Day 8 & 9: The desolation of the Westfjords
After all the commotion of our flat tire yesterday, we were relieved to have the car fully fixed before our big trip to Patreksfjörður in the Westfjords. Why? I’ll tell you why: complete desolation. Nobody around you for miles and miles, so when you run flat, pray to God your spare tire holds up ..
We left Blönduós quite early – it was still dark – that morning, because we had a 5h drive ahead of us. Our longest ever since we arrived in Iceland. Let’s go!
An ever changing landscape
Where the area around Hvammstangi and Blönduós was quite open and relatively up-and-down, the road to the Westfjords seemed to be an ever changing landscape. The one moment you were driving in a relatively flat setting, the other in an almost mountainous scenery. Very cool, but very confusing.
When you think you’ve seen it all in Iceland, think again. After Detifoss, Skogafoss, Godafoss & Detifoss, we were quite used to seeing waterfalls and their phenomenal force, but this Dynjandi-waterfall .. Well .. This was something else.
When seeing this picture above, you might think: ‘oh, is that all?’. Can’t blame you. Photo’s don’t do waterfalls justice, but I’ll show you another picture. Same waterfall, slightly different angle. Try and spot me on the picture below, and maybe then you’ll catch my drift.
Spotted me? I’m standing on the cliff, slightly right-above the lowest waterfall, waving to you all!
Fjallfoss is actually a series of waterfalls (7 in total) with a cumulative height of over 100m. Can you imagine the noise of this thing? That’s why it’s called ‘dynjandi’ by the way, which means ‘thunderous’ in Icelandic.
Ah, the hot pots! The best thing about the Westfjords. Because of the icy wind over here, these warm, natural baths were a blessing while driving through the rough landscape. We visited an all-natural hotpot (where water flows in all natural) near route 63 and a ‘human made’ hot pot (with water that gets pumped out of the ground) in Tálknafjörður. Highly recommendable after a cold, rainy day!
Látrabjarg, Breitavik & Rauðisandur Beach
On our second day in the Westfjords, we wanted to do a little exploration of the well-know Látrabjarg & Breitavik-area. It’s the westernmost point in Iceland and its cliffs are home to millions of birds in summer, including puffins, northern gannets and guillemots! Sadly, the 8bft wind took it’s toll. No birds and a hazardous situation. Rough winds and cliffs aren’t good friends. After a quick stroll, we headed for Rauðisandur.
Rauðisandur – or, the ‘Red Beach’ in Icelandic – is a bit difficult to reach. Driving to this remote area of Iceland, driving down on a small gravel road, down the steep mountain just to go walking for about half an hour and wading the cold ocean/river.. Not all people will like this, but we loved it! It is just lovely being here in the tranquillity and beautiful nature, even though the wind tipped us over – haha! – a few times.
The sand changes color a few times a year, from being yellow to red to black. When we visited, it was yellow-ish!
A funny sight along the road..
While returning from the Red Beach, we stumbled upon something very interesting. An US Navy plane, cut in pieces, next to a hanger? Hmmm.. Very strange..
It turned out to be the ‘Egils Ólafssonar’ museum. A personal collection of curiosities, that grew throughout the years. The museum was closed, but the collection outside was accessible. So we took a picture or two. C’mon, how funny is this??
More info about our room-for-the-night:
- Address: Litli Krokur, Strandgata 19, 450 Patreksfjörður
- Price per night: 110 euro (you have to pay in cash, no cards allowed) and booked via Booking.com
- Accommodations: Studio-type room, free (but poor) wifi, fully equipped kitchen & very big living space with television & dvd-player, big bathroom with shower and toilet, free parking. One big bed.