Landmannahellir

Day 75. 13th September. Landmannahellir and Landmannaleið, Highlands, Iceland.

.

Highlands, Iceland, Landmannahellir, Landmannaleið, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Snow, Travel, Wilderness

This is Landmannahellir at dawn in front of Hellistjall (the small mountains). There is also a formation of birds in the sky.

Landmannahellir was a major stopping place when the major route from the south east to the west ran through here, both for cargo transport and for sheep herding.  There is a cave here behind the houses somewhere said to be able to house seventy to eight horses and another side cave for the people to sleep in.  I did not know about this at the time so did not visit it.  These days you can stay in one of the cottages and go for walks from here.

.

Highlands, Iceland, Landmannahellir, Landmannaleið, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Snow, Travel, Wilderness

From Landmannahellir I drove to Landmannalaugar through the snow along the ancient route Landmannaleið.  Most of the images are near Landmannahellir and all well before encountering the F208 “main road” to Landmannalaugar.

.

Highlands, Iceland, Landmannahellir, Landmannaleið, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Snow, Travel, Wilderness

Looking in the other direction, towards the peaks of Sáta and Langasáta (from left to right).

.

Highlands, Iceland, Landmannahellir, Landmannaleið, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Snow, Travel, Wilderness

A little later, a similar view from a different viewpoint with the dawn receding.

.

Highlands, Iceland, Landmannahellir, Landmannaleið, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Snow, Travel, Wilderness

Another view at Landmannahellir, probably to the right of the first image.

.

Highlands, Iceland, Landmannahellir, Landmannaleið, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Snow, Travel, Wilderness

Grass covered by snow and frost.  Many other places there is only moss but there is some degree of wetlands here, likely more water in the soil and therefore better growing conditions foe the grass.  Thus no doubt not a coincidence that this was a focus for sheep herding.

.

Highlands, Iceland, Landmannahellir, Landmannaleið, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Snow, Travel, Wilderness

Looking towards the nearby lake of Löðmundurvatn with some distant sheep in front of it.

.

Highlands, Iceland, Landmannahellir, Landmannaleið, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Snow, Travel, Wilderness

Here are a couple of sheep at the side of the road with a misty mountain background.

Iceland sheep are their own distinct breed, descending from the Norwegian sheep of one thousand years ago.  I suspect these ones are due to be rounded up and taken to a big barn for the winter.

.

Highlands, Iceland, Landmannahellir, Landmannaleið, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Snow, Travel, Wilderness

Delicate light through the foggy clouds.

The mountains in this area are generally hyaloclastic, a “hydrated tuff-like breccia rich in black volcanic glass”, deriving from volcanic eruptions under glaciers.  Conversely, the rocks a bit further south in the Torfajökull caldera are predominately rhyolite, a volcanic equivalent of granite with a high silica content, which also accounts for the high degree of colour variation in the landscapes of that region.

.

Highlands, Iceland, Landmannahellir, Landmannaleið, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Snow, Travel, Wilderness .

.

Highlands, Iceland, Landmannahellir, Landmannaleið, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Snow, Travel, Wilderness

A little further along I came across a car abandoned by the side of the road.

.

Highlands, Iceland, Landmannahellir, Landmannaleið, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Snow, Travel, Wilderness

Closer inspection reveals a broken exhaust pipe (maybe an incautious fording of a river?).

.

Highlands, Iceland, Landmannahellir, Landmannaleið, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Snow, Travel, Wilderness

This was my vehicle.

.

Highlands, Iceland, Landmannahellir, Landmannaleið, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Snow, Travel, Wilderness

A wild landscape in snow.  A river runs across the mid foreground.  You can see the road continuing in the distance at the left.

.

Highlands, Iceland, Landmannahellir, Landmannaleið, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Snow, Travel, Wilderness

Another view of Löðmundurvatn (the lake) with Löðmundur (the mountain) in the background.  The scale is probably larger than it looks.  You can see the fence posts for a clue.  The distance to the far side of the lake is about a kilometre.

.

Highlands, Iceland, Landmannahellir, Landmannaleið, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Snow, Travel, Wilderness

And so we proceed….

.

Highlands, Iceland, Landmannahellir, Landmannaleið, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Snow, Travel, Wilderness .

