My tent was under assault by all manner of insects and bugs as I awoke today. Slugs tried a frontal assault on my groundsheet while midges came in from the air. The midges I could tolerate, the slugs I delicately extracted from the groundsheet before hurling them out to the far reaches of the field. I hope the fall breaks their backs.
A quick stop by the Bonus in Egilsstaðir and I’m on my way to Hengifoss, a large waterfall on the way to my hot tub at Laugerfell. The scenery on the way is fantastic and eerily European. A large lake beset on both sides by a large forest. The ride is scenic and peaceful, and I find myself feeling a little bit at home amongst the trees. As the valley comes to an end, I arrive at Hengifoss. Hengifoss is one of the tallest waterfalls in Iceland, and demands a long hike up the mountain to get the best view. It is the last of the big ticket waterfalls on my list and I’d love to say the hike up was worth it, but a short rain shower and the realization that you can’t hike anywhere close to the waterfall left me with a soured impression.
Oh, and also spotting my next big climb on the way up. Somehow having just hiked up the same distance I felt cheated knowing that I was going to have to hike back down, hop on a bike, and cycle right back up again.
The climb sapped a lot of energy but unlike my other climbs, this one was a one way deal. Once I was at the peak the landscape evened out and I was in the highlands. Here the world was suddenly very barren, mostly consisting of moss, lakes, and the odd sheep. I saw a sign that claimed there were reindeer in the area, but alas I did not see any, nor did I see a place where they could possibly hide on this flat plateau. Maybe Icelandic reindeer are tiny like their horses?
In the distance the mountain Snaefell loomed yet seemed to grow no larger as I drew closer. After a while this demoralized me enough that I gave up for the night and set up camp on a small patch of grass right next to the road.