Ridiculously full day. Started out at seven in the morning roaming around on a volcano, ’cause that’s how I start my days now, and then revisited a number of sites around Myvatn including Vindbelgjarfjall. Lonely Planet describes the mountain thusly: “the easy climb up 529m-high Vindbelgjarfjall, west of the lake, offers one of the best views across the water.” Lonely Planet’s editors either just returned from an expedition up Mt. Everest or else they forgot the “…NOT!” after “easy”. In any case, the views are inspiring and a little exercise is always a good thing, so I climbed the beast both days. Today two little kids were already on the trail, and seeing as I’m competitive to an unhealthy degree I figured I could catch them and pass them along the trail. Lesson learned – Little Kid A went up the trail like a mountain goat and absolutely dominated me, although Little Kid B fell by the wayside about halfway up. Whether it’s healthy to compete against little kids in mountain climbing is a subject that can be dealt with later in a professional setting.
After chasing birds, more hiking, and other fun the next stop was at the Myvatn Nature Baths for a shower and some hot spring time. The notable events from this stop: first, during the mandatory pre-hot spring cleaning the showers were open and very close together. Having a hairy, large, butt-naked man scrubbing vigorously in the shower next to you is not good, and especially not good when you have mantouch issues. Second, the hot springs are nice – they make your skin pretty. Third, bikinis rule; there can never be too many good things said about them. And finally, in the changing rooms on the way out the little naked singer appeared. Maybe being a parent makes having a little naked guy walking around singing seem normal, but to this childless thirty-something it seemed just a bit surreal.
The marathon of a day continued after the nature baths with some photography followed by a longish drive along a four-wheel-drive-only road to visit Dettifoss, the largest waterfall in Europe. It’s listed as being the largest waterfall “by volume”, although since there are other waterfalls downstream it’s mildly confusing as to why this particular waterfall got designated the largest. In any case, even shrouded in dense fog (visibility is probably fifty feet) it’s a hugely impressive sight, but a warning to any future visitors – the spray blasting off of this waterfall will soak you; unfortunately my nice clean clothes are now quite damp after hiking down to the canyon’s edge. It’s now well after one in the morning, and as sleepiness is creeping in I’m stuck for a place to spend the night – the Dettifoss parking lot is the first place in Iceland where there has actually been a sign posted saying that sleeping in cars is prohibited, so I’m off to find another spot to park the Wondermobile for the few remaining hours of this evening.