RING ROAD DAY 3 APPROX 300KM LONSA TO SEYDISFJORDUR
10.07.2017 - 10.07.2017
DAY 155 MONDAY 10TH JULY 2017
We managed to get up a little earlier, there is a lot to see today and a bit of a drive to our next nights accommodation.
Before leaving Akureyri we filled the car up with petrol and headed out.
Our first stop was Godafoss. Although we have seen lots and lots of waterfalls in the distance falling off lots of mountains, this was the first big one up close. Although it was not a real high waterfall it was pretty impressive. Lucky for us the day is clear, ok it's overcast and a little cold, but it was still nice enough to spend a hour or so walking around looking at the falls.
The Goðafoss (Icelandic: "waterfall of the gods" or "waterfall of the goði") is one of the most spectacular waterfalls in Iceland. It is located in the Bárðardalur district of Northeastern Region at the beginning of the Sprengisandur highland road. The water of the river Skjálfandafljót falls from a height of 12 meters over a width of 30 meters. The river has its origin deep in the Icelandic highland and runs from the highland through the Bárðardalur valley, all the way from Sprengisandur in the Highlands. The rock formations in and around the waterfall make it one of the greatest natural wonders in Iceland.
Next stop was at the Skutustadagigar pseudocraters around Lake Myvatn.
A pseudocrater looks like a true volcanic crater, but is not. These distinctive landforms are created when flowing hot lava crosses over a wet surface, such as a swamp, a lake, or a pond causing an explosion of steam through the lava. The explosive gases break through the lava surface in a manner similar to a phreatic eruption, and flying debris builds up crater-like feature which can appear very similar to real volcanic craters. Pseudocraters are also known as rootless cones, since they are characterized by the absence of any magma conduit which connects below the surface of the earth.
A classic locality for pseudocraters is the Lake Myvatn area of northern Iceland that was formed 2,300 years ago by basaltic lava eruption. The lava flowed down the Laxárdalur Valley to the lowland plain of Aðaldalur where it entered the Arctic Ocean about 50 km away from Mývatn. There was a large lake in the area at the time, a precursor of the present-day Mývatn. When the glowing lava encountered the lake some of the water-logged lake sediment was trapped underneath it. The ensuing steam explosions tore the lava into small pieces which were thrown up into the air, together with some of the lake.
A little further around Lake Myvatn and we stopped to look at some lava pillars. One looked like a troll to me - especially the face part.
And continuing further we came to the Dimmuborgir lava field. Apparently Game of Thrones (never seen it) was filmed here.
The Dimmuborgir area consist of a massive, collapsed lava tube formed by a lava lake flowing in from a large eruption in the Þrengslaborgir and Lúdentsborgir crater row to the East, about 2300 years ago. At Dimmuborgir, the lava pooled over a small lake. As the lava flowed across the wet sod, the water of the marsh started to boil, the vapour rising through the lava forming lava pillars from drainpipe size up to several meters in diameter. As the lava continued flowing towards lower ground in the Mývatn area, the top crust collapsed, but the hollow pillars of solidified lava remained. The lava lake must have been at least 10 meters deep, as estimated by the tallest structures still standing.
The lava flow surface remains partly intact around the Dimmuborgir area, so that the Dimmuborgir itself sits below the surrounding surface area. The area is characterised by large hollow cell- or chamber-like structures formed around bubbles of vapour, and some dramatically standing lava pillars. Several of the chambers and pillar bases are large enough to house humans, giving rise to the term "castles" (borgir).
In the distance we could see Hverfell crater - it was massive. We could see little ant like movement on the rim of the crater and worked out that was people up there walking around.
Hverfjall (also known as Hverfell) is a tephra cone or tuff ring volcano in northern Iceland, to the east of Mývatn.
It erupted in 2500 BP in the southern part of the Krafla fissure swarm. The crater is approximately 1 km in diameter.
We stopped near a church to have lunch in the car as it was too cold to sit outside and we could not find a picnic table anyway. The church was built on the site of a wooden church that was miraculously saved from a lava flow many years ago. The harden, now cracked, molten lava flow still surrounds the church yard.
After lunch we had quite a long drive to reach the east coast and our nights accommodation. Dolly again did a marvellous job of driving even though she is not so comfortable with the distances, narrow roads and mountain ranges. All this on top of driving on the opposite side of the road to what she is accustomed to.
Along the roadside we came across a wonderful waterfall. These are in no short supply here in Iceland, but when we get the chance it's always worth a walk up closer.
The last stretch of the road that led us into Seydisfjordur, and our bed for the night, was in fact in the clouds. Followed by a very steep, switchback road down to the small harbour village. This was just amazing scenery, but a bit hair raising for our apprehensive driver.
This was the view from our guesthouse.
Total distance driven today 300km.