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Islands of the North Atlantic Trip report

Capes

Today we headed east along the 85 again, but where yesterday we stopped at the Asbyrgi canyon, today we continued around to the North, heading for Raudinupur Cape, one of Icelands most northerly points.

We stopped to stretch our legs along the way at a nameless parking spot along the coast that turned out to be quite a marvellous cape in its own right. Pebbly beach to the left led to stone spurs, one with an arch. Around to the right there was a headland that we climbed, just to look out. When we got there, it turned out to have a bassalt-swirl gulch, with sub-spurs and bird nesting places, complete with a kittywake on a nest. Really pretty.

Back in the car we headed north again, following Google’s direction to take the first, coastal unsealed road, that seems to get there. It doesn’t though: half way to the end we hit a gate: private property. No where to turn around, either, so I did a multi-pointer at the first place that had fairly shallow road run-offs. And back to the 870, left, another few minutes until we hit the second road that runs up the middle of the peninsula. That was the right one. It got to a farm gate too, but this one had signs proclaiming the area a nature reserve, and asking us to be careful, and to please shut the gate after us. So we went on and eventually came to a parking spot and a sign.

Picnic lunch from the back of the car, then hiking kit on and off we went to walk up to the cape, to see what we could see.

Between the farm and the cape was one of those smooth-rock sandbanks that partition off that section of fjord from the ocean. We walked along that (carefully) to the other side. The climb was a bit steep at first, but became easier, and there was a well-worn track, no doubt there to service the lighthouse at the point. We had seen the two rock spurs from the beach, but weren’t sure that we would have a good view of them from wherever we could climb to. We crested the hill and there they both were! The right one was entirely capped by thousands of gannets, and the air and the waters surrounding all filled with them. Very well worth the hike.

On the way back down the hill, Cath and I saw a little scampering mammal. Didn’t look like a mouse, exactly. Rounder body, and hopping gait. Vole, perhpas?

We took the loop to the east on the way home, past Hraunhafnartangi to Raufarhofn. There we stopped to see the in-construction Arctic Henge, which (based on the drawings on the sign) still has quite a long way to go. Interesting standing stone sculptures are marking compass points, but it left us a bit cold. The road south of Raufarhofn was a shiny new, smooth stretch of tarmac: a nice change from the unpaved road across the top of the cape.

Home in time for dinner. Lovely day.

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