the joy and challenge of off-road driving in the desolate kaldidalur highlands of iceland!

Kaldidalur Travel Blog

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the sign to kaldidalur highlands where the pave road will end at 200 meters!

driving out of borgarnes, i wasnt anticipating any adventures - i mean - the "program" of the roadtrip - "officially" ended at snaefellsjökull. we drove again along the coast but avoiding going to akranes, because it was were the toll gates to reykjavik were and we dont want to pay money for a stupid toll. instead we followed the road to reykholt.

we trailed behind the ass killa (land rover defender) and the bandit (toyota landcruiser), we followed them into a gravel road behind the mountains with low clouds hanging. suddenly, the landscape changed! from the coastal town of borgarnes - we were suddenly driving through a gravel road - with barren mountains and shrubs. oh my god! i shouldnt have to repeat myself - but i could not help it - really the landscape of iceland changes every 50 kms! we were now driving into an arctic/tundra desert! i couldnt believe what the ass killa cooked for us this afternoon (our lead car and with david b's waterproofed roadmap of iceland) - looked at the clock it was only around 2 pm, the sun was shining so brightly and blue sky - plenty of sunshine to enjoy what's coming next! we were finally leaving the "vegetated" part of shrubs thats blazing red in color as autumn dominates the whole of iceland, suddenly - there was this massive triangular shaped mountain that loomed at us! it was light green/brown color and clouds were playing near its peak! (later on i learned, that "mountain" is actually the volcano "skjaldbreiður " - broad shield volcano), we stopped at the road and took pics of the area! it was hard to believe that driving for an hour away from the coast - this was the landscape that would greet us!

there were some strange rock formations in the valley - they seem to form some sort of steps and and a fast flowing river runs through it - from the distance - the low hanging clouds suddenly gave way - and we saw enormous glaciers thats hidden from our view! that was fucking beautiful! we continued to take pics in the area - until the ass killa moved on and so were we.

david b., harri, mark and ian enjoyed picture taking and their pictures of kaldidalur!
to be honest, it was a bit of "dangerous drive" for people who had no experience in off road driving - but our cars proved to be strong against the nature's elements. we were bumping inside the little shit lada as we drove on to stones but dave's hands kept firm on the wheel. there were other 4x4s driving also - much bigger than us! our cars looked like babies compared to them!

once in a while we got radios from the ass killa if a car is coming - there were many blind corners in this region, some cars really drive fast and it would be pretty ugly if a car is damaged here - there was absolutely NOTHING.

the three cars stopped close to one another in the middle of the arctic/tundra desert - there was a sign saying that we were now at around 800 meters - which means we were in the famous/infamous highlands of iceland! an area of iceland that one of the ones i was dying to see! mark asked me of how high we were and i tld him that we were "in a high altitude" according to icelandic standards.

the shield volcano skjaldbreiður and the river "kalda".
the glacier in the horizon was closer now than it was before. i took a look at our own map from the rental company - we were traversing the kaldadalsvegur or simply put in short - kaldidalur. it is one of famous routes into the interior and highlands of iceland - which was incidentally "closed" after august season, but since till october this year - the frost wasnt still there - so for the moment the "road" was open to public access! the road runs at around 40 kms - the shortest of all the roads in the highlands of iceland and one of the three famous ones - incidentally since its the shortest - it was named - "the highland for beginners" and by the way: kaldidalur in icelandic means cold valley in english.
afternoon sky with the silhoutte and shadoes of the guys and the ass killa (landrover defender).

i could see in the map three glaciers that can be seen across kaldidalur - they were langjökull (the second largest glacier in iceland after vatnajökull), eiríksjökull and Þórisjökull - the nearest glacier to the road. but it was difficult to name them eventhough the glaciers were separated from each other - at far view- they looked clumped as one together!

while i was busy taking pics - so was the other guys - EXCEPT THE DUTCHIES - erik, maike and wilmke - as usual - erik began wrestling maike and tried putting her to the ground! lol but as woman like maike - she was fucking strong! erik couldnt put her down! lol maike has the strenght of 10 bulls inside her! lol but shes really sweet and nice! i was really really really glad that me and her made the perfect team to organise this trip to iceland!

anyway - as erik couldnt put maike down - he looked for another VICTIM - and he found ME from hsi range - he ran to me - and before i can react lol he fucking carried me like meat on his back and starting twirling and attempted to hurl which i was fucking angry - but i was laughing because i could see out in the corner of my eye that david b's face (a look of disbelief, bewildered, amazed and confusion) i told erik to fucking put me down or else - as the organizer of the trip - i would leave him in kadidalur to perish! lol hahahahaha power tripping can tame erik sometimes! hahahahah but he knows and we know that it was all in the fun! lol

then not to be "outdone" lol rj and jeff were doing headstands for the sake of a picture on some huge boulders with the background of the huge glacier - i was missing someting on that one - rj biting an apple :P hahahahaha

as they were having fun at the stop - i looked at the map and trying desperately to name the glacier thats in front of us - based from the map and from where we were it would either be langjökull or Þórisjökull, at first because of it's "massiveness" in my mind i thought it was langjökull - anyway we would know once we drive through there! ashi and me debated about it - and we had the same thought as langjökull.

lol! ahahahahaha big matt (our strongest and most experienced driver) and the evil smile of erik! lol

if you had been reading my blog from the very begining and following it - remember in one of my entries i wrote about Þhingvellir that it looked like the dead marshes from the lord of the rings and behind it was mordor?! my hunch (and imagination - of course) were getting close - because - behind kaldidalur would be no other than Þhingvallavatn!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! the lake at Þhingvellir!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

we went back into the cars and continued driving the 40 km road and finally i could finally point out the name of the glacier in the distance! lets go little shit lada!

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Kaldidalur Sights & Attractions review
Kaldidalur, the thrill of 4x4 driving in Iceland!
kaldidalur (literally means "cold valley") is a highland offroad located at the boundary of the interior of iceland and lies in the highlands of the c… read entire review
8,033 km (4,991 miles) traveled
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Kaldidalur
photo by: lauro