Twice during this trip we have had the opportunity to drive on what Icelanders call “F Roads”. Basically they are rutted dirt roads that lead you places up in the highlands. These are the back roads to places most tourists dare not tread in their little rented Suzukis. When there are signs that say, ” Caution 4WD vehicles only, the road may open up unpredictability”, you think twice about the clause in your contract that states: “you are responsible for damages exceeding $3,000”.
Today we left the Fjords after a lovely two days of hiking out to the towering sea cliffs, up to waterfalls plummeting down out to the mountain canyons and walking along black sand beaches. Our next destination was the only road on the west side of the island that you can access the Highlands on.
Along the way we stopped at the town of Reyholt. This was a geothermal active area where the water coming out of the ground is a boiling 100 Celsius. From this town the only road leading into the highlands cuts off on a windy trek into the lush green mountainous regions. Of course it is dotted with farms with their pristine white houses with red roofs, horses, cows and goats. This also leads into the center of the island and its volcanic beginnings.
Our destination was a series of waterfalls (no, not just another waterfall) that percolate up from under the lava fields and cascade over the cliffs at lands end into azure blue glacier waters. This raging glacier river has cut deep into the lava and created a bubbling, churning madness that only nature can create. As this fury exits the canyon, the calm cascades of the waterfalls seeping from deep under the earth create another dimension, transforming this torrent into a more peaceful encounter.
At the end of this road was our final destination for this incredible day. We found our spot in the campground and settled in for the night. Took a dip in the geothermal pool and called it a night.
Two more days and we fly back across the ocean and get back to our normal lives with the memories of this incredibly awe inspiring chunk of volcanic rock called Iceland.