Saturday, May 30, 2015

A Cave and Waterfalls

Today we woke up to sunshine and blue sky, the first time we seen those on the trip.  We then grabbed a quick breakfast and headed down to Myvatn to go caving. 

Entrance to Cave
Our guide picked us and eight other people up at the Myvatn visitor center for the hour drive, on very rough terrine through the lava field to the cave site. Once we reached the cave site we had about a 30 minute hike across the lava field to the cave entrance. Once at the entrance we descended down some stairs and then put on the special cave boots and rain or waterproof pants.  The boots were basically those trendy galoshes people like to wear, except these had little metal studs in the bottom so you could walk on ice.  This was required because the whole floor of the cave is ice.   To enter the main section of the cave must climb up about 7 feet then crawl on your belly through an opening that is 1.5 feet tall and 6 feet wide, while executing a turn to flip your feet in front of you to slide down into the first cavern.  Then you walk in a crouched position to the next obstacle, where you climbed up the ice hill using a rope, and then once you got to the top you slid down the other end into a larger cavern.  The last obstacle required you to rappel up hill, using the wall of the cave, then when you reach the top slide down the other side into the last cavern, the largest reachable by the tour group.  To get out of the cave you reverse the process.  The cave was pretty and the ice inside formed stalactites and stalagmites.  The formations you could tell took several years to make, and went through several melting and refreezing stages.  It was an interesting outing.

Caving Group

After returning from the cave excursion we ate at the “Cow Café” were you could look at the cows or the lake while you ate.  From there we headed over to see some pseudo craters and some interesting lava rock structures.  Then we headed over to Dettifoss, on the road that was open.

Dettifoss
The trail that lead to Dettifoss and its sister waterfall was altered slightly.  There were still several patches of snow and parts of the trail were flooded so an alternate path was marked.  Dettifoss itself was large, but the vantage point was not what Jim was expecting.  While it is an impressive waterfall, there is a cliff shelf hiding part of it from the western viewing area.  (The eastern viewing area is still closed.)  After viewing Dettifoss we followed the path to its sister falls which were more picturesque. Those falls were just as impressive, in my opinion, as Dettifoss.   

Dettifoss Sister Falls

From there we headed back to Akureyri with a quick stop at Godafoss on the way.  Godafoss is basically right next to the side of the road, no hiking needed.  

Goddafoss

Today was a long day, we did not return to the hotel till after 8:00 PM and we left at 7:30 AM. Thankfully we have 20 hours of daylight.  Tomorrow will be a little less busy, and will involve Icelandic ponies.

Note: All photos are untouched JPEGs. Fully edited images will be posted to website once, we get back from our trip. 

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