.

Highlands, Iceland, Landmannahellir, Landmannaleið, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Snow, Travel, Wilderness .

.

Highlands, Iceland, Landmannahellir, Landmannaleið, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Snow, Travel, Wilderness .

.

Highlands, Iceland, Landmannahellir, Landmannaleið, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Snow, Travel, Wilderness

You can see a cairn in the centre of the image.  The is probably an original nineteenth century cairn to guide people riding their horses along Landmannaleið with their cargo or sheep .

.

Highlands, Iceland, Landmannahellir, Landmannaleið, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Snow, Travel, Wilderness

We are now a fair distance from Löðmundurvatn so that glint in the distance must be a view of Lifrarfjallarvatn or Dómadalsvatn (two small lakes close to one another).

.

Highlands, Iceland, Landmannahellir, Landmannaleið, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Snow, Travel, Wilderness

Patterns in the rocks, covered in snow.

.

Highlands, Iceland, Landmannahellir, Landmannaleið, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Snow, Travel, Wilderness

No tyre tracks ahead but the road is clear enough.

.

Landmannaleið

Day 74. 12th September. Landmannaleið, Highlands, Iceland.

.

Highlands, Iceland, Landmannahellir, Landmannaleið, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Snow, Travel, Wilderness

The images in this post are taken along Landmannaleið, an old route from east to west, now more prosaically known as the F225.

.

Highlands, Iceland, Landmannahellir, Landmannaleið, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Snow, Travel, Wilderness

The last two posts were at Ljótipullur.  I drove to Hrauneyfoss which is an hotel, a little island of civilisation in the wilderness.  I needed to fill up with petrol and also took the opportunity to have a meal in the restaurant.  Then I proceeded back along the F26 until making a sharp left onto Landmannaleið (or F225).  I stopped at Landmannahellir for the night.  The dotted line at the end roughly represents an alternative road that is not covered by the mapping utility I am using here.  The next day I would end up back at Landmannalaugar.

.

Highlands, Iceland, Landmannahellir, Landmannaleið, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Snow, Travel, Wilderness

We earlier saw posts from along the south east coast.  Now you can drive west from there along the coast.  Not that long ago there were no roads and bridges and it was not possible to traverse the lava and the rivers.  Even now, the road is cut sometimes by floods and potentially lava flows from volcanic eruptions.

.

Highlands, Iceland, Landmannahellir, Landmannaleið, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Snow, Travel, Wilderness

These are views as we drive along Landmannaleið.

.

Highlands, Iceland, Landmannahellir, Landmannaleið, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Snow, Travel, Wilderness

The old Landmannaleið route was marked by cairns.  Sometimes where there was a shortage of stone these were made of turf.  It was the main road then or perhaps I should say main track, and cargo and provisions were transported on horseback.

.

Highlands, Iceland, Landmannahellir, Landmannaleið, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Snow, Travel, Wilderness .

.

Highlands, Iceland, Landmannahellir, Landmannaleið, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Snow, Travel, Wilderness .

.

Highlands, Iceland, Landmannahellir, Landmannaleið, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Snow, Travel, Wilderness .

.

Highlands, Iceland, Landmannahellir, Landmannaleið, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Snow, Travel, Wilderness

By now it had got to late afternoon and the sun was beginning to set.

.

Highlands, Iceland, Landmannahellir, Landmannaleið, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Snow, Travel, Wilderness .

.

Highlands, Iceland, Landmannahellir, Landmannaleið, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Snow, Travel, Wilderness .

.

Highlands, Iceland, Landmannahellir, Landmannaleið, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Snow, Travel, Wilderness .

.

Highlands, Iceland, Landmannahellir, Landmannaleið, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Snow, Travel, Wilderness .

.

Highlands, Iceland, Landmannahellir, Landmannaleið, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Snow, Travel, Wilderness .

.

Highlands, Iceland, Landmannahellir, Landmannaleið, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Snow, Travel, Wilderness .

.

Highlands, Iceland, Landmannahellir, Landmannaleið, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Snow, Travel, Wilderness

Road conditions are variable and involve fords.  Here the road dips to go through a stream.  Some roads (not the ones I drove on) are notorious because of the drivers who undertake them in unsuitable rental vehicles (two wheel drive and some four wheel drive) and become stuck in them.  In those circumstances you can lose the car and have to buy a new one.  There is very little available in the way of vehicle insurance in the Icelandic highlands.

