Iceland 2004 - George and Rosemary Wolfe travel blog

Mount Hekla and lava field

Gjain waterfall

Rosemary at Gjain

Reconstructed farmhouse at Stong

Hjalparfoss waterfall

Gjain waterfalls

In the morning we were off again, this time to the west. We travelled for over an hour along the coast then turned north towards the mountains. Above us we could see the volcano Hekla which erupted six times during the twentieth century. Snow was lying on its upper slopes but not at the top where there is too much heat. We stopped to look at a typical recent lava field gradually being colonised by moss. We then drove on dirt roads to our next stop at Trollkonuhlaup, an impressively powerful twin waterfall on a wide river. The next stretch took us past a large hydro-electric scheme and down into a narrow valley on the other side.

At Gjain we looked down into a gorge with two streams falling into it. By this time the sun was getting very hot and we were glad to stop for lunch beside the river. Nearby at Stöng an ancient farmhouse had been excavated after being buried in an eruption centuries ago. The structures had gone but we could see the layout and shape of it.

A walk across the hillside took us back the streams and waterfalls we had seen earlier. Clambering alongside the stream amongst the wild flowers was very pleasant and gave us some relief from the hot sun. (Later we found that the temperature had reached 29 degrees.

Eventually we walked back to the bus and drove a short distance down the valley to where a modern replica of the Stöng house has been erected. One long building contained the whole household and the roof was covered in a thick layer of turf.

Another short journey brought us to Hjálparfoss another twin waterfall surrounded by basalt columns. Our last stop was at a high viewpoint. Another long drive got us back to the hotel for 7 p.m.

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