Iceland: hitchhiking from Húsavik to Snaefellsnes
I’ve been without much electricity the last few days, bar what I’ve been stealing from public toilets, hence the hiatus. North of Húsavik is Ásbyrgi, an unusually shaped canyon, where I went for a nice easy walk. You can hike from here to Dettifoss over the course of a few days but you need to bring plenty of water as the water coming from Dettifoss is undrinkable due to the lava and dirt washed along with it. There is a campsite a bit along from Dettifoss but don’t rely on it. When I went to get the bus one driver was lambasting another one, and on the bus he was telling another passenger from Switzerland and I that she was driving so fast that if he saw her do it again he’d report her. Being chatty we essentially got a free guided tour along the way, telling us about the fences made from driftwood, and the lake that appeared about fifty years ago after an earthquake broke open the earth and unleashed an underground river.
The north has fairer weather than the south and it was a beautiful hot day but once you get up the steps, which are not as bad as they look though one woman decided against it (tip: on the way down go backwards and abseil, it’s easier), it’s a flat easy walk. Ásbyrgi is sometimes called Sleipnir’s footprint, after Odin’s eight-legged horse, Sleipnir, stepped on the ground here. Down at the end, where tour buses and campers drive, there’s a viewing platform and people shouting to hear their echo. On the way back to Húsavik I stopped to have a swim at the beach opposite the island. It was cold, enough to make the air feel warm but just like at home in the spring, but a nice treat for tired muscles. The current was ok and it was fairly shallow but you do need to be aware of where you go and look out for rip currents.
After a few lazy days in Húsavik I headed south west to the Snaefellsnes peninsula. The only bus that would have connected left at 6:30am and I was not that pushed about getting up that early. So instead I got the next bus to Akureyri, and got three separate lifts to Borgarnes, where I got the last bus to Grundarfjörður. One car was driven by an American couple from Boston who had been working in a farm in the east and let me cockroach some grapes and a lovely woman from Akureyri and her daughter brought me to Borgarnes. We talked about just about everything and I even taught her daughter some Irish (which she pronounced perfectly). Hitchhiking is generally pretty easy. The longest I’ve been waiting is about 40mins in Akureyri, but then it would be easier for me. But my new Akureyri friend said once she had a flat and no one would give her a lift so I suppose it depends. Grundarfjörður is a gorgeous little town with the beautiful Kirkjufell and Kirkjufellsfoss on the western side. The mountain is so named because it looks like a church steeple. The past few days I’ve spent sitting at the waterfall just feeling lucky to be here and not wanting to go home.
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