanes

I enjoy the time here hiking, walking along the beach and swimming three times a day and even spot a seal relaxing near the coast. The food at the restaurant is nothing great, but it’s edible and breakfast is always oatmeal cooked on the gas stove out on the camping site. The hot water straight from the tap is scalding and hot enough to make instant coffee or a cup of tea.