Iceland part 4: highlands

Of all the adventures I have in Europe, these last few weeks have been the most impressive of all. I survived the wrath of the wind, the glacial river of early September, with the only sustenance of the rivers and what I wore. But I have learned that the purest beauty is the simplest of all. Welcome to the highlands of Iceland.

I would like to talk more about the Icelandic capital, but I will leave it for another post. I left Reykjavik for cyclist tracks, practically the only ones that are on the whole island, and following an equestrian route arrives at road 435. The most striking changes are made in the first 30 or 40 kilometers of the coast. From a mostly green landscape, to the desert!

Tectonic plates

In such a hurry, I only deigned to see the tectonic plates. Þingvellir is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and, of course, the easiest place to visit this phenomenon, which only happens in Iceland. The cannon behind Negrita is simply a cannon on the American plate. The European plaque can be seen at the end of the photo, on the horizon. All the land in the center, that valley behind the canyon, is the great “nothing.” Perfect to enjoy a day between continents!

This photo is simply to claim the greatness of the place 🙂

placas tectonicas islandia

As I have seen that mr. Google does not show images of tectonic plates, at least in an easy way to understand, I’ve drawn them on my map. Since I started my journey in Iceland, I have crossed them four times!


Throughout my trip I have seen many landscapes, but few have left me so amazed. The road divided two pictures of images taken by two different worlds, worthy of the surrealist paintings of Salvador Dalí.

In Iceland the female sheep are free with their little lambs around the island. At the end of the summer season, all Icelanders with horses and someone on foot will pick up the sheep in a single day. They go to the center of the island called Göngur, and all of them move the cattle to the Réttir. This last place is where they keep the animals and is what you can see in the photo. This day is known as Réttir.

And if the landscapesl ook like a pictures, the life that they cross their tracks and roads of engrave are of postcards. I have to try to ride an Icelandic horse, they are incredible animals, with an intelligence and beauty as pure as the island.

I chose the best day of the whole trip to visit Landmannalaugar. The F208 is a hard road, with steep slopes, but with wonderful views.

I did not find any river until I arrived at the campsite, I found that wading the rivers is not an easy task…

But I arrived! Landmannalaugar is incredibly beautiful, a place out of tale, where only fantasy can become real.

The camping has been the most expensive to date, 2000 IKR. Luckily, I was able to disclose a good shower to the base camp style, and a “hot spring” of the most beautiful. The interesting places are taken advantage of in the price, to distribute the money where there is less tourism.

And every effort has its reward. For this photo I tried hard to buy a camera. I have been able to show northern light again! Thanks to all the participants!

And for the absent—-mined like me, in Landmanalaguar they have a little shop… on a bus!


And when you leave Landmannalaugar and its tourists, you have the desert. It’s the gateway to the highlands!

I have traveled more than 300 kilometers on record tracks, whose photo is the best and easiest. Negrita and I have suffered a lot, but it was beautiful!

And like all the deserts has its oases!

And if you think that there is nothing in the center, you are wrong, there is the camping of Nýidalur, in the nature reserve with the same name.

And then another river. I have waded many on this trip. The idea was to make a funny video with Negrita, but as it has broken the computer I have not been able to do it. It is difficult for me to write and edit all this through the mobile.

Twice I tried to get to Askja and twice the river has won me. The first time, since F910, the water came up to my waist, with strong currents and icy cold. The second time, on the F88, after wading one of the larger rivers, a French family informed me that they could not pass with their Land Cruiser the following, that a 4×4 was broken and the signal of depth broken by strong currents . If there is something to learn, it is to choose defeats. Askja had winned me.

So, disappointed and with the only option of more, absolute conformity, I returned to the route. The landscape in the highlands is pure spectacle, although there are hardly any signs of life.

But disasters always happen in pairs. On the top of a hill, with a terrible wind and icy rain, the front rack said enough. The fatigue of everything lived brakes the strongest.

Luckily this pair of Germans passed at that time. His big truck served as a windproof, and with four metal clamps and two Allen keys we managed to repair the disaster. Danke schön!

And so I do not break the camera again, I now add many more stones to the tripod!

I could not miss the last river I waded into. Glacial water of the Herðubreið nature reserve. With the inconsumables of my French friends.

Believing that crossing the rivers was a matter of guts! In those that came from a glacier, its waters were so cold, that the toes refused to move. I’ve never been so cold in my feet…

North of the F26 we find two wonderful waterfalls. In the photo above we can see Hrafnabjargafoss. Less touristy, more wild.

And the one behind Negrita is Aldeyjarfoss. As you can see they are names that are easy to pronounce and remember. Both are on the same river as the Gođafoss, and if you do not plan to cross the F26, you can always access from the 842. If you do not have 4×4 you can park the car and walk the 5 kilometers separating you from Aldeyjarfoss.

Return to civilization

And finally, after many days, I saw trees again.

In Mývatn I camped a couple of nights with the intention of recovering forces. When I wanted to check the videos, it was when I discovered that my computer was broken…

With what I experienced in central Iceland, I wanted to feel myself on another planet, and better than the geothermal area of ​​Hverir to feel on Mars.

On the way I got a hailstorm that turned the road into a white track in a matter of seconds!

But it has been my story about the highland desert of Iceland.

Although of the whole project I only missed Askja, in the end I was lucky to see auroras again, to meet wonderful people, to learn where my limits are and to accept them. There is no better teacher than the desert.

A greeting to everyone from the campsite of Egilsstađir!

3 Replies to “Iceland part 4: highlands”

  1. Manuel Pedrero

    Como siempre me hipnotizas con tus historias,. No sufra por como a quedado tus aventuras . Siempre son fantásticas .Es pero que tengas muy pronto el nuevo ordenador.Seguimos contigo Gracias por todo.Tequiero tu madre


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.