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Islands of the North Atlantic Trip report

Car maintenance, hidden falls, lake, craters, thermals

Oh, and a bit of aurora action, last night…

After some email communication with the car hire folk, it transpired that the petrol station back in Húsavík would be able to sell us a bag of the “AdBlue” addative needed to keep the car going, so we went there first, and bought some. Shortly after, we discovered that we couldn’t get the cap off the appropriate reservoir in the car. Stumped, we drove to one of the two mechanics in town, to see if they could help. The nice mechanic folk applied some extra leverage to the cap and got it open: apparently the stuff dries to a hard claggy substance. Yay. Hardly a user-friendly experiene: diesels are doomed, in Europe, anyway.

Since we were back in Húsavík, we tried for Æðarfossar again, this time going further down the road, past the farm buildings, past a “private road, no parking, no camping” sign. Sure enough, there was more unsealed track leading to some seats and a parking area, beside a river. And there it was. Very nice little waterfall too. There were stairs down to a beach, and stepping bridges across the river to some rocks, for the better viewing. Someone had been to a lot of effort here, and then apparently decided against maintaining it, or even having signs that show where it is. We had our lunch there, although it was very cold, with the wind up.

After lunch we drove on to lake Myvatn and its surrounds. At one point we had to detour, because route 87 was blocked. No problem, we got there anyway, in the end. The most immediately impressive thing about the lake was the thickness of the swarms of little bush flies, everywhere. Really, it was quite unpleasant to be outside. A gauze face mask, like the ones that we had used in King’s Canyon and Uluru would have been appropriate. All of my photos of the area have multiple black spots on them: flies flying past, or sitting on the lens.

Which is a pity, because the lake itself and the varying surrounds on the different sides are tremendously beautiful. Different types of larva formation, false-cones caused, I believe, by below-water eruptions, cinder cones, thermal geysers, mud mountains, it has the works.

Back “home” to the cabin by late afternoon, to blog and (perhaps) have another soak in the hot tub.

2 replies on “Car maintenance, hidden falls, lake, craters, thermals”

Yes, an actual photo, but it (like all aurora photos) differs from reality in a couple of important ways. Since the camera is integrating phtons over ten seconds, it can see a brighter image than a “normal” photo would, at the expense of blurring the motion: auroras are constantly in motion, which looks fantastic. You can see that with your eyes, because your rods can count photons individually, but I don’t know of any camera that sensitive, yet. Certainly no video cameras. Secondly, since you will be seeing auroras with your rods, mostly, you don’t see the colour: that takes more photons, to drive your cones. Cameras can see the colour, sort of.

If you skip back to the Lyngen photos from 2014, the aurora then was significantly stronger. Unfortunately we’re in a sunspot minimum at the moment (none visible at all, I believe) so we’re lucky to have seen them as well as we did, I think. Or as often.

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