01 Aug Ring Road Day 3: Egilsstaðir to Akureyri
Distance: 266.1 km
Time: roughly 3 hours and 30 minutes
On day 3 of the Ring Road we were on the move again to Akureyri, which is the largest town in Northern Iceland. Before our drive we were able to kick-start it with some coffee (that seemed to be our morning ritual – get a good cup of coffee), and get on our way! And just as a side note, sometimes you can find a gem of a café in the most unassuming places…
AMAZING chai latte’s, and Swiss Mocha Latte’s
(come to think of it, a lot of places made damn good swiss mocha lattes…)
Before we departed from the town we backtracked 30-ish minutes to Hengifoss which is the 2nd tallest (or 3rd, we kept reading mixed signals – so I’m not 100% sure on that statement).
Don’t be mistaken as it does say about 2.4 km up (about 1 ½ miles) so not a terrible distance to hike, but it’s got quite the incline so bring layers. Strip down before you start the trek up, but you will want your layers for the way down as it gets a wee chilly!
Mind you we would stop along the way if we saw something that intrigued us (because our planning was a bit sparse before this trip)… that brings me to the Námafjall Hverir.
Námafjall Hverir is a geothermal area (they don’t lack any, that’s for sure) with boiling mud pots and a strong stench of sulfur. If you’ve ever been to Yellowstone National Park, you know exactly what these are, how they look, and better yet, how they smell. I think the main difference being the “safety” aspect and paths in this area. There are small ropes blocking off the mud pots, but you literally walk right up on them and can get a very real sense of the area.
You also have the opportunity to walk up to Namafjall mountain, which we thought, “why not?” We passed several people on there way down who never even gave us fare warning to what we were about to encounter – the next easiest thing to rock climbing.
By the time our bodies were vertical to the hill, we were down on our hands and knees climbing the rest of the way up just praying there was a better way to get down on the other side (thank the heavens, because there was an easier way to get down). On the contrary, though, it was worth it to get up top and see the views. There were several large rock formations you were able to climb up and really get a birds eye view.
WARNING: If it is at all wet or raining, do not attempt to go up to the top, I can see how it could be a nightmare to attempt such a challenge.
**Markie scaling up the side of this hill like a boss**
Again, we did lots of driving, but there are a ton of things you can stop and see along the way, and stuff you might not even plan for, too!