The weather seemed dry that day so we went back south on the F208 with a stop at Langisjór and Eldgjá on the way. We'd loved the F228 and the F210 just a few days earlier. Today, we were going to take the F208, which we already knew, and the F235 that led to Langisjór.
Lake Langisjór gave us a good reason to take a short detour, and it was indeed worth it.
The F208 was quite variable in its challenges. While it was rather easygoing before Landmannalaugar in the north, it got much more complicated down south with a whopping fifteen ford crossings! Given the weather the day before, we were more than a bit worried but in the end, no ford proved too much for our Duster. Most of them were shallow and not that broad either. Two or three of them were a bit more challenging, but we crossed them slowly and carefully without too much difficulty.
The road itself passed right through the Fjallabak reserve, an absolutely exceptional landscape, and it remains one of the most beautiful trails in the country. Contrary to the indications on Google Maps, we arrived quite quickly at the intersection with the F235. It only took us 1 hour and 45 minutes to get there from our accommodation in Asólfsstaðir:
To this, we had to add 45 minutes of absolutely splendid F235 track, quite similar to the F228 we took a few days earlier, to go to Veiðivötn and arrive at the first refuge in Langisjór.
There were a few small fords to cross on the F235, but nothing we couldn't handle.
Unfortunately, the low clouds and fog prevented us from doing the planned full hike to ascend to the summit of Svestindur. We contented ourselves with the shorter variant direct from the car park, about 1 km, which still offered an exceptional view of the large lake and the surrounding mountains.
The 360° view was truly spectacular and we spent a long time taking photos and contemplating this incredible landscape in silent appreciation. Without a doubt one of the highlights of our stay, but we soon got back on the road to explore the various trails ahead.
We took a fairly challenging trail that went behind the Svestindur and climbed to an exceptional viewpoint with yet another angle on the lake.
After spending several hours there, we decided to take the F235 back south.
Shortly after crossing the junction with the F235, we arrived at the Eldgjá car park. It was a series of craters and gorges measuring 75 km long, making it the longest in the world. The Eldgjá was an 8 km long canyon located in the middle of the crack.
We planned to do the hike that went through the canyon and led to the Ófærufoss waterfall. The trail was no challenge and perfectly marked, and we completed the 4.5 km round trip to the waterfall in just about an hour. It was superb, descending in stages into the canyon.
On our way back, we knew that there was a ford ahead sometimes known to be difficult. It was located just after the car park, heading south. When we returned from our hike, we asked a ranger on-site to find out the current depth of this famous ford and whether it could be crossed with our Duster. We were lucky; he told us that the water level was quite low and there should be no problem if we went slowly.
Reassured, we hit the road. As recommended by the ranger, we crossed the very wide ford without too much difficulty, going slow and straight. This was the last (significant) ford of the F208 South, which, in the end, turned out easier than we had imagined.
It took an additional 45 minutes to reach our guesthouse located on the F208, thankfully quite close to road number 1.