.

Highlands, Iceland, Landmannahellir, Landmannaleið, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Snow, Travel, Wilderness

Here I am approaching a ford crossing a river.  I walked across the river and selected the left branch in the road because the ford was quite safe.  You can just see that road disappearing in the distance (well, maybe you need to click on the image for a larger view).  It is the dotted line on the map but was no different for road conditions.

.

Highlands, Iceland, Landmannahellir, Landmannaleið, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Snow, Travel, Wilderness

This must be Löðmundur, the mountain above Landmannahellir where I was to spend the night.

.

Ljótipollur

Day 74. 12th September. Ljótipollur, Highlands, Iceland.

.

Highlands, Iceland, Landscape, Ljótipollur, Nature, Photography, Snow, Travel, Wilderness

The first half of the images in this post are views of the area surrounding the Ljótipollur crater, though I can’t put names to most of them.

.

.

Highlands, Iceland, Landscape, Ljótipollur, Nature, Photography, Snow, Travel, Wilderness .

.

Highlands, Iceland, Landscape, Ljótipollur, Nature, Photography, Snow, Travel, Wilderness

This one is looking up Veiðovotn.

.

Highlands, Iceland, Landscape, Ljótipollur, Nature, Photography, Snow, Travel, Wilderness .

.

Highlands, Iceland, Landscape, Ljótipollur, Nature, Photography, Snow, Travel, Wilderness .

.

Highlands, Iceland, Landscape, Ljótipollur, Nature, Photography, Snow, Travel, Wilderness .

.

Highlands, Iceland, Landscape, Ljótipollur, Nature, Photography, Snow, Travel, Wilderness .

.

Highlands, Iceland, Landscape, Ljótipollur, Nature, Photography, Snow, Travel, Wilderness .

.

Highlands, Iceland, Landscape, Ljótipollur, Nature, Photography, Snow, Travel, Wilderness

That line of stones means we are now in the car parking zone and now looking toward the Ljótipollur, hidden I think by heavy rain.  Probably I’m sitting in the camper taking refuge from the rain and shooting out the window.

.

Highlands, Iceland, Landscape, Ljótipollur, Nature, Photography, Snow, Travel, Wilderness

Just two minutes later it’s starting to be a lot clearer.

.

Highlands, Iceland, Landscape, Ljótipollur, Nature, Photography, Snow, Travel, Wilderness

And here is our first view of the Ljótipollur volcanic lake.  It was formed by an eruption in 1477, part of an explosive fissure one hundred kilometres long.

.

Highlands, Iceland, Landscape, Ljótipollur, Nature, Photography, Snow, Travel, Wilderness

Details from the caldera walls.

.

Highlands, Iceland, Landscape, Ljótipollur, Nature, Photography, Snow, Travel, Wilderness

Ljótipollur means Ugly Puddle which is a strange name for a spectacular lake.  It derives from an ancient belief by sheep herders that there was something in the water producing hallucinations or optical illusions.  That we know this must mean that some sheep talk too much.

.

Highlands, Iceland, Landscape, Ljótipollur, Nature, Photography, Snow, Travel, Wilderness

Looking towards the south west corner of the lake.  The lake is around fifteen metres deep.

.

Highlands, Iceland, Landscape, Ljótipollur, Nature, Photography, Snow, Travel, Wilderness

And now the north east.  The lake is also a significant fishing area for brown trout.

.

Highlands, Iceland, Landscape, Ljótipollur, Nature, Photography, Snow, Travel, Wilderness

Rain or fog starting to descend again….

.

Ljótipollur Vistas

Day 74. 12th September. Ljótipollur, Highlands, Iceland.

.

Highlands, Iceland, Landscape, Ljótipollur, Nature, Photography, Snow, Travel, Wilderness

After spending the morning at Landmannalaugar, I drove to Ljótipollur, only seven kilometres away.  This is on the way but I can’t be sure exactly where.  It’s raining at this point.  You can see the raindrops on the lens.

.

