Gulfoss and Geysir

Day 68. 5th September. Gulfoss and Geysir, South Iceland.

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It was the afternoon of the last day of my circumnavigation of Iceland in a two wheel drive campervan before having to return the vehicle and I’d been running out of time for a while.

I had intended to visit the historic island of Heimaey, where Irish monks lived before settlers arrived from Norway in 900, where Arab pirates raided in 1627 and where when the volcano Edfell erupted in 1973.  The townspeople sprayed the encroaching lava with water to solidify it, thereby saving the harbour and the town behind a lava wall.

Perhaps I could have taken a boat trip just south-west of Heimay to Surtsee, the volcanic island that rose from the sea between 1963 and 1967. Further on in my route for the afternoon, I also passed up on Keldur Turf House, Gjain scenic valley, Stong historic farm and Faxi waterfall.  But I did have time for Gulfoss and Geysir.

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Geyser, Geysir, Gulfoss, Hekla, Iceland, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Travel, Waterfall, Wilderness

This is taken somewhere along the main south road between Seljandsfoss and the turnoff to Geysir.  The mountain in the background is Hekla, one of Iceland’s most active volcanoes, with some very large prehistoric eruptions.

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Geyser, Geysir, Gulfoss, Hekla, Iceland, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Travel, Waterfall, Wilderness .

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Geyser, Geysir, Gulfoss, Hekla, Iceland, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Travel, Waterfall, Wilderness

This and following images are of Gulfoss, or Golden Falls.

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Geyser, Geysir, Gulfoss, Hekla, Iceland, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Travel, Waterfall, Wilderness .

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Geyser, Geysir, Gulfoss, Hekla, Iceland, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Travel, Waterfall, Wilderness

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Geyser, Geysir, Gulfoss, Hekla, Iceland, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Travel, Waterfall, Wilderness

Fast shutter speed.

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Geyser, Geysir, Gulfoss, Hekla, Iceland, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Travel, Waterfall, Wilderness

Slow shutter speed.

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Geyser, Geysir, Gulfoss, Hekla, Iceland, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Travel, Waterfall, Wilderness .

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Geyser, Geysir, Gulfoss, Hekla, Iceland, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Travel, Waterfall, Wilderness

The river is crossed by a canyon wall, which is hidden until you approach closely.

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Geyser, Geysir, Gulfoss, Hekla, Iceland, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Travel, Waterfall, Wilderness .

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Geyser, Geysir, Gulfoss, Hekla, Iceland, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Travel, Waterfall, Wilderness

Just down the road is a place with this curious little circle of water, which is fenced off.

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Geyser, Geysir, Gulfoss, Hekla, Iceland, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Travel, Waterfall, Wilderness

This is the thermal area of Geysir, which lent its name to geysers all around the world.

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Geyser, Geysir, Gulfoss, Hekla, Iceland, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Travel, Waterfall, Wilderness

The largest geyser here, Great Geysir, can spurt up to seventy metres but it is infrequent and sometimes quiescent for years at a time.

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Geyser, Geysir, Gulfoss, Hekla, Iceland, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Travel, Waterfall, Wilderness

The geyser in all these images is Strokkur, which erupts every few minutes to a height of up to thirty metres.  Most images of a geyser described as Geysir are in fact Strokkur.

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Geyser, Geysir, Gulfoss, Hekla, Iceland, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Travel, Waterfall, Wilderness

Pohutu in New Zealand spurts at thirty metres around twenty times a day.  I remember it though as much larger than I saw Strokkur.  Waimungu Geyser in New Zealand was the largest recorded, reaching 460 metres in height from a blow hole two metres in diameter.  It blew from 1900 to 1904, a consequence of a fissure created by the the 1886 Mt Tarawera eruption.

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Geyser, Geysir, Gulfoss, Hekla, Iceland, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Travel, Waterfall, Wilderness

OK, now here we go.  This was difficult to catch.

Observe the great bulb of water that has yet to burst and the boiling water thundering up within.

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Geyser, Geysir, Gulfoss, Hekla, Iceland, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Travel, Waterfall, Wilderness And as it goes up, it creates little waves in the pool.

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Geyser, Geysir, Gulfoss, Hekla, Iceland, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Travel, Waterfall, Wilderness .