Thursday 24 July 2014
Jökulsárgljúfur Trek Stage 2; Vesturdalen to Dettifoss
We arise at 4am as we need to start early to catch the only bus from the end of our trek. Leave Vesturdalen Camp place at 5.20. No-one else is about. A moorland path leads to the famous stones standing in the river, which were used in Game of thrones. We feel we can walk faster today, which is good because the bus is at 1 pm. Moorland, some eroded, some littered with lava rocks, the tops of giant basalt pillars, narrow soft paths between meadows, and small trees.
The sun takes longer to show today but it does come out. When we see a haze of mist hanging above the land we know we are nearing a river. This is Katla Falls and is very spectacular; a giant horsehoe shape. When we get near Dettifoss a sign tells us of a dangerous and difficult path so we take the other way across a desolate moonscape of bald and barren lava.
From here we can see the camp site of Dettifoss with one tent, a plastic barrel of water and nothing else except wind. We are in good time and have to wait for our bus. Jim cooks up noodles in the shelter of some rocks and we stow bags on the bus when it arrives so that we can jog down to Stelfoss, another superb waterfallfall close to Dettifoss.
The fantastic bus driver who cracks jokes all the time and tells us interesting things about the countryside goes into his hold and brings out chocolate snowballs, saying that they are called kisses and offers them to us as we are waiting over the road perched on a stone.
It rains hard as we drive back over the wild terrain and then the bus is smoking profusely. We are unable to carry on in the bus and have to stop, and wait for a smaller bus to arrive and take us back to Myvaatn campsite by the lake.
We eat at the big hotel which has a Bistro and a little green garden and decide not to go to Sprengisandur as planned the next day on account of the weather forecast.