Highlands, Iceland, Landscape, Ljótipollur, Nature, Photography, Snow, Travel, Wilderness

The track into Ljótipollur is a road but I’ve just drawn a rough dotted line because the mapping interface I’m using (“Tyre”) doesn’t show that road.

.

Highlands, Iceland, Landscape, Ljótipollur, Nature, Photography, Snow, Travel, Wilderness

From near the Ljótipollur parking area, we are looking back at the road up and the landscape beyond.  I will show another view of this is a later post, with more snow.

.

Highlands, Iceland, Landscape, Ljótipollur, Nature, Photography, Snow, Travel, Wilderness

Ljótipollur is a volcanic lake but it is not this one.  there are spectacular views in many directions from here.  I can know approximately where I was when I took the photograph but not the direction I was facing.

.

Highlands, Iceland, Landscape, Ljótipollur, Nature, Photography, Snow, Travel, Wilderness

All images in this post are taken from the caldera walls of Ljótipollur.  I will show some images of Ljótipollur itself in the next post.

.

Highlands, Iceland, Landscape, Ljótipollur, Nature, Photography, Snow, Travel, Wilderness

This is not a place to stand to close to the edge because there is a lot of fine scoria that might give an uncertain footing.

.

Highlands, Iceland, Landscape, Ljótipollur, Nature, Photography, Snow, Travel, Wilderness .

.

Highlands, Iceland, Landscape, Ljótipollur, Nature, Photography, Snow, Travel, Wilderness .

.

Highlands, Iceland, Landscape, Ljótipollur, Nature, Photography, Snow, Travel, Wilderness

Rain and mist was descending and lifting and here it had set in for a while.  We are looking up Veiðovotn at a watery maze associated with the Tungnaá river.

.

Highlands, Iceland, Landscape, Ljótipollur, Nature, Photography, Snow, Travel, Wilderness .

.

Highlands, Iceland, Landscape, Ljótipollur, Nature, Photography, Snow, Travel, Wilderness .

.

Highlands, Iceland, Landscape, Ljótipollur, Nature, Photography, Snow, Travel, Wilderness

The same Veiðovotn view as earlier with the weather largely cleared.

.

Highlands, Iceland, Landscape, Ljótipollur, Nature, Photography, Snow, Travel, Wilderness .

.

Highlands, Iceland, Landscape, Ljótipollur, Nature, Photography, Snow, Travel, Wilderness .

.

Highlands, Iceland, Landscape, Ljótipollur, Nature, Photography, Snow, Travel, Wilderness .

.

Highlands, Iceland, Landscape, Ljótipollur, Nature, Photography, Snow, Travel, Wilderness

Some of these views were majestic indeed and probably a photograph cannot fully convey what it was like being there.  There is a power line in the bottom of this one though which disturbs the sense of isolation a touch.

.

Highlands, Iceland, Landscape, Ljótipollur, Nature, Photography, Snow, Travel, Wilderness .

.

Landmannalaugar

Day 74. 12th September. Landmannalaugar, Highlands, Iceland.

.

Architecture, Highlands, Iceland, Landmannalaugar, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Snow, Travel, Wilderness

In Kerlingarfjöll it was raining.  In Landmannalaugar I woke up to snow.

.

Architecture, Highlands, Iceland, Landmannalaugar, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Snow, Travel, Wilderness

This is looking up to the hills from my parking place.

.

Architecture, Highlands, Iceland, Landmannalaugar, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Snow, Travel, Wilderness .

.

Architecture, Highlands, Iceland, Landmannalaugar, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Snow, Travel, Wilderness .

.

Architecture, Highlands, Iceland, Landmannalaugar, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Snow, Travel, Wilderness

So this is the “capital” of the highlands with Ranger’s hut on the left and a building with some bunks and common areas on the right.  It is early in the morning and the snow is still falling.

.

Architecture, Highlands, Iceland, Landmannalaugar, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Snow, Travel, Wilderness

As the morning goes on it slowly starts to clear.

.

Architecture, Highlands, Iceland, Landmannalaugar, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Snow, Travel, Wilderness

We are within the Fjallabak Nature Reserve here and also inside the huge Torfajokull Caldera which is about twenty-five kilometres long and fifteen wide.

.

