Friday, December 3, 2010

Ring Road Trip: Goðafoss to Höfn

The next stop on my ring road trip was Hofn. I looked for hostels, but didn't find one that had availability for a price within my budget. I decided to rough it for a night and sleep in my car. I rented a -5˚C sleeping bag from my hostel in Reykjavik, so I felt prepared. Luckily, the weather was perfect.

There are two well known waterfalls up north, Dettifoss and Goðafoss. Since I had a six hour drive ahead of me, I didn’t have enough daylight to visit both. I found out that the road to Dettifoss was closed because of the weather, so that made my choice easy. Goðafoss is right along the main road, so it was a convenient visit.

The snow was easily two feet deep in areas around the waterfall. I felt like a kid stomping around in it, especially since mine were the only footprints! To protect my camera from light snow, I covered my camera with plastic baggies attached to my lens hood. It's a good thing too, because within about 5 minutes the weather changed dramatically.

My family is convinced that I actually went to Mars, not Iceland. Every time I turned a corner I found a new, crazy looking landscape to capture.

As I headed south, the snow died down and the landscape transformed again. This is Jökulsá, the second longest river in Iceland.

I followed Highway 1 until I got to the area where the 1 road turns east and follows the coast. Instead of taking the long way, a girl I met at the hostel in Akureyri recommended that I take the shortcut, 939. The road was kind of terrifying to drive, but the view was mind blowing!

At nightfall I passed Höfn. Instead of going into the little town, I kept driving, looking for borealis.

Eventually I got sleepy, so I pulled over at a safe spot and took a little nap. Sure enough, when I woke up there were borealis in the sky.

After photographing the lights at several locations I found a good spot to spend the night. I actually managed to get a pretty good nights sleep. I woke up feeling chilly around 4am, so I turned on the car and drove a bit to get warmed up. I slept happily until 9am, and then set off down the road again!


ml said...

The value of a journey where you find yourself in total solitude with Nature depends on you. It can either be a blessing sanctuary or a frigid hell. You made it a journey of magical moments as the wintry landscape dressed and undressed before your eyes and your lenses. Thanks for sharing the beauty and heavenly repose of Iceland with us.

Anonymous said...

A great photograph is a full expression of what one feels about what is being photographed in the deepest sense, and is, thereby, a true expression of what one feels about life in its entirety. - Ansel Adams