My vanlife road trip around Iceland continues- and I’ve started to explore the north. Here’s my day to day diary.
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Iceland Day 5- this was unexpected!
I stared at the map, feeling frustrated. I need to be in Husavik on Tuesday morning… and there just aren’t enough hours to do everything I want to do on the way.
This is the problem with having fixed points in your road trip. It creates a level of stress to be somewhere by a particular time and date. Which means organising and planning your schedule, leaving no time for unexpected delights you might find along the way.
It’s one of the reasons I haven’t booked any campsites- I have no clue where I’m going to end up each night.
Thankfully, the problem is easily solved. I phoned the expedition company and asked to change my booking to Thursday, which gives me 2 extra days to see all the things along the way.
I set off on a four hour drive with a few highlights to see. First stop- boiling mud. After several hours of driving, I made it to the Hverir mud pools. These are like something out of a children’s movie- the colours are so bright but the smell is horrific. I could still smell it hours later- definitely bring a mask with you!
On the way to my next stop, Dettifoss waterfall, I stopped to pick up a female hitchhiker. It turns out, Yulia (I hope I spelt that right!) is as crazy as me!
She travels alone, mainly hitchhiking and couch surfing. She’s visited 70+ countries this way and has plans to go to Iraq in a few weeks.
Chatting to her was fun and made the trip to Dettifoss even more enjoyable- it’s lovely chatting to fellow travellers about their experiences around the world.
Dettifoss was fantastic- SO much power. Expect to get very wet though, especially if you want photos of the rainbow 🙂
Ended the night in a campsite by the lake, which sounds lovely but the reality was midges. LOADS of midges. Funnily enough, I enjoyed the view from inside my van!
Day 6 & 7 of vanlife Iceland
I’ve got a new mission- discovering the best spa lagoon in Iceland.
I decided to accept this mission and work on it very hard… by spending a LOT of time over the past two days soaking in deliciously warm water.
The two I’ve tried so far were very close to each other: Forest Lagoon in Akureyi and Geospa in Husavik. Forest lagoon was beautiful, modern and sleek, whereas Geospa was a little older.
However, the infinity pool and incredible view of the Geospa was magical. Apparently they see whales there really often but sadly I didn’t see any during my visit. Guess I’ll just have to go back.
Other notable moments of the past two days include:
- Visiting the Christmas shop near Akureyi (it’s decorated for Christmas all year and it full of gifts and treats.)
- Laufás Museum and heritage site. I enjoyed this more than I thought I would. The turf houses were fascinating, as was the little church. All in all, worth the detour to learn a bit about the history and culture of the area.
- Godafoss waterfall– named for the gods!
- – Grjotagja Lava cave- famous from GoT & created between two tectonic plates!
Also visited a campsite which has its own hot tubs right on the beach (one of them is a viking ship!) and am currently in a campsite just down the road from my next adventure- whale watching!!
Thankfully, the weather seems to be playing nice and the sea is flat calm, so I hope we will be successful in seeing the whales. Check back tomorrow to see if I do! 🙂
Day 8- I saw WHALES!
I can’t even begin to describe how incredible today was. It was just… awesome.
It started with whale watching. I was a bit anxious about the rib choice (seasick and not a big fan of deep water) but it was AMAZING. The weather was sunny and sea was calm as we headed out.
First stop, puffin island, where I saw hundreds of the tiny black birds swimming, flying, nesting and diving.
Then we went out into the great blue to try to find whales. I hadn’t really thought of it before (after all, these creatures are HUGE) but it was a little like trying to find a needle in a haystack.
And WHAT a needle we found.
After only 10-15 minutes, we found a rare blue whale, then a hybrid whale (blue whale and fin whale) and then finally a SLEEPING humpback whale.
Seeing them like that, in their natural habitat, was incredible and something I’ll remember forever. If you go, definitely do the rib tour- you get so much closer to the whales then the bigger boats- and can get there faster.
After this epic start (and a crepe to warm up!) I headed off to something else I was excited about- a hot spring waterfall. This is a fairly new attraction, and is currently still free, although that’s set to change in the future.
But, for now, it’s a warm water pool at the top of a waterfall, which you can sit in. It was magical- especially when I had it to myself.
After about an hour here, I set off on route 1 towards the western fjords. The previous section of route 1 from Egilsstadir to Akureyi was underwhelming, but this section towards Laugerbakki was INCREDIBLE.
So many views and vistas- I stopped about 7000 times, which is why the journey took much longer than the 3 hours Google had decreed.
I also did another detour to Kolugljufur Canyon, which I hadn’t even heard about before today. I almost didn’t bother, as it was off the main route, but I’m so glad I did.
There was a great waterfall there and a canyon caused by a female troll called Kola. Whether you believe in trolls or not, you cannot deny the canyon was beautiful and I enjoyed playing with the drone there.
The campsite for the night is in a field… which would be fine except it’s supposed to rain all night. Let’s hope I can get out safely in the morning!
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Kat never planned to buy a motorhome. She also never planned to quit her job as an air traffic controller, go touring around Europe in said motorhome, start one of the UK’s largest motorhome travel websites… or get a cocker spaniel.
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