Architecture, Highlands, Iceland, Landmannalaugar, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Snow, Travel, Wilderness

There are many walking tracks in this region and many variations of coloured rock zones, including bright reds and bright greens.  If any of these were visible from this point in summer, they are now largely covered by snow.

.

Architecture, Highlands, Iceland, Landmannalaugar, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Snow, Travel, Wilderness

Another view of the parking area, now with no snow falling.   There was a river to ford to get this far though and some parked their vehicles before that and walked.

.

Architecture, Highlands, Iceland, Landmannalaugar, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Snow, Travel, Wilderness

There was a thermal area here too and I spent a while relaxing in the warm water.

.

Architecture, Highlands, Iceland, Landmannalaugar, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Snow, Travel, Wilderness

This refuge hut was built in 1927.  It housed both people (on an upper level) and their horses.  It replaced an earlier one built in 1905, the roof of which had collapsed under the weight of snow.  The roof of this one has collapsed twice too, in 1949 and 1993 but was rebuilt each time.

.

Architecture, Highlands, Iceland, Landmannalaugar, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Snow, Travel, Wilderness

I also went for a walk for a couple of hours, beyond the buildings in the earlier images .

.

Architecture, Highlands, Iceland, Landmannalaugar, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Snow, Travel, Wilderness .

.

Architecture, Highlands, Iceland, Landmannalaugar, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Snow, Travel, Wilderness .

.

Rescuing Sheep

Day 73. 11th September. Kerlingarfjöll to Landmannalaugar, Highlands, Iceland.

.

Architecture, Hellisfjall, Highlands, Horses, Iceland, Kerlingarfjöll, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Sheep, Travel, Wilderness

Driving along a very damp cold backcountry road, I came across a group of people and horses beside the road and stopped to see what was going on.  It was autumn, winter was approaching and they had found a very late season lamb that would not survive left to its own devices.

.

Landmannalaugar 2

I was driving from Kerlingarfjöll south-west along the F35 or Kjölur route and we are near the Hvítá Bridge.  Later I would take a sharp left turn along the 32, F26 and F208 for my nighttime destination of Landmannalaugar.  The green area around Landmannalaugar is the Fjallabak Nature Reserve.

.

Architecture, Hellisfjall, Highlands, Horses, Iceland, Kerlingarfjöll, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Sheep, Travel, Wilderness

Holding on to the lamb was one thing; they also needed to hang on to the ewe so it did not run off and leave the lamb separated from its mother.

.

Architecture, Hellisfjall, Highlands, Horses, Iceland, Kerlingarfjöll, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Sheep, Travel, Wilderness

So the horses waited patiently while this was happening.

.

Architecture, Hellisfjall, Highlands, Horses, Iceland, Kerlingarfjöll, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Sheep, Travel, Wilderness .

.

Architecture, Hellisfjall, Highlands, Horses, Iceland, Kerlingarfjöll, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Sheep, Travel, Wilderness

One of the people asked me if I could transport the ewe and lamb in the back of my vehicle to a nearby barn and I was happy to agree.  In any case, the lower interior was aluminium and easy to clean.

.

Architecture, Hellisfjall, Highlands, Horses, Iceland, Kerlingarfjöll, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Sheep, Travel, Wilderness

So here, the ewe and lamb are unloaded from the camper while a sheepdog carefully watches on to ensure that nothing is amiss.

.

Architecture, Hellisfjall, Highlands, Horses, Iceland, Kerlingarfjöll, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Sheep, Travel, Wilderness

Heading into the barn.

.

Architecture, Hellisfjall, Highlands, Horses, Iceland, Kerlingarfjöll, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Sheep, Travel, Wilderness

… where there were a number of very charming Icelandic horses.

.

Architecture, Hellisfjall, Highlands, Horses, Iceland, Kerlingarfjöll, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Sheep, Travel, Wilderness .

.

Architecture, Hellisfjall, Highlands, Horses, Iceland, Kerlingarfjöll, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Sheep, Travel, Wilderness .

.

Architecture, Hellisfjall, Highlands, Horses, Iceland, Kerlingarfjöll, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Sheep, Travel, Wilderness

A little later, I watched the sheep being mustered to more suitable pastures, perhaps their winter pastures.  This is the bridge over the glacial river Hvítá.  Not far away on the left is Hvítárvatn (or White Lake), a lake fed by the glaciers Suðurjökull and Norðurjökull (So, I presume, North and South Glaciers) of the icecap Langjökull.

