Waking up to the winds still screaming past our window, we decided to brave the weather again and begin our voyage north. On the far southeast corner of Iceland, a remote café, serving a “By now World Famous” selection of cakes, is nestled into the mountains that rise thousands of feet above the black sand beaches below. Stokkness is justifiably one of the most awe inspiring and dramatic views offered in Iceland on a clear day, we were lucky enough to see it on a windy day. Two feet of water was whisked away by 100 mile per hour winds. Sure it made it a little harder to walk, and easier to fall, but walking on sands usually covered in feet of ocean water is a surreal experience. Running with the wind was pretty wicked too!
After goofing off in the wind we treated ourselves to one some waffles and a cup of hot chocolate at The Viking Café before beginning our drive towards Egilsstaðir. TheCafé was a little bit of a disappointment for us, you have to pay for parking if you want to walk down to the beach, the waffles and hot cocoa were extremely expensive (even for Iceland), and were mediocre at best. Alternatively, we’d recommend a big breakfast at a secret place in Höfn prior to seeing Stokkness. Route 1 follows the eastern coast of Iceland which makes for amazing views of the fjords, but also an extremely long drive. Trying to make up some time, we pushed our French Renault Clio harder than anyone had before by risking a shortcut through the mountains. Had it not been for a gravel road with cliffs on either side, two feet of snow in a mountain-top blizzard, and a two wheel drive car, I really think the shortcut would have worked! We were about an hour into the shortcut when the blizzard finally shook our confidence, and we made the tough decision to turn around. Regardless, after an unforgettable drive to the top of the mountains, we pointed ourselves back to the coast to take the long way to Hengifoss.
After a few more hours we made our way to Iceland’s third highest waterfall. Situated at the top of an old lava flow, Hengifoss falls almost 420 feet and continues to cascade down two more falls further down the river. The river itself has carved out the lava rock hundreds of feet on either side leaving behind towering cliffs for the birds to nest in. Kestra and I decided that along these cliffs, and out of the wind, was a great place to sit and admire all of God’s creation. Let me be the one to tell you, there is a lot to admire!
Eventually, we made our way back down the trail and off to our Airbnb in Egilsstaðir. We unpacked, made another pasta dinner, and got our grades back for the school semester. My oh my am I proud of Kestra, she earned a perfect 4.0 GPA! After a quick celebration, and a not so quick hug, we managed to see Gufufoss and the town of Seysjafjourdor before turning in for the night. Another day of adventure awaited along the northern coast of Iceland as long as we were up for the drive, and luckily I had good company so no drive seemed too daunting.
Stay tuned next Monday for Kestra’s retelling of Day 6 in The Land of Fire and Ice!