Day 23: Vík – Skaftafell

Day 23: Vík – Skaftafell

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Today we left Vík, to continue on our travels.

The weather started out perfect, with blue skies, no wind and not too cold.

Neil’s condition has improved sufficiently, to allow us to move on, albeit at a slower pace than usual.

After leaving Guesthouse Carina, we visited Reynisdrangar sea stacks and Halsanefshellir basalt columns, so that Neil could also experience what the rest of the team saw the other day. Here we saw a seal close to the shoreline, checking us out.

Seal

After this, we then visited the sea cliff arch at Dyrhólaey, where we saw more Puffins, both on the cliffs and at sea.

Puffins on the sea

We then drove out to the DC3 aeroplane crash site, on the black sand.

DC3

Neil, Tuva and Dina on top of DC3

Inside DC3

Afterwards, we drove back into Vík to do essential shopping and eat lunch, before taking the long drive along the south coast Highway 1 to Skaftafell, via Kirkjubæjarklaustur.

Unfortunately, the weather turned much for the worst on this part of our journey, so we didn’t get to take any nice photographs as hoped for.

This drive along Icelands Southern Coastline is quite bleak, completely flat, and remote, with first the Mýrdalssandur glacial outwash plains, followed by the extensive lava fields from Laki, followed by the very wide and flat rocky sandy plains of Skeiðarásandur.

Remains of Old Bridge after 1996 flood

We crossed a number of newly built bridges, following the catastrophic flood of 1996, when most of the bridges and sections of the roads were simply washed away. One piece of the old bridge has been left where it stood, to show just how powerful the flow was, and to remind folks that this will probably happen again some time in the future, given the right volcanic / glacial interaction conditions.

We then established camp at Skaftafell Campsite, which forms part of the Vatnajökull National Park.

Skaftafell Campsite

The campsite was quite busy, with lots of campers, as this is a Bank Holiday Weekend in Iceland.

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