Day Ten, We’re heading to our furthest point west.
OK, so today we toured west, and to be honest, we didn’t really touch much of the Ring Road at all. Just a few miles of route 1 at the beginning of the day and the rest was going to be smaller roads.
We made a little detour along route 54, to the village Búðardalur, as the harbour looked attractive. However, when we pulled up in the harbour car park, next to us was a deep pool with a couple of seals, how cute!
We watched for a while, and they were quite inquisitive about us.
We continue along route 54, on a mixture of gravel and tarmac, but we had to pull over as the view, and the wildlife was not to be missed.
The horses just trotted towards us and started rolling around on the ground.
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We launch the drone
Wind in Iceland has been a bit of an issue, so opportunities to launch the drone have been few and far between.
So, we take the chance while we can, to get an aerial view of the river.
We journeyed along some beautiful coastline, stopping when and where we could, however, there was a lot more to see ahead of us today.
Not a bad idea
We went distinctly low tech with a traditional foldout paper map for our Icelandic adventure.
Sure we'd mapped our route out beforehand, and we're using 'Etta's' inbuilt GPS. But somehow there's nothing better than checking your plans out the old fashioned way the night before your next adventure.
As we needed to top up with fuel, we thought why not head up north to Stykkishólmur, a little bit larger than other villages we had visited and it has a ferry port out to remoter parts of Iceland.
It was an attractive town and very proud of its fishing roots.
I said we keep stopping
All fuelled up our next stop was to be Kirkjufellsfoss, yes, a waterfall, but best-laid plans (and all that) we couldn’t resist a quick stop at Kolgrafafjödur.
So, now we head for the waterfall of Kirkjufellsfoss and Kirkjufell mountain, and it has decided to rain – ho hum.
The attractive double waterfall is a relatively short walk from the road, and with the bridge at the top, you are able to walk over it.
However, directly opposite the waterfall is its namesake, Kirkjufell mountain, Game of Thrones fans amongst you may recognise it from season 6 & 7 as Arrowhead Mountain.
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Yellow Sandy Beach
We continue our adventure hugging the coastline on one side, and snowy mountains on the other, along route 54, onto the 574.
We then veer off and head to Skarðsvík Beach & Öndverðarnes lighthouse, along the 579. My advice here is that you should be in a 4×4, particularly heading to the lighthouse.
It was great seeing a beach with yellow sand; our previous ones had been black. Although I still wasn’t tempted to dip my toes in the water in March.
The gravel track now turned extremely bumpy to the lighthouse, but the views were incredible and certainly worth it, with the waves crashing next to us.
The rugged shoreline was unforgiving along here, but it didn’t seem to deter gulls nesting in the rock crevices.
Back on the 574 and we head for Saxholl crater. As this volcano erupted around 3 – 4,000 years ago I think we were pretty safe to head up.
Ok, so they made it a bit easier for us and installed some iron steps. The views of the mountains and the skyline were wonderful. Bizarre to think that this volcano was once active.
Back in the car and we head to our last stop at Londrangar Cliffs before we reach the hotel in Arnarstapi. The terrain around here is amazing, huge rocks of lava scattered from previously erupted volcanoes.
To see the rock formation, it’s around a 1km walk.
The route that we took today included a mixture of roads, smooth tarmac, gravel & extremely rutted gravel roads. We travelled along route 1, 59, 54, 574 & 579.
In total, our journey was about 282km (176 miles), and as we were jumping in and out of the car a lot today, it took us about 9 hours.
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Where we stayed
For the one night, we were based in Arnarstapi; we stayed at Arnastapi Hotel. The rooms were separate from the reception and the restaurant, but that was quite pleasant, as you felt more secluded, the views from the room were out across the sea.
The menu wasn’t extensive; however, the food was fresh and really good. The staff were very friendly and once again plenty of parking.
Highlight of the Day
Every trip Gary and I go on, whether it’s a mini-break near or far or a road trip we chose a ‘Highlight of the Day’, here they are for day 10.
Janis; Today my highlight was climbing the crater and enjoying the stunning views from the top.
Gary; The seals had me first, but the view of the coastline at the Öndverðarnes lighthouse was stunning, and well worth the drive along the bumpiest road ever!
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