Leirhnjukur Geothermal Area

Saturday 26 July 2014
Volcanoes and Steam
Today we take the bus to Leirhnjukur. The weather is a bit rainy this morning but the friendly driver is in great spirits with the usual string of jokes. A party of French are all getting out at the top – the Krafla crater, and we stay on the bus to get out at the deserted car park to walk to Leirhnjukur area of geothermal activity.

We walked past this place on our first walk here, back to Reykjhalid, but we didn’t notice the steam. Today, alone, we explore the hissing, singing, sighing, breath holes of the earth. The breath smells of sulphur and of something else more earthy and old, maybe like manure. The whole land is gently steaming. everywhere there are dark damp hot holes you can warm your hands on.

Brown slopes hiss, red rock is crumpled and cindered, sandy rock has the consistency of cake mix, grey rock like cinder toffee. Unprotected pots with crumbling walls beckon evilly, their steam drawing us closer in to the edges with fluorescent yellow hissing mounds and multicoloured steaming rivulets to lure us.

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