We arrived in Landmannalauger (the starting point of the Laugavegur Trek) late in the day, surveyed our surroundings, decided we didn’t have to prove the size of our balls by going in the hot springs while we were freezing (it wasn’t so much the going in, but the thought of getting out that deterred me), and agreed that this muddy puddle spot was as good a spot as any to pitch our tent.
And, after having discovered that our Jetboil was defective, snuggling into our sleeping bags (at 8:30pm) in the light of day (because every time of day is the light of day in Iceland in July), and looking forward to the day ahead, Nekky chose this as the moment to reveal that he has “never actually lasted a whole night in a tent.” Ever. This, of course, was after revealing that although he had brought freeze-dried eggs for breakfast, upon reconsideration, he didn’t think he’d be able to eat them without ketchup… Umm, what?? #backpacking #crashcourse #firsttimeforeverything
We set out from Landmannalauger to Hraftinnusker still unable to pronounce either of these names.
Volcanic vents and sulfur smells abound!
And while the first part of the hike was clear with vast landscapes impossible to do justice on film, the latter part was mostly obscured by fog as the hills turned to snow.
In Hrafftinusker, we staked out territory in one of the rock wall circles that promised to keep our tent from blowing away with the gusts across the valley, and declared Home Sweet Home.
And then we simply chilled out.
(Km 12 of 56. End of Day one.)
Day two, on the way to Alftavatn, we were dwarfed by glaciers, we were assaulted by ice fog, we cleared copper clay crossings, and learned that the boiling water from VOLCANO vents is indeed hot. (Nekky, did you notice the BOILING water…?)
In Alftavatn (don’t worry, I can’t pronounce it either), we stayed in a bunk in the hut way down by that lake (see below). And as we sat down to play cards, it became clear that money doesn’t matter out here – food is the relevant currency. As new trail friend Eric pulled out his twizzlers and Alea her chocolate bar – all to share, I wonder if it went unnoticed that my hands did not so much as make a move to bust out the bounty from my own food bag. I supplied the cards afterall. It seemed fair. Buy-in for new players was trail mix. Nobody’s was as good as mine…but they’ll never know.
(Km 24 of 56. End of Day two.)
Day three promised a number of river crossings…
And it did not disappoint. River crossing #2 was a pants-off affair! #thighhighwaters #jb
And when we arrived at our day three destination, we just kept on keepin’ on. Because why not do two days in one? #32kmday #thatsgonnaleaveamark
(Km 40 of 56. Should have been end of Day three…)
My feet almost welcomed the final icy river crossing at the end of a #32kmday. Almost.
(Km56 of 56. End of Day three (should have been Day four). End of Laugevegur Trek.)
And, as the rain poured down on our final day (the day after we completed the hike…timing really is everything!), we attempted to capture our customary jump for joy.
Feeling grateful for #twofeetandaheartbeat and even my #brokenbutt. None of which I was able to get even an inch off the ground. And I didn’t even care.#spent. #soulfood
As for Nekky, he spent four entire nights in a tent, slept like a baby, and by the second day was asking where we should go next!
And he was right, freeze-dried eggs do need ketchup. #liveandlearn #rookienomore