Today we planned to explore the Golden Circle region, but this time without touring the 3 main sites of the region. We had already seen them many times so this time we would sleep near Fluðir, which would be our guesthouse for 3 nights in order to fan out in all directions between Landmannalaugar, Kerlingarfjöll, etc...
We planned to take the Kaldidalur trail, an old trail that was widely used in the past by Icelandic peasants before Road 1 was laid. On the way we decided to stop in Hraunfossar to admire the falls which had left such an impression. This morning the weather was a bit brighter than yesterday, and indeed the color of the water was even more beautiful on a clear day.
The track was only 40 km long but the various testimonies we had read indicated that it took 1.5 hours to cross, which is just about how long it took us. The trail was no issue, the sandy road a bit rocky and even quite bumpy in the middle of the track, and the landscape crossed was really deserted, much like its neighbor Kjölur.
About ten kilometers into the trail we decided to do the 7 km section that led to Langjökull. Unfortunately, the weather turned cloudy just about then, and the first drops began to fall, which didn't do anything to improve our view of the glacier. Nevertheless, we tried an impromptu picnic in the middle of nowhere and while it was quite cool there, 5° with an icy little wind, we enjoyed the meal.
We left the trail near Thingvellir around 1PM to take up our next challenge: our plan was to find the infamously hard-to-find Brúarfoss waterfall, known to be poorly marked on the various guides. I can confirm it really wasn't easy.
Between Laugarvatn and Gullfoss, just after exiting the 355, we started to see holiday villages with wooden chalets on our left. After driving by 2 intersections (that were closed), the 3rd took us into the village: Brekkuskogur. We spent a good 20 minutes asking tourists if they had any idea, but finally we were lucky enough to meet an Icelandic woman who seemed to know what she was talking about...
She explained to us that there was only one trail but that we could park in several places before taking the trail. We decided to park and our guide showed us the river near of the village, explaining to us that by following the small path that ran along the river, we should get there in less than 10 minutes.
Once we had the right information, we arrived at the waterfall after about a kilometer of walking, and it was really worth it. While not the most impressive, it was really very photogenic. We stayed for a good 30 minutes on site before heading back to our guesthouse, Kjarnholt, where we would spend the next 3 nights.
After a short stop about 5 km from our guesthouse in Geysir to take some photos, we arrived around 5PM, where Jon and Bjarni welcomed us and offered us dinner in the evening. Beforehand, we would spend some time in the “bar” which also acted as a playroom for the children where we waited for lunchtime.
They were really kind, maybe one of the most welcoming guesthouses we had been in since our first trips to the island. This and Adalbol's were probably the best we had stayed at in Iceland.
Jon and Bjarni, the decor of the house, the comfort, the bar (!), the hot tub, and especially the meals... Everything about the place was incredible, and most of the food homemade, from dessert to traditional Icelandic soup, and even the breakfast with homemade bread, jams, muesli, and even smoked trout caught next door in the river! And to say that we were staying 3 nights... We ate like kings.
After the excellent soup and the no less excellent rhubarb cake from Bjarni (who spoke perfect French), we decided on Jon's advice to go to Fluðir in the evening to swim in the “Secret Lagoon”. This local equivalent of “Myvatn Nature Bath” or “Blue Lagoon” has slightly fewer tourists and is located just 15 minutes from our guesthouse.
The price is €20 per adult, which much cheaper than the Blue Lagoon and free for children under 16. The place was incredible, the water between 38 and 40° as you get closer to the rocks at the bottom. Basking in these calm and piping hot waters with the sun shining on the Fluðir was quite the experience...
We left the Secret Lagoon around 10PM because tomorrow, a big day awaited us...