Second Iceland Trip with Gordigear Tent|
This year, in July 2016, we made our second trip to Iceland with our Gordigear roof top tent and annex. Based on our 2015 trip (read previous travelogue on Gordigear website) we wanted to follow up on the success, using this kind of tent for a 3-week trip to the island in the North Atlantic Ocean. So we left Denmark’s summer from Hirtshals, with a fully packed and well equipped Landcruiser and arrived at Seyðisfjörður on the 14th of July.
On the first day we drove from Seyðisfjörður via the North Eastern Highlands past Snæfell via Aðalból and into the lava area at Askja. The wind was picking up and sand was blowing across the ground, making the route hard to see at times. We reached our camp area for the night at Drekagil and pitched our roof tent and annex, allowing us to eat a delicious dinner consisting of Icelandic lamb, sheltered from the sand blowing around outside.
The next day our plan was to visit the Holuhraun area – the latest eruption in Iceland. Fortunately, the old Southern route 'Gæsavatnaleið Sydri', which is the trail that leads to Holuhraun, had just been opened. This route is a rough isolated track, with spots of quicksand and other nasty bits. Even though we were travelling alone, we decided to do the trail, which we did not regret. Seeing the new lava at Holuhraun was an amazing experience and the trail is a great test for car and people. After 6-7 hours of driving, passing Urðarháls, we reached the intersection near Nyidalur, but instead of spending the night in the hut there, we decided to keep going North, towards Akureyri. On our way there, we drove through one of the most picturesque valleys I have seen, following the river Eyjarfjarðará. It is a descent from the highland 900 meters and to sea level, and especially the first part of the descent is rather steep. We reached Akureyri late in the evening and decided to camp at campsite there. So we pitched our roof tent and enjoyed a nice meal before climbing to bed on a nice thick foam mattress – which was much needed.
The following morning we went to the local swimming pool, for a nice dip in the hot tubs - something we would do quite a few more times during the remaining trip. We experienced a minor problem with loose alternator belts, but it was fixed with the help from locals, and we headed west via Siglufjörður and continued until we found the best kept lawn on the whole of the North-coast of Iceland, which happened to be a campsite right next to the ocean. So we camped at Lónkot, where we enjoyed one of the best sunsets I have seen over the ocean, and two rainbows across the mountains.
Next stop was Djupavík in the North West Fjords. Our main goal was to visit the deserted herring factory, but also to get a feeling of the remoteness of the North West Fjords. It is quite a long drive, following the fjords in and out, but also a very pretty one. After Djupavík we drove north to visit yet another deserted factory at Ingólfsfjörður. And from there we went for a dip in the hot pool Krossneslaug on the beach at Norðurfjörður. We camped at a campsite at Norðurfjörður, and experienced the first bit of rain during our trip. But we were nicely sheltered from the rain in our tent.
It was time to head South, and we made a long trip all the way to the campsite at Mossfellsbær. Unfortunately the rain followed us, but upon arrival we did a turbo pitch of the tent and soon we were (once again) enjoying a dry dinner. The next couple of days were spent in the Reykjavik area, shopping and relaxing. Amongst other things, we drove a small steep trail up onto the mountain Esja where we ate lunch, enjoying the beautiful view towards Reykjavik.
We then headed back north as we wanted to go to Husavik to see the whales. On our way we stayed at the campsite in Blönduós, before reaching the small village Husavik. Here we went on a whale safari which our 4 year old daughter still is talking about. From there we drove to Myvatn, so see the lake from the top of Hverfjall and then also do a bit of 'back roading' on some of the less travelled trails in the area. We headed further east and reached Egilsstadir, where we camped at the local campsite. The weather had worsened, so we spent some good hours at the local swimming pool.
We still had one thing we needed to do on this trip: to camp in a forest next to a waterfall. While a 'forest' is not why you would come to Iceland, at least not if you live in Denmark, there is a very nice forest area at Hallormsstaðaskógur, and also a campsite next to a waterfall. So we spent a day in the tranquil area at Hallormsstaðaskógur. Again, our Gordigear annex was put to good use, as there was the occasional natural shower. It was the end of the journey and we headed back over the pass to Seyðisfjörður and arrived back in Denmark, with the memory of yet another great trip. All gear worked perfectly including our tent and annex. We look forward to our next trip already.
Artwork and/or text courtesy of Klavs F. Jørgensen