Iceland Day 10 – Tuesday, September 16, 2014
Westfjords, Dynjandi, Borgarnes, Stağastağur



When planning this section of our trip, we had a hard time finding a place to stay tonight because the Westfjords are so deserted, so we made our next reservation halfway out the Snaefellsnes Peninsula, on its southern coast, about a six-hour drive from Isafjordur, making this our second longest driving day. With stops, of course, it took way longer. No worries. It's the journey that counts, not the destination!

We left the apartment by 9:30 and went to the Isafjordur town park for a photo op with a unique arch made from a whale's jawbone. We'd found it last night, but the light had been too low for a picture.

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Jana in the whale jawbone

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Seamen's monument catches a big one, Ísafjörğur

Then we filled up with gas, not knowing when we'd get our next opportunity, restocked on groceries, and headed through a 6-kilometer tunnel deeper into the Westfjords. Our first stop was at Thingeyri (Şingeyri) for some especially pretty views, but we were treated to impossibly gorgeous scenery all day, plus we had beautiful weather, 50-60 degrees, sunny, and just a little wind.

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View from Şingeyri

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Emergency hut on Rt. 60, south of Şingeyri

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Impossibly pretty view of Borgarfjörğur

It's hard to believe, but today we saw the most gorgeous waterfall yet: Dynjandi waterfall. Even harder to believe: For most of our 45-minute visit, we had it completely to ourselves! Dynjandi is huge and powerful and has a stunning shape. It's actually a series of seven waterfalls, but the top one is the most impressive. FYI: It's a rough road to get to this out-of-the-way place, and it's a fairly steep (though not that long) hike to the top, but it's totally worth it.

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Dynjandi

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Tom at Dynjandi

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Borgarfjörğur from Dynjandi

The road switched many times between paved and unpaved today in the Westfjords, and we drove through some major road construction, with little direction of the traffic. I just drove slowly right through the middle of their worksite in our tiny rental car, with giant intimidating trucks moving earth and gravel all around me.

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More Westfjords wondrousness

We stopped at two emergency huts today, one before Dynjandi and one after. The first one was pretty abandoned. It would have to be a hell of an emergency for this to be your best bet. It's illegal to stay in an emergency shelter in Iceland if you are not truly having an emergency situation in any case. The second emergency hut was a bright orange capsule that looked like some kind of shipping container, and it was tethered to the ground to guard against the frequent high winds. It had a few provisions inside. This would be a better place to have your emergency.

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Ready for a serious emergency, Rt. 60, south of Dynjandi

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Inside the shelter

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Last of the Westfjords

Leaving the Westfjords, we headed south through the Dalir region of West Iceland and then missed our turn west onto the Snaefellsnes Peninsula. Our alternate route took us through the town of Borgarnes. We turned this setback into an opportunity and stopped at the town's Vinbudin to restock our meager beer supply, then climbed the town's water tower for excellent views of the surrounding area.

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Borgarnes water tower

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From atop the tower

Finally on the peninsula, at a dot on the map called Vegamot, we stopped yet again for gas, the second time today. All this driving is really sucking up the petrol. I just put it all on my credit card and tried not to add it up. Gotta have it, so no use fretting.

At 6:45 p.m. we finally arrived at Gistiheimilid (Guesthouse) Hof, at a supposed place called Stadastadur that's nothing more than another dot on the map. Here we got our own cute little cabin by the sea, with a turf roof and private bath, for $106 per night for two nights. There was a shared kitchen in a nearby cabin where we could fix dinner, and breakfast was included in the price. The little cabin we stayed in had pretty close quarters, but it made up for the lack of space with its cuteness.

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Cute cabin at Gistiheimiliğ Hof

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Inside our cozy quarters

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Snæfellsjökull sunset

We walked to the nearby beach as the sun was going down. Sunset behind Snaefellsjokull volcano was spectacular!

After sunset, we crossed the driveway to the cabin housing the shared kitchen for our regular repast of ramen noodles and salami sandwiches. It's a good thing we brought our own food, because there's no place to eat around here at any price. This guesthouse is smack-dab in the middle of nowhere.

Later, the Northern Lights came out to delight us again. They didn't last very long and didn't dance as much as in Laugar, but tonight they were ALL OVER the sky. I only managed one quick photo this time. It was much better in real life.

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Northern Lights



Continue to September 17, 2014

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