It’s not often that I deliberately get up early just to gaze out of the kitchen window, but that’s exactly what I’ve been doing here in Fáskrúðsfjörður. I could never tire of the view, and would love to watch it change through the seasons – yet another reason to return.
After failing dismally in my second attempt at using the waffle iron, I gave up and served pancakes for breakfast. We then headed back through the long road tunnel, to the start of the 936 jeep track at Sléttunes, just south of Reyðarfjörður. Unfortunately, we hadn’t expected the track to be basically an access road for giant pylons installed by Alcoa. I understand the need for utilities, but why oh why spoil such a magnificent view in this way, when the technology exists to hide cables underground? I have to be careful what I say about Alcoa, but I’m not impressed with the way they go about blighting the landscape, in order to do what they do.
We were determined not to let the pylons ruin the walk, so tried to pretend that they weren’t there and walked on through the Áreyjadalur valley. The track was still formally closed to vehicles because of snow higher up, and after a few kilometres I insisted we turn back as some of the Spring rock falls were looking increasingly fresh, and I didn’t fancy us getting caught up in one, having read about the avalanche risk here. They’d certainly have needed to do a fair bit of work to clear the area before Summer.
We found a sheltered spot by the river for lunch, and by the time we got back to Aurora (our hire car) the wind had really picked up, so we’d made the right decision. As it was still only early afternoon, we drove back round to the Eskifjörður hot pot for the final time, at least on this trip. Again we ended up with the place to ourselves, so I embraced my inner child and made full use of the helter skelter water slide, much to the amusement of the staff.
The drive back to the cottage was made especially interesting by the wind tugging on the car whilst we drove over precarious fell roads with unprotected corners and very steep drops into the sea. We lived to tell the tale though, and to celebrate, when the temperature had dropped to a suitable minus 9 degrees C, we headed out for dinner at Cafe Sumarlina. It started snowing heavily as soon as we reached the bottom of the cottage steps, and this in conjunction with the wind meant that I had to prop Rich up to stop him falling over, making for an exhilerating 20 minute walk! This however is the Iceland that we know and love.
The cafe is also the local take-away and bar, and provides a birds eye view of the old harbour. In need of proper walkers food, I ordered a bun less burger, and we filled our bellies whilst watching local fishermen tie up their boats to protect them from the storm. Fortunately, with the wind on our backs for the return trip, we were soon back inside the cosy warmth of Hóll cottage.