We still had sunshine so we had to take advantage of this incredible luck because this would not last all day long according to the local weather (vedur.is). We took the road at 9AM towards the Reykjanes peninsula, more specifically the beautiful route 42 that led to Kleifarvatn.
I loved this place, the calm that reigned there was amazing. After a short walk along the lake, we headed back to Krysuvik for a short stop in Seltun, an area with high geothermal activity and a very nice solfatare field to visit. The tour didn't take more than 30 minutes but it was enough to admire the mud pots and fumaroles and take in the vivid smell of sulfur that hung over the place.
As we got back in the car, Benoit suggested we go see the cliffs of Krysuvikurberg, very close to here. In fact, for the record, we had wanted to go there in winter but the road has been closed that January two years ago because of the snow. There was even a road sign now, which I think was not the case before. After a few minutes of small off-road trail that was quite easy but bumpy, we finally arrived at the car park.
There was a very strong wind there and we could already see the birds from the parking lot. The noise they made was incredible and as we approached the cliff, we quickly understood why: there were so many of them! Seagulls, guillemots, and penguins mainly. We decided to walk along the cliff, going back down to the West. A German couple seemed to be photographing a seal below, but it was too far for me to take a clear picture of it with my zoom.
We were back on the road around 11:30AM, we planned to eat at Hveragerdi by doing the shopping beforehand at the local Bonus. We'd enjoy a picnic lunch in the early afternoon before a nice hike. Strangely enough, we had come to Iceland several times and we never had the opportunity to do the Reykadalur hiking trail, either due to lack of time or because of the weather.
This hike was famous and very popular with tourists and Icelanders alike, as it led to a hot water river.
The weather was cloudy but no rain so a Skinka sandwich and a Skyr later, we left the car park for about 2.5 hours to complete the return trip. In fact, I think you had to plan almost 4 hours if you wanted to take full advantage of the site up there and see all the viewpoints.
And it was a hard climb, especially at the beginning. For 45 minutes, the slope was impressively steep before reaching the plateaus where walking got thankfully easier.
The trail was really pleasant, however, cutting through the green meadows and then the fumaroles as we got closer to the end of our hike. The path was very well-marked all along, and when approaching the hot water river, small wooden footbridges were set up to avoid walking through the mud that was inevitably an issue when hot water runs down an earth-rich landscape.
So we set up shop at a place on the river where we had our own little corner to relax for a good thirty minutes in the river, an incredibly relaxing moment in nature. I didn't know what temperature the water was, but probably a good 35 °C. And if it wasn't hot enough, you could just wade a little upstream to get hotter water...
On the other hand, getting out of the water was not the fun part! The wind had picked up, and the 11° outside temperature was biting despite the wooden panels set up to break the wind the wind and allow you to change clothes without being swept away. The descent was obviously faster and this time the a superb view, especially when getting closer to Hveragerdi and the car park, was dead ahead of you all the way.
The rain returned on the way back, but it didn't stop us from hiking this time! We continued our route to Steinsholt where we would stay for two nights.
In the evening we decided to take a trip to Hjalparfoss nearby, a little known and very pretty waterfall.