.

Architecture, Hellisfjall, Highlands, Horses, Iceland, Kerlingarfjöll, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Sheep, Travel, Wilderness .

.

Architecture, Hellisfjall, Highlands, Horses, Iceland, Kerlingarfjöll, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Sheep, Travel, Wilderness .

.

Architecture, Hellisfjall, Highlands, Horses, Iceland, Kerlingarfjöll, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Sheep, Travel, Wilderness .

.

Architecture, Hellisfjall, Highlands, Horses, Iceland, Kerlingarfjöll, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Sheep, Travel, Wilderness .

.

Architecture, Hellisfjall, Highlands, Horses, Iceland, Kerlingarfjöll, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Sheep, Travel, Wilderness

I continued on my way.  The rain grew heavier so I did not stop to take many photographs.  This image and the next one are views of the Hvíta River to the south and west of the road, taken twenty and thirty minutes respectively further along the F35.

.

Architecture, Hellisfjall, Highlands, Horses, Iceland, Kerlingarfjöll, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Sheep, Travel, Wilderness .

.

Architecture, Hellisfjall, Highlands, Horses, Iceland, Kerlingarfjöll, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Sheep, Travel, Wilderness

This image is probably a glimpse of the River Tungnaá.  It and the last two are along the F208 on the way in to Landmannalaugar.

.

Architecture, Hellisfjall, Highlands, Horses, Iceland, Kerlingarfjöll, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Sheep, Travel, Wilderness

Not much scope for agriculture here.

.

Architecture, Hellisfjall, Highlands, Horses, Iceland, Kerlingarfjöll, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Sheep, Travel, Wilderness

This last image is Frostastaðavatn (or Frosty Lake), just before Landmannalaugar.

.

Kerlingarfjöll reprise

Day 73. 10th September. Kerlingarfjöll, Highlands, Iceland.

.

Architecture, Highlands, Iceland, Kerlingarfjöll, Landscape, Langjökull, Nature, Photography, Travel, Wilderness

Returning from Hveravellir and þjófadalir on my way back to Kerlingarfjöll, the four wheel drive vehicle is at the intersection where the F735 meets the F35.  In the background is the Hofsjökull icecap.

.

Architecture, Highlands, Iceland, Kerlingarfjöll, Landscape, Langjökull, Nature, Photography, Travel, Wilderness

This image and the next one are taken from the same place as the previous image, though looking in different directions.

.

Architecture, Highlands, Iceland, Kerlingarfjöll, Landscape, Langjökull, Nature, Photography, Travel, Wilderness .

.

Architecture, Highlands, Iceland, Kerlingarfjöll, Landscape, Langjökull, Nature, Photography, Travel, Wilderness

This image and the next are taken further along on the F35.

.

Architecture, Highlands, Iceland, Kerlingarfjöll, Landscape, Langjökull, Nature, Photography, Travel, Wilderness

Hofsjökull icecap, again.

.

Architecture, Highlands, Iceland, Kerlingarfjöll, Landscape, Langjökull, Nature, Photography, Travel, Wilderness8

This is probably shortly after turning off on the F347 sideroad to Kerlingarfjöll.

.

Architecture, Highlands, Iceland, Kerlingarfjöll, Landscape, Langjökull, Nature, Photography, Travel, Wilderness

We pass by Gýgjarfoss again.  It’s raining now, as you can see.

.

Architecture, Highlands, Iceland, Kerlingarfjöll, Landscape, Langjökull, Nature, Photography, Travel, Wilderness

I’m not sure which mountain we are looking at here and in the next two images.  Perhaps Snaekollur.

.

Architecture, Highlands, Iceland, Kerlingarfjöll, Landscape, Langjökull, Nature, Photography, Travel, Wilderness .

.

Architecture, Highlands, Iceland, Kerlingarfjöll, Landscape, Langjökull, Nature, Photography, Travel, Wilderness .

.

Architecture, Highlands, Iceland, Kerlingarfjöll, Landscape, Langjökull, Nature, Photography, Travel, Wilderness

Four views of Hofsjökull icecap, very different to the two previously.

.

