Travels in the North

Musings on arctic holidays

Tag Archives: Hverarönð

Reliving an old trip – 25th June 2005 – Cycling to Krafla

With Mývatn’s notoriously limited local bus services, I decided to hire a bicycle for the day. I paid 1000ISK for the privilege, but what the hell, I’m on holiday.

Boiling mud at Hverarönð

Boiling mud at Hverarönð

My first stop was Hverarönð, a properly impressive series of steaming vents and boiling mud – far more active than anything I saw yesterday. The vents were absolutely feracious, and pretty loud to boot.

A steaming vent at Hverarönð

A steaming vent at Hverarönð

From here it was another few kilometres onto Krafla, a nearby Volcanic area. I was absolutely shattered when I got there – it was pretty hilly, and my legs just weren’t used to cycling having not been on a bike for the best part of a decade.

A lava field, the archetypal landscape in this part of East Iceland

A lava field, the archetypal landscape in this part of East Iceland

Krafla itself was pretty impressive, although mid way through my third day in Iceland I did wonder if I was already beginning to suffer from Volcano fatigue, once you’ve seen one steaming vent you’ve seen them all perhaps.

Krafla caldera

Krafla caldera

Keen to avoid the hills I’d encountered on the way here, I decided to take what I thought was a shortcut on a different route, signposted as 13.1km back to Mývatn compared to the 16km I’d cycled to get here. What I hadn’t realised was that a good 10km of this 13 was across lava fields, not exactly ideal cycling terrain and for most of it I was forced to carry my bike, cursing the thing and the 1000Kr I’d spent on hiring it. Only the final few kilometres were in any way easy going, and I passed an interesting looking industrial building which I later found out to be Bjarnarflag diatomite plant, a geothermal power station.

Bjarnarflag diatomite plant

Bjarnarflag diatomite plant

I got back to my campsite about 3:30, swearing I’d never ride a bike again. I had a relaxing afternoon writing a few postcards, and I bought my bus ticket to Akureyri tomorrow, although was disappoted to learn it didn’t leave until 3:30 tomorrow, giving me a full morning in Mývatn (lovely as it is I feel I’m done with it after two and bit days).

Krafla

Krafla

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