The East


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268 km to the next gas station

Checking the depth of the water before crossing

There are three roads from Mıvatn to Egilsstağir in the East: along the northern coastline, over the Ring Road, and by the inland route, via Herğubreiğarlindir and Askja. We decide to try this last one. 

We have:

  • enough fuel to reach the next gas station
  • a 4x4 car (there are 4 fords in this track)
  • lots of hot water for coffee and bread

So, we are equipped for the road. We take off at 5 o'clock, at first daylight, so we have enough time for this trip.

The gravel road starts at Hrossaborg, an old volcano. We ride through the desolated area of the criminals desert. Outlaws found a place to live here, as no-one else wanted to come here.

Unfortunately, at the first ford through the Grafarlanda-river, we find out that a Suzuki Jimny is too small. The (cold!) water reaches too high. So we have to turn back (better here than at the 4th ford), and take the Ring Road after all.

Jesus in Iceland

Modrüdalur

At Möğrudalur, just off the Ring Road, lies the highest farm of Iceland (469 m). In 1949 the farmer built this church here. The altarpiece shows Jesus, preaching from the hills at this area. Next to the farm and church are a camping site and a café. The café opens at 9 in the morning, just as we arrive. After all, we saved some time by taking the Ring Road. 
The East coast starts at Bakkagerği. The mountain here, Dyrfjöll, is ryolite, a very colourful stone. Most of the lava on Iceland is basalt, as the magma comes from pretty deep because of the continental drift. Ryolite is a stone that comes from shallow magma. 

In this area are a lot of marked walking trails, so we decide to take a stroll. When we start out, the clouds are pretty low, but after some time the sun breaks through and we can enjoy the surroundings. 

Dyrfjöll

Stödvarfjördur

The east coast consists of several fjords, with a small village at the most inland point and a lighthouse at the tip. The landscape is beautiful here, with steep mountains and romantic fjords with swans. 

When reading the guidebook, it becomes clear there is virtually nothing to do here in the villages, except walking and fishing.

Some of the descriptions of the East coast villages are very 'colourful':
  • The people in A live of fishing.
  • In B there is a camp site and maybe a hotel.
  • At the post office in C there is a telephone cell.
  • The fjords near D are famous for their beautiful fog-banks.
  • The main attraction in E is the car park.

If you read descriptions like these, you won't expect spectacular attractions. And there aren't any, but the East doesn't need them anyway. The fjord landscape by itself is impressive enough (if it isn't obscured by those famous fog-banks, of course)

Fishing nets

Lighthouse

The lighthouses are painted in bright orange. Having your coffee break here, in the sun, adds some excitement to the trip: it is likely one of the terns (sterna paradisaea) will dive at you to protect its babies.


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