The road to Landmannalaugar -
Landmannalaugar Travel Blog› entry 13 of 27 › view all entries
The road to Landmannalaugar ... or more appropriately ...."The Highway to Hell"
After our relaxing day in Reyjavik we decided to head to Landmannalaugar, a beauty spot to the east of Reyjakvik in the southern highlands.
Of course we wanted to take in some offroading too .. so the plan was to head north to Geysir and then cross country via a 4x4 track ( no name road! ohh hooo!!! warning!!! )
Of course Iceland has its final say and after driving about 40km down the unmarked road we find the road completely closed by a huge bank of snow!
As we are a single vehicle its impossible to winch across .... sadly we have to turn round again! No name roads are starting to be fun!
Two deep rivers back again to the main road and a detour towards the F224 / F224 and the destination of Landmannalaugar
Of course Iceland being Iceland this was not the days only surprise!
Landmannalaugar means the hot springs of the people of (the) land) and is a region near volcanic region of Hekla in the Southern Highlands of Iceland.
The Landmannalaugar area is famous for its natural beauty and I can say it certainly is one of the most amazing places we saw. Volcanic ash and debris covered in beautiful grass, moss covers the land in a green and gold carpet, the ash underneath is red and back and combines to make some stunning views.
The whole area consists of many geological elements, most obvious being the rhyolite mountains and vast lava fields rising up right by the main mountain hut. These lava fields are still hot and the water percolates to create the natural hot springs here.
The many mountains in the surrounding area are colored in variations of pink, brown, green, yellow, blue, purple, black, white and more, the most notable mountains being Bláhnúkur (Blue peak) and Brennisteinsalda (Sulphur dune).
Landmannaluagar is a popular tourist destination. Tourists can visit the
area from June through late September, after which time the road is
closed. The road into landmannalaugar also crosses many rivers, some which are deep, this is real 4x4 territory! The last river into the camp is particular deep.
Two routes lead to Landmannalaugar and one of them is accessible by
regular car, though the road is rough.
The easiest route to Landmannalaugar is to take either Rd. 30 from the mainroad and change into 32, cross the Sultartangi hydro-electric dam, going onto 26, then F208 and just before arriving in Landmannalaugar, making a right turn to F224. Road 26 can also be accessed directly from Rd.
RV'ing with Ivan and Yara again ... they decided to leave and head for a hotel as Yara is not so much of a camper.
Heavy rain was now falling combined with strong winds... we decided to turn in and ride out the storm.
The 50 or so Icelandic scouts and guides who were camping on the site obviously on some expedition were not as well equipped as us, we were hoping things didnt get too bad.
Remembering that it was still light outside even during the middle of the night, I woke at around 0100 to the wind literally screaming round the camp site. I was starting to feel a little nervous ... the tent was well made.... Its a Kyham Igloo and designed for the G4 events, so I know this can withstand a lot of heavy weather... but .. this heavy??
The wind was getting heavier as we lay in the tent .... the sides getting buffeted continually from the gusts of wind that screamed across the open site..... it was like hearing a jet flying low across the ground ... growing in intensity until BHAM! it hits the tent sides.
A few times I dragged on a jacket to check guyropes and pegs are still in ... the ground here is full of rocks and the pegs dont go so far in .. I back them up with lumps of rock lying around.
Around 0230 I decide to move the Landrover in front of the tent.
I moved the car in front of the tent ... tying a few extra guy ropes to the car .... we WILL survive this storm....!
The wind is broken by the car now .. the buffeting is not as bad but still the wind blows me over outside ... it must be at least 150-180km / hr ... a huge storm ...
I sleep in small naps... constantly listening to see if the tent is making any new noise signifiying loose ropes.....Ling is doing the same.... but she is more at ease now the tent is not half the size due to the wind flattening it!
Around 0700 we finally decide to leave ... the wind is still howling and still heavy rain ... my jacket is soaked ... we literally throw everything in the landie and pull camp .... 3 tents remain standing .
The toilets / shower block is like a refugee camp.... bodies in sleeping bags huddled in corners, the floor a mass of bodies too..... wet equipment hanging around every hook .... it really is an amazing sight ... these are the die hard campers.... the ones not evacuated by bus....
Finally saying our good byes we throw the final bits of camping gear in the car and head down the mountain..... we head to a small village where Ivan and Yara are staying in the hotel to RV for breakfast......
We are tired, alittle wet but we survived........ the highway to hell and the road to landmannalaugar .......
It was to be a memory we surely will not forget in a long time!