This morning, we left the south and headed for the Landmannalaugar region where we had planned to spend several days. We slept 3 nights in a small house in Asolfsstaðhir which was quite well placed to explore the region, and the value for money was unbeatable. We were also lucky to have a hotpot, which we could enjoy quietly.
After leaving our things around 11AM, we headed for the lakes of Veiðivötn, a region we knew nothing about.
It has to be said, the F228 is absolutely exceptional. It's probably one of the most beautiful off-road trails in Iceland and it's really fun to drive.
At first, the road is sandy and smooth as butter, a bit like the trail in Maelifellssandur a few days earlier, a dead flat black ribbon! A really easy drive on these sections but it has two fords, including a fairly large one at the end.
The two fords are near the finish, towards the lakes. The first wasn't that serious, quite smooth in fact. When we passed the depth did not exceed 25 to 30 centimeters, so our Duster would have been fine.
The second was more complicated, it was wider and seemed deeper, but unfortunately we couldn't see the bottom. We preferred to play it safe and wait for another 4x4 to pass by. After a few minutes, a Land Rover arrived and crossed the ford, closely following the rope that was slung in an arc across the river. On his vehicle, the water submerged half of the wheels, so if we stuck close to the rope as well, we could theoretically pass with our Duster, taking our time...
So we decided to go, the driver in front waiting for us kindly on the other side of the river just in case of any problems. We finally crossed the river without difficulty and a few minutes later we arrived near the fishing huts of Veidivotn.
We planned to picnic there, and as we took in the beauty of the site we realized that had been a very good idea. We wove between the various lakes looking for a good place to have lunch.
The views on the heights above the lakes were breathtaking. Each lake had its own charm and the good weather mae all the difference; the color of the water was magnificent in contrast with the surrounding mountains.
We stopped near Litlisjór, the largest of the lakes. We had hesitated because there were a lot of gnats there, but this didn't prevent us from spending long minutes admiring the place, especially since the outside temperature was... 25°! We had never experienced this in Iceland, it was clearly not seasonal. We stopped near Grænavatn and then passed by many others, smaller ones, heading south.
The best views were clearly when you got a little higher on the small peaks that dominated the lakes.
After spending a few hours there, we hit the road again in the direction of the Landmannalaugar region.
The sky was more cloudy when we approached the F208 north in the direction of Landmannalaugar, and even though we were not expected to hike near the campsite today, we noticed that the sky was getting darker as soon as we started approaching the mountains.
We decided to stop at the Sigöldugljúfur Canyon, the valley of tears. We had some trouble understanding where the parking lot was, and made the mistake of stopping at Sigöldufoss, but this wasn't the right one; you had to continue a few kilometers until you found another car park, this one not at all indicated.
A tourist we spoke to on-site confirmed that this was the correct parking lot and showed us the path leading to the canyon. The hike was short since the canyon was only 900 meters from the F208. The short trail was no problem at all and you just had to follow it for a few hundred meters you began to distinguish the canyon below.
You could then get very close and discover a beautiful bird's eye view of the canyon and its waterfalls.
The weather was getting a little worse, but we still decided to get closer to Landmannalaugar and stop by the Bláhylur crater to wander a bit. Moreover, the sign to get there indicated Hnausapollur and not Bláhylur...
The colors of the crater were quite spectacular, and the contrasts of the red flanks and the water were most beautiful. We stayed for a few minutes before returning to our accommodation to enjoy the famous hotpot despite the rain that was starting to fall.