10 October 2008

Chapter 18: Our Second Hike

Continued from Chapter 17

As C and F had been coming on vacation to Hesteyri for about 12 years, they have explored the area well and know where all the good sights are within the environs.

C suggested that we climb up the slopes to the right of where we had climbed on our first hike. She knew of a waterfall that we could easily get to, so the 6 of us, armed with lunch, set off to see what we could find.

The green line follows our hike in a clockwise direction

Before we climbed the main ridge, we had to climb a smaller rise which was known as Elf King Mountain.

Click on images to enlarge

Elf_King_MountainElf King Mountain with its rock cairn on the summit

"It's imperative," said C, "that before we go any further, we have to pay homage to the Elf King and thank him for his hospitality and for welcoming us to the fjörd."

We reached the cairn on top of the mountain and we each added a rock to it, while thanking the Elf King for allowing us to holiday in his kingdom. Of course, we then had to take a photo to record the occasion.

Paying_homage_to_the_Elven_KingAt the summit of Elf King Mountain

As we started our climb up to the waterfall, we were joined by Matthias who was another guest at the lodge. J knew him from way back so they had a long chat as they caught up on about 20 years since last seeing each other.

We finally got to the stream on which the waterfall was located. It was one of the streams which came together to form the main river through Hesteyri. We were again high enough to be in what remained of the snow.

Ice_meltA small snowfield melts by the stream

The waterfall fell in 2 drops with the main lower one standing at about 4 metres high. The pool at the bottom was knee-deep, and J couldn't resist shedding her shoes, socks and jeans and having a paddle. Crazy woman, cold water. I can't show you that photo as she'd kill me!

The_waterfallThe waterfall - forever known by us as Claudia's Waterfall

The boys of all ages had fun rolling blocks of snow and ice into the stream.

I took a short video of their activities and the girls had fun laughing at them - especially towards the end when they almost fell over the ice into the stream!

We then climbed up to the right of the waterfall to have lunch, continuing the chatting and enjoying the glorious view over Hesteyri and the fjörds.

LunchtimeLunch with a view

From the top of Claudia's Waterfall, we could see that there were more cascades above it. As with all the streams that we encountered in Iceland, this one flowed swiftly as it made its way down the mountain.

Upper_FallsThe falls farther up the stream

With lunch over, we ascended another 100 metres up the mountain to where there were bigger snowfields. Approaching one from the side, we discovered that the ice had been undermined by the melted water to form a tunnel. The boys descended through it while the adults clambered down the outside of it, all meeting at the bottom.

Ice_TunnelM makes his way through the ice tunnel

The next adventure for the boys was to slide down the ice fields which I videoed. The first attempt was without incident, even though M did his best to slide off the bottom before he was stopped by F!

The second slide ended in disaster as F slid on his back off the ice and onto the rocks, hurting himself in the process. M slid off the edge with no harm done while A made his way more cautiously and carefully after seeing what had happened to the other 2. At one stage the video shows rocks as I aimed it downwards while considering to go to F's assistance, but C beat me to it, so I continued to film!

Climbing no further upwards, we made our way along the mountain ridge. The going was tougher than it looked, as the greenery was spongy and thick, and our feet were sinking into it as if we were walking in 8" of snow.

We_hike_along_the_mountainsideHeading back to Hesteyri

When we were parallel with Hesteyri, we made our way back down the steep slope.

Looking_down_on_HesteyriHesteyri. Elf King Mountain is in the centre right of this image.

Interestingly, each person chose a different route down, but at the bottom of the slope, we all were grouped together again. F went straight to bed to rest his back. Our older kid went back up the hills to collect blueberries. J and our younger kid went swimming in the stream. C and I sat in the sun and relaxed. Apart from F hurting himself, it had been another perfect day. Thankfully, his injuries weren't serious, and by the next morning he was back to his usual self.

Next Chapter: 4 of Hesteyri's Summer Residents


Aussie said...

Great pics. Love the ice tunnel. Sensational!

nzm said...

Yes, it's a bit different from what we're used to in our part of the world, isn't it? ;-)