Saturday, August 24, 2013

Iceland - Renisfjales, Vik

August 13, 2013

Distance:  2 miles. You can go much further, but it was rainy so we weren't in the mood to

Time: 1 hour 43 minutes
Year to date miles: 230.4

Driving directions: In Vik, from Route 1, turn onto route 215 and drive to the end of the road (at the ocean). 215 is a gravel road, a little narrow, but okay. Tour buses come down it all  of the time too.

Map: We picked up a tourist brochure at the tourist center in Vik. It was sufficient for this walk along the beach. I also found this - Reynisfjara Cliffs

Parking:  Moderate size busy parking lot.

Restrooms: None, and too many tourists to go outside! Best bet is at the store next to the N1 gas station in Vik.

Hike directions: From the parking area, follow the crowd left to the cliffs. There are puffins nesting on the cliffs, though they are high up, so we didn't find this the best puffin viewing area. the basalt columns here are beautiful. There is also a cave to the left of the cliffs, which I didn't go to, but Glen did. You have to hug the cliff to get to it. The waves here are very dangerous, and people die here regularly - often trying to see the cave when the tide is coming in, and getting stuck. There was a film crew doing something at the cliffs, but it was too rainy for us to just stand and watch. After looking at the cliffs, we headed down the beach in the other direction - and walked along the peninsula. Fewer people walked along the beach. Vik is known for its black sand beaches. At a lot of places in Iceland, there  are signs telling you not to build cairns. Here, we spent some time playing with rocks :)

Lodging: We drove to Hrifunes guest house that evening. It is around 45 minutes away from Vik, and a 7km drive on a gravel road off of the ring road. There are very few cars on the road, so it wasn't too bad. At the guesthouse though, the bottom of our car scraped the gravel on a hill to the guesthouse we
were in. If we go to Iceland again, we will get a car with higher clearance. The Corolla, though cheaper, is just not a good car for driving on gravel roads. The guest house had a communal kitchen available for guests. We were happy to be out of the rain and cooking indoors. We weren't
sure how to cook dinner otherwise with the backpacking stove in the rain. We talked with people from Spain and from Reykjavik during dinner. They offered us some of their lamb. When we told them we were vegetarians, one said, sheep are so dumb they are vegetables. Anyways, it was nice to
ask them some questions about living in Iceland. They made a beautiful salad - I was envious. The woman said in Iceland, all of the vegetables are grown in greenhouses, mostly in one region. But she actually grew vegetables outdoors (which seems amazing to me because of the crazy weather here).

Approaching the cliffs. It is a very rainy day.


5 sided basalt columns

The cave is just to the other side of the cliff here.

We left the cliffs, and walked along the beach. They have beautiful stones on the beach.

This is a beautiful site on a sunny was too misty to see much.

I'm guessing the tracks are from the ATV's of the film crew

We built a cairn. I love cairns :)

And we left a message for others.....

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