Architecture, Highlands, Iceland, Kerlingarfjöll, Landscape, Langjökull, Nature, Photography, Travel, Wilderness .

.

Architecture, Highlands, Iceland, Kerlingarfjöll, Landscape, Langjökull, Nature, Photography, Travel, Wilderness .

.

Architecture, Highlands, Iceland, Kerlingarfjöll, Landscape, Langjökull, Nature, Photography, Travel, Wilderness

This one is worth clicking on to see larger.

.

Architecture, Highlands, Iceland, Kerlingarfjöll, Landscape, Langjökull, Nature, Photography, Travel, Wilderness

Having reached Kerlingarfjöll, I went for a walk up the river for a few hours. There are many walks you can do in this region but as always you can’t do everything.

.

Architecture, Highlands, Iceland, Kerlingarfjöll, Landscape, Langjökull, Nature, Photography, Travel, Wilderness .

Architecture, Highlands, Iceland, Kerlingarfjöll, Landscape, Langjökull, Nature, Photography, Travel, Wilderness .

Architecture, Highlands, Iceland, Kerlingarfjöll, Landscape, Langjökull, Nature, Photography, Travel, Wilderness .

Architecture, Highlands, Iceland, Kerlingarfjöll, Landscape, Langjökull, Nature, Photography, Travel, Wilderness

The bend in the distance was I think as far as I walked.  It was still pretty damp, but nothing like a day or two before.  There is a thermal area further on but I didn’t get that far.

.

Architecture, Highlands, Iceland, Kerlingarfjöll, Landscape, Langjökull, Nature, Photography, Travel, Wilderness .

Architecture, Highlands, Iceland, Kerlingarfjöll, Landscape, Langjökull, Nature, Photography, Travel, Wilderness .

Architecture, Highlands, Iceland, Kerlingarfjöll, Landscape, Langjökull, Nature, Photography, Travel, Wilderness .

Architecture, Highlands, Iceland, Kerlingarfjöll, Landscape, Langjökull, Nature, Photography, Travel, Wilderness

An old pump, it seems, now operating more as a fountain.

.

þjófadalir

Day 72. 9th September. þjófadalir near Hveravellir, Highlands, Iceland.

.
Architecture, Highlands, History, Hveravellir, Iceland, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Travel, Wilderness

It was raining heavily in the morning at Kerlingafjöll, too heavily to bother wandering out with a camera, so I decided to head off for Hveravellir and þjófadalir, and return to Kerlingafjöll on the way back.  I think this image is not long after setting out from Kerlingafjöll.

.

Architecture, Highlands, History, Hveravellir, Iceland, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Travel, Wilderness

I’ve included Reykjavik in this map to give you an idea of scale.  From Kerlingafjöll to Hveravellir along the F347, F35 and F735.  Then a couple of kilometres further along the F735 to þjófadalir.

.

Architecture, Highlands, History, Hveravellir, Iceland, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Travel, Wilderness

All the following images are from þjófadalir, the Valley of Thieves.  It seems some thieves, perhaps declared outlaws, hid away in this valley long ago.

.

Architecture, Highlands, History, Hveravellir, Iceland, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Travel, Wilderness

Here we are looking down on þjófadalir, the mountain hut and the monument.  I don’t remember what the monument is for, perhaps some people who died during a cold snap before the hut was built.

.

Architecture, Highlands, History, Hveravellir, Iceland, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Travel, Wilderness .

.

Architecture, Highlands, History, Hveravellir, Iceland, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Travel, Wilderness

I went for a walk along the valley for an hour or two.

.

Architecture, Highlands, History, Hveravellir, Iceland, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Travel, Wilderness .

.

Architecture, Highlands, History, Hveravellir, Iceland, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Travel, Wilderness .

.

Architecture, Highlands, History, Hveravellir, Iceland, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Travel, Wilderness .

.

Architecture, Highlands, History, Hveravellir, Iceland, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Travel, Wilderness

Looking back at my campervan, parked above the valley.  While the road continues, there was a sign saying the way beyond was only for really serious four wheel drives.

.

Architecture, Highlands, History, Hveravellir, Iceland, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Travel, Wilderness

Looking towards Langjökull icecap and glaciers.

.

Architecture, Highlands, History, Hveravellir, Iceland, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Travel, Wilderness

Inside the hut.  It sleeps twelve.

