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Islands of the North Atlantic Trip report

Barnafoss, Hraunfossar, Hvitserkur horse stables and dirt roads

The Hraunfossar and Barnafoss are waterfalls that share a carpark, but are quite different in character. The Barnafoss are as turbulent and violent a waterfall as I’ve seen: a roiling rapids coursing through craggy rock openings. A little further down stream, the same water source, many tiny springs that flow from underneath the lava field, feeds the Hraunfossar, a wide, more gentle falls that empties into the same river course. It helped that today has been mostly clear and sunny.

From the fosses we headed north to find Hvitserkur, a bassalt formation just off the coast to the north of us that apparently looks like a troll that was frozen to rock. As usual, I forgot to check google’s route, and as is fairly common in such situations she (“Flossie”) quickly led us onto an unsealed road, and some considerable time later, that road stopped going where the google maps suggested that it would. So we turned around, to head back to tarmac. For the next hour or so, she took every opportunity to try to turn us around, to get back to that strange piece of dirt road, to pick up where we’d turned around. Eventually, our course along route one (the Iceland ring highway) must have reached the point where going forward was a clear win, and she was happy for us to continue. There was a bit more unpaved road up the peninsula to get to Hvitserkur, but that was no trouble. The earlier unpaved section wasn’t really a problem either, just that it didn’t end up going where we wanted to: map glitch. For something so inanimate and out of the way, there were a lot of tourists there to see it with us, but we’re getting the sense that that’s what Iceland is like, at least at this time of year.

The night’s digs are an accommodation attached to a horse stable, and the GPS coordinates did not correspond to a marked gate or signpost, so we hunted up and down another unsealed road before deciding that the closer gate was probably it, and it was. Very nice and comfortable, with a seemingly newly-born foal in a field on the drive in, for good measure.

Skies are clear, no town lights around, and apparently moderate aurora activity forecast. We wish ourselves luck…

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