Sunday, August 25, 2013

Iceland - Vik

August 15th, 2013

Distance 4.5 miles

Year to date miles: 239

Driving directions: Don't know the street names, but you will see a church on a hill in Vik. Drive to the church.

Parking: Plenty of parking next to the church. A lot of people drive up there for the view.

Restrooms: Best bet is at the store next to the N1 gas station in Vik. However, no one else was hiking this trail, and the grass was tall, so plenty of opportunities.
Map: We picked up a tourist brochure with a map on it, from the tourist office in Vik. We really should have gotten a proper map of the area (there is one).

Hike directions: This is a loop hike. In the corner of the parking lot look for post with blue/pink/yellow paint. Follow posts. At a point, you will come to a post that looks
like it used to hold a sign. to the right, a white post climbs what I believe is Hatta. We skipped this and kept straight. The blue/pink/yellow posts now became just blue/pink. We crossed a stream, and crossed a stile. The trail followed the stream for a ways. We turned back before the next stream
crossing - so we did it as an out and back instead of a loop.

Notes: We woke up, and it was still raining. We drove to the church parking lot in Vik, and sat there for a long time, using the internet, hoping the rain would stop. After an hour and a half, we gave in and went hiking in the rain. The map from the tourist information center in Vik showed a trail that starts at the church above Vik. We found a post with blue/pink/yellow markers. It didn't really look like a trail, but it actually was. The trail started through a field of waste high lupines (no longer in bloom). You could barely see the trail - just some stomped on lupines. We reached some mountains, and saw some paths heading up them - though it left the posts. I was hesitant to try them, because
I felt more comfortable just following posts. The trails up the mountains had no blazing in any such way. we started following the unblazed trails - after all - we could still see the ocean and the town, so how lost could we get? Well, the unblazed paths - I started wondering if they were just sheep trails. They would branch out, and they would disappear. Ugg.

We headed back to the main trail. The trail along the stream gets narrow with a steep dropoff. Glen's vertigo kicked in, so we ended up turning around.
When we were looking for the trail I was thinking - this couldn't possibly be the trail!
I see a post, but no signs of the trail. Yes - this is the trail.
Just a tad bit overgrown.

There was a gravel road for a bit - passing by a small farm building

We came across these horned sheep blocking our path!
I'm not sure what to make of horned sheep.
Will they run? These were holding their ground. We detoured.

The small town of Vik

This was from when we were wandering around unmarked "trails"

Here you can see a path in the grass. But, the main way to navigate was the posts.

All of the mountains next to us were in the clouds.

Reaching the stream

I believe this is the trail to Hatta (which we didn't take)

Walking through the lupines. You just had to push your way through.

The church and the post marking the starting point of the hike

It was hard to get photos of sheep in the road - they usually would run off before we got our camera ready.

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