Thursday, 1 May 2014

Iceland 11: Sunshine in Myvatn

I woke about 6:30 because the sun was shining.  A bit of a shock, but shining it was all the same.  Lots of midges had hatched because of the warm weather, and they were absolutely everywhere.  Breakfast included heavily smoked bacon, and I read in the guidebook that food is usually smoked over sheep dung ("Well, what to you expect, as there are no trees around?", to quote the author). Very good, irrespective of what it's smoked over!

The breakfast at the Hotel Reykjahlid was fairly typical of what we encountered all over Iceland.  Many places also had bottles of Cod Liver Oil alongside sets of small glasses, presumably because Icelanders can suffer from Vitamin-D deficiency during the Winter months.

During breakfast, Harriet overheard another couple who were planning on going for a ride on a horse, and she decided to go too.  The stables were at the other end of the lake, so we checked out and drove around in the sunshine - a bit different to yesterday.  Harriet got a helmet fitted (along with a rather fetching midge-net), and after being installed on her horse she trotted off with the others for a ride around the lake.

While she was gone I went back to the place where we'd seen the red-necked phalarope the day before, but they weren't much in evidence as there were far too many tourists around!  These are the only pictures I managed to get that morning.  Rather than struggling with lack of light (the normal situation) there was far too much of it around, meaning that I had no choice but to use a bit of flash to soften the shadows.  It seems that photographers are never satisfied, are they?

A fairly typical set of Icelandic houses, with snow clearly visible in the background despite it being the middle of July and the temperature being 20 degrees.  It was clear that the warm weather had also brought out the "roof cleaners" who were attacking one of the local hotels.  I'm not quite sure what they were sweeping off the roof, but they certainly chose a nice day for it.

It was then time to bid farewell to Myvatn and head for our next destination: Dettifoss.  On the way we passed the same soda lake we'd visited the previous evening, and the pale blue water was shining like a jewel in the sun.  Single images just didn't seem to do the area justice, so I tried a full 180 degree, three-row panorama instead.  An interesting effect, as the two roads left and right are - of course - one and the same.

Again, a video is probably the only way to do the place justice in a blog post.

Watch out for the next exciting installment when our intrepid travellers risk puncture and suspension damage in order to visit Dettifoss while also avoiding coach-loads of tourists.