.

Architecture, Highlands, History, Hveravellir, Iceland, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Travel, Wilderness .

.

Architecture, Highlands, History, Hveravellir, Iceland, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Travel, Wilderness .

.

Architecture, Highlands, History, Hveravellir, Iceland, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Travel, Wilderness .

.

Architecture, Highlands, History, Hveravellir, Iceland, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Travel, Wilderness .

.

Architecture, Highlands, History, Hveravellir, Iceland, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Travel, Wilderness

This last image was taken from where the car was parked and looks back in the other direction, towards the Hofsjökull icecap.

From here I returned to Hveravellir for the night,  where there was a bar with two friendly young women and a friendly group of Latvians.  There is also a natural thermal baths near the hut but I did not investigate.

.

Kerlingarfjöll

Day 71. 8th September. Kerlingarfjöll, Highlands, Iceland.

.

Architecture, History, Iceland, Highlands, Kerlingarfjöll, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Travel, Wilderness

This was beside the road.  Looking closer at the image it appears to be a couple of wooden rooms tacked on to the front of an older turf house.  I’ve no idea what the structure in front is and whether it related to the house or even the right way up.

.

Architecture, History, Iceland, Highlands, Kerlingarfjöll, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Travel, Wilderness

The road from Geysir to Kerlingarfjöll is an “F-road”, a four wheel drive road.  This is part of the Kjölur road, or the ancient Kjalvegur route between north and south Iceland, frequently used as a route to and from the Alþingi (Althing).  Rental companies prohibit you taking two-wheel drive vehicles on such roads.  It wasn’t as rough as I had heard but that may depend partly on how used you are to driving on rough dirt roads.

.

Architecture, History, Iceland, Highlands, Kerlingarfjöll, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Travel, Wilderness

Another turf house or storeroom.  Note the more modern farm buildings in the distance.

.

Architecture, History, Iceland, Highlands, Kerlingarfjöll, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Travel, Wilderness

And this is just the foundations of another.  These first three images are all at the same place.

.

Architecture, History, Iceland, Highlands, Kerlingarfjöll, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Travel, Wilderness

A rainbow tries to peep over the ridge in a barren Icelandic landscape.

.

Architecture, History, Iceland, Highlands, Kerlingarfjöll, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Travel, Wilderness

A landing field in the middle of nowhere, windswept and austere.  This is beside the F347, the side road to Kerlingarfjöll.

.

Architecture, History, Iceland, Highlands, Kerlingarfjöll, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Travel, Wilderness

A little further on the side road into Kerlingarfjöll, this is Gýgjarfoss, the Waterfall of the Ogress, with a storm building up.

The ogress in question may have been Hallgerδur who used to cast a spell over the region so that travellers used to lose their minds or lose their way.  This stopped when a man called Ólafur shouted out her name.  He then disappeared into the underworld to marry her and she turned out to be a lovely elvin woman.

(Click the image to see it larger).

.

Architecture, History, Iceland, Highlands, Kerlingarfjöll, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Travel, Wilderness

Looking to the north-west and a broad barren plain with the river Joekulkvisi, coming from right to left.

.

Architecture, History, Iceland, Highlands, Kerlingarfjöll, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Travel, Wilderness

Minimalist landscapes.

.

Architecture, History, Iceland, Highlands, Kerlingarfjöll, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Travel, Wilderness .

.

Architecture, History, Iceland, Highlands, Kerlingarfjöll, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Travel, Wilderness

This is probably close to the lodge beside which I stopped for the night.  The river feeds through the gap at the right distance, which you can see more clearly in the next image.

.

Architecture, History, Iceland, Highlands, Kerlingarfjöll, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Travel, Wilderness .

.

Architecture, History, Iceland, Highlands, Kerlingarfjöll, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Travel, Wilderness

And lastly, a few views up the valley towards Snaekollur (1477 metres) as the weather contemplates closing in and the clouds come in and out.  Heavy rain was on the way.

.

Architecture, History, Iceland, Highlands, Kerlingarfjöll, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Travel, Wilderness

If you click on this last image, it opens up to a larger size than usual, 1900px wide rather than 1024.  Even so, it is very small compared to the full size of the panorama.
.