Wednesday, 13 January 2016

Iceland 2.11: Kerlingarfjöll

Apart from being a relatively easy introduction to highland driving, the Kjölur Route (F35) also goes close to Kerlingarfjöll where there is a camp site and "Resort" offering interesting (i.e. triangular) accommodation.  We had booked to stay there a couple of nights, giving us plenty of time to explore the area the following day.  The huts were basic but comfortable, but only had cold water and no shower (which was probably just as well given the bracing temperature).

It may have been cold and windy with snow around, but the entrance to our hut had been decorated with pansies.

There was a large communal block with a restaurant upstairs and showers downstairs.  It was de rigueur to remove one's footwear before entering, however, which is not surprising given the surrounding terrain.  The restaurant was basic but homely, and the food was warm and filling.  Just what was needed after a day in the mountains.

We decided to go for a walk up to a geothermal pool, which was a couple of km up the valley from the huts.  Although sunny it was cold, and plenty of snow had to be traversed in order to reach our destination.

The "pool" turned out to be a man-made dam which was fed with geothermally heated water through rusty pipes.  There were no changing facilities, of course, but this hadn't stopped one intrepid bather from jumping in.  Harriet decided to dip her toes rather than indulging in the Full Monty.

The clouds started to come down as we headed back to the huts, which fitted in with the weather forecast for the following day: misty and cold (around 2C).

I'll finish this post with examples of some of the low-growing flowers we found during the walk up to the pool.

After a excellent dinner of Icelandic Fish Pie with Rye Bread, we retired to the hut for a relatively early night.  This was the only place we've stayed in Iceland which had no blackout over the windows, so I for one found it difficult to sleep through the night.  A small price to pay for staying in such an amazing location, however.