From Húsavík we headed down the 85 til we hit the 87, connecting us back with the Ring Road. We first visited Hverir, a geothermal area riddled with bubbling mud pools and constantly steaming fumaroles. It’s a very bleak landscape, something you’d imagine a primordial planet would begin as. The sulfur smell is very strong is this region in general, but it really was pungent at Hverir.
We then turned back west on the Ring Road, then headed south on the 848 for a few minutes til we got to Dimmuborgir. This area is covered in volcanic rock formations and several caves. Fun Fact: In Nordic lore, this is the spot where Satan fell from heaven, and where he created the Catacombs of Hell. Isn’t that nice? haha. It’s definitely an interesting place, and it was fun to hike along the paved paths through these unique rocks. The rain picked up so we headed to a small cave and had our lunch; PB&J for the win.
We double-backed up the 848, turned onto the 860, and headed to Grjótagjá. Here lies a volcanic cave with a geothermal pool inside. It was really neat, though unfortunately swimming wasn’t allowed. I tried getting some pics but the high temperature and steam fogged up my lens really quickly.
heading north on the 860 runs you back into the Ring Road, we turned eastward and drove a short distance til we arrived at Mývatn Nature Baths. At this point the rain really started coming down hard, which was actually pretty perfect since we were hopping into the baths for a nice long soak. Though not nearly as famous as the blue lagoon in the southwest of Iceland, Mývatn Nature Baths is a great alternative. It’s much cheaper and much less crowded. The water was warm in most of the pools unless you were near a hot water vent, which is where Katya and I hung out. It was a nice relaxing time and a needed break from all the hiking we’ve done.
Reluctantly getting out of the water and leave the baths, we headed west on the Ring Road to Godafoss, or “waterfall of the gods”. These falls are easily in the top three of most beautiful I’ve ever seen. The water was a lovely blue-green, and the raining, cloudy skies really made the whole scene amazing. I like the pictures I got here but I still don’t think it does the place justice.
Finally we ended our day at Systragil Camping Ground. A nice campsite just off the Ring Road down the 833. Just a lovely view of the surrounding valley was a nice treat to finish the evening.