Saturday, July 15, 2017

Heydalur

In the night, it rains off and on and at one point there’s quite a heavy downpour. But I love the sound of rain on the tent and I sleep like a baby. It’s really warm towards morning and as I open my eyes, I see why. Sun! There’s actually sun shining on the tent. I scramble out of the sack. I haven’t seen a lot of sun this summer, this is a special moment. And I’m a bit worried it might disappear so I need to soak in every minute of it. There’s a bit of wind and a few fluffy white clouds.

I can enjoy breakfast to the fullest, sitting in a camping chair with fold-up table and sun in my face. Oatmeal never tasted better. As I’m packing things up, a few horses come over and start nudging at my things so I bang on the pan with my bowl and shoo them away. They move on to bother the next campers. 

I start the day with a hike into the valley. It’s mostly cloudy by now, but sometimes the sun will pop out for a few brief moments and when that happens, I stop everything, flop down on my tarp, backpack under my head for a pillow, and soak up the rays. The trail is easy to follow, but very wet and muddy from all the recent rain. Once the trail disappears, I stop and peek at the waterfall before I turn around. It’s just too wet to hike without a trail. 

After a quick snack at the campsite, my next project is to find the natural hotpot. I put on my crocs and grab my hiking poles because I have to cross the river. I hear you can usually just hop across the rocks to get there, but all the rain this summer has the river quite high. It’s about knee deep but not a problem to cross. I’m alone at the pool, but not for long. I can see some people coming but it takes them quite a long time to cross the river. They’re also soaked in their jeans and sneakers, but happy and friendly. There’s also a friendly dog sitting at the edge of the pool that must belong to the campsite and he looks eager to jump in. But none of us are willing to share our bath with a wet doggy, so we try not to encourage him and he remains content with watching from the shore.

Later, after a nap in the sun by the tent, I treat myself to a fantastic blueberry dessert and some coffee in the restaurant. Although the coffee (300 kr) is tiny and there are no refills, the desert is simply amazing. They call it “The Travelers Blueberry Dream” (1200 kr) - A bed of almond macaroons, nougat, chocolate, hazelnuts and blueberry liqueur, with ice cream and blueberries. It tastes as good as it sounds! 

In fact, the menu offers quite a wide selection of dishes with local ingredients (lamb, trout, salmon, puffin), at reasonable prices. It’s especially nice to see some light and healthy items on the menu, as most Icelandic restaurants (apart from the capital, where there’s a much wider selection) offer nothing but junk food. While enjoying a second cup of coffee, I take advantage of the wireless internet. The strange thing is, I have no phone service here. No phones, but internet. Go figure.

After the calories, I need another walk and hike up behind the farm along the waterfall. There’s a nice trail that goes all the way up, steep but safe. The sun is back and I enjoy a fantastic view from up there. I end the day with a very long swim. First a bit of soaking in the hotpot, then I play around in the greenhouse pool and hot tub.