We are going to Landmannalaugar today which is a new place for me, and one that I’ve really been looking forward to seeing! It’s another of the iconic places in Iceland and the road there proved it – it’s well trafficked, not in the sense that there were a lot of cars on the road this late in the season, but in the sense that the road was in really bad shape after countless of tourist buses and cars during the season that’s been. It was pothole hell, just simply impossible to avoid hitting the holes which were big enough to swallow a wheel at times. It made me re-evaluate my opinion about the 311 south from Tännäs and made me appreciate how well these 4×4 cars are built! The thing with the F-roads is that they fixed only in the spring, so they get worse and worse during the season, until they are finally closed when the snow arrives.
The sun was shining when we got to the Landmannalaugar mountain hut. After a quick and early lunch, we hit the trail towards the classic view with the multi coloured hills. The light was so harsh on the rugged lava field that I didn’t need to stop for any pictures, and me and another person from our group got far ahead of the rest. The trail branches off after a big sulphuric fumarole and we were wondering which way to go – I had been so eager to get going that I had forgotten to check the map. That never happens! But we got lucky, we met a guy who was coming down from the trail on the left so we asked him where the best view was and he told us to go up and keep on the marked trail (the trail branches off many times, without markers). So we went up, and got to another trail crossing and now we were stuck, not sure which direction to go from here or if we were supposed to be up here in the first place. We decided to wait for the rest of the group, we got a good view over the lava field and the fumarole so we could see which direction the others were going. It was a long wait, but finally we saw the group coming to our direction, so we continued our trek. The further we got though, the more suspicious we got about the whole thing – were we really supposed to walk this far? We decided to turn back and really wait for the group this time, the worst case scenario was that we would have to return to this same place but it was a far better option than going to a completely wrong place. And it turned out that it was the right move, because the viewpoint to the multi coloured hills was actually just behind some big lava rocks that we had passed, we just hadn’t realised it because you had to walk over the rocks to see it.
So, us rushing so far ahead of the rest of the group without really knowing where we were going just gave us some extra exercise and different views, it’s not really such a bad thing in Landmannalaugar. The funny thing was that before we set off, the group was split in two – the fast group and the slow group. Initially we followed the fast group but then ended up being the express group. 😀
But now together with the rest of the people, we climbed over the lava rocks and finally got to see the view that I had really been looking forward to seeing. The colours really are amazing, it’s no wonder why this is such classic Icelandic landscape!