First thing was to get to the water fall, take pictures, climb to the top of it, take more pictures. The pictures shows Jörg sitting on his bed in the hostel, just to give you some idea of luxurious accomodation we enjoyed.
And off we went towards Vik, noticing a glacier to the side and a road going over to it we had to go and have a look.
There we found a café, but its closed and people offering glacier walks. We thought we could do this much cheaper and walked over to the Sólheimajökull glacier and onto it. This was exciting.
Next step was Vik and a walk on the black beach. To our amazement here we actually saw two people in the distance actually swimming in the sea. We tried the water ourselves, just to our ankles and it actually wasn't that cold. But still not swimable, especially with air temperature being below 10 degrees.
At the info place in Vik we got some more information of what we can look at in this place. Around the back of the mountain we got to spectacular basalt columns and the beginning of a few sea caves (more overhangs than caves), all in basalt.
Further up the coast we entered a nature reserve, got to a light house and a hole in the wall, where the sea had carved a hole through the rock. The camp site looked a bit neglected and needed some maintenance. We had to use the ladies for our abolution facilities, mens was locked and out of order. But it had an Aufenthaltsraum. For a long time we saw no one and were already thinking we can stay for free, not so, the warden arrived at about 21h00 and we had to pay Ikr1100 each.
Next aim was Skaftafell, on the way stopping at all the points of interest. The Icelanders are very good with these things, there is a board at all these places informing the tourist what can be seen, how did it come about, what is the history.
The most impressive of all the stops was the little canyon formed by the rushing water at Fjaðrárgljúfur. We walked up the sides and down again, had lunch sheltered from the wind at the bottom.
At Kirkjubqajarklosture we inspected the camp site for later reference. It met with our approval and on we went.
We errected our tent at the Skaftafell camp site and the same afternoon went over to the glacier. But it was not possible to get onto the ice. A raging torrent of muddy and ice cold water was blocking our way, and tehre was no way around it.
The wind was cold and the absense of an Aufenthaltsraum became noticeable. We had to sit in the tent to have our dinner. Nothing better than a warm sleeping bag.
The big day, we were to climb Kristinatindar, 1126m, the same mountain Jim and I climbed in 2004. On the way up we stopped at the old farmstead, which has been restored and preserved in the way it was as a reminder of how people used to live in the olden days. Very cramped, especially in winter, I would say. Blueberry collection was called for on the lower slopes, we had a good supply.
We kept roughly to the shoulder going up and up, it was a long slog, but the views were fantastic. We made the 700m mark by lunch time, it took coffee and some food to give us new energy and the last 400m up were completed in a relatively short time. To get to the real top is not possible, some climbing equipment would be needed for that. We were happy to reach a shoulder just below the real summit.
Some of Jim's ashes were dispensed here, a purely symbolic gesture in memory of my late, long time hiking friend.
It was now 16h00 and we still had a long way down, it took us to 19h30 before we reached the camp site. I was certainly foot-sore, checking at home I measured that we had done a 22km hike with an altitude difference of 1100m, I am so happy that at my age, 70, I can still do these things.
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