Date 01 July 2012



Here it was, the rainy day that we had been dreading. According to Vedur, only the extreme north (Melrakkasletta peninsula north of Asbyrgi) was spared. Another stroke of luck since that was exactly where we had planned to go today. I didn't know at all about this peninsula and this region of Iceland, which at first glance seemed too remote to be worth a visit.

We made a short detour in the morning to Akureyri, just to see if Pedro Myndir could do something for me... Arriving at 9AM the store was open! A young Icelander asked me to show him the lens, he cleaned it several times but could only confirm that it was not fixable, but he showed me other lenses that could replace mine. After presenting me with various options, he recommended one, and my device finally worked properly again. I was so happy! I think the clerk saw despair in my eyes and became the “savior” of my Icelandic journey. They had exactly the same prices as in our stores in France for photo equipment.

After a quick stop at the Akureyri info center to get the “cashback” for my lens, we took road 85 towards Husavik where we made a first stop. I love this town. The color of the houses and the atmosphere they create. We took the opportunity to go to the local supermarket to do some shopping for the midday picnic that we decided to have on the Tjörnes Peninsula, with a breathtaking panoramic view of the Öxarfjörður.

The Tjörnes peninsula towards Dettifoss

Fous de bassan

We then continued on the long road 85 to the far North and the fork to Rauðinupur. And the road signs never even indicated Rauðinupur but rather “Nupskatla”. We were then left with 7 or 8 km of stony road to the farm where we parked our Jimny.

The weather was still splendid and the walk to the headland to observe the birds was great, despite the frequent (but harmless) attacks of the Arctic terns... After 45 minutes of walking, we finally arrived in front of the two impressive rock formations literally covered with birds such as murres and gannets.

In fact, this is one of the few places where you can easily observe gannets in Iceland. The place was so peaceful and there was absolutely no one there. We were at the end of the world, the only noise was that of the thousands of birds nestled on the cliff and that of the waves crashing on the rocks.

We were extremely close to the Arctic Circle here, and paradoxically it may have been the hottest day we had ever experienced there (around 20°). Walking downhill, it only took 30 minutes to get back to the car. On the way to Myvatn, we decided to return via the 862 to possibly reach Dettifoss.

Unfortunately, the rain forecasted by Vedur the same morning had finally arrived and it was not really possible to hike to Dettifoss, especially as we were going back there the next day, so we could do it then. Road 862 had changed a lot...

In 2004 and 2006, the road was in dire condition but featured amazing scenery, so it was a trade-off. Now it was a smooth ride doable with a conventional vehicle: From Asbyrgi to Dettifoss, the road was dirt track but very smooth, then from Dettifoss it was completely paved, as good as Road number 1... On the way back, we stopped to pick up a Russian caught in the heavy rain that was now hitting the region.

He had left his bike at the junction of Road number 1 and hiked East. So we left him at the intersection where, in fact, he had hidden his bike  in the scrub about 10 miles from the intersection. The day ended with a delicious mutton soup at the Guesthouse.