Trekking towards the Torfajökull icecap, Iceland #4

This is the fourth section of an illustrated diary of a trek around the Torfajökull [Torfajokull] icecap in 1996. Torfajökull is around 10km north of the northern edge of Myrdalsjökull [Myrdalsjokull], in the southern region of Iceland.

This diary is now organized as four pages: page 1 | page 2 | page 3 | page 4

Icelandic landscape photo To everyone's surprise the following day is bright, sunny and rather warm. While one or two walking wounded take a rest day, the rest of us start the climb up onto the icecap – looking back we get this superb view along the Hólmsarlón lake. Our hut is just out of the picture to the left.
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Icelandic landscape photo Once across the ice, we take our time to survey the broad landscape before following a circular route back to the hut. The Torfajökull area is the most powerful thermal region in Iceland. The view covers the whole of the south and central interior.
Icelandic landscape photo The bathroom, just 10 minutes walk from the hut – down along the boulder strewn valley floor and across the one-plank bridge over the fast flowing, ice cold river! What better way to soothe our tired limbs than a soak for an hour or so in this bath that never gets cold.
Icelandic landscape photo Álftavatn – Swan Lake. The view outside the door of our hut for the last two nights of the trek. It was as cold as it looks, with a rim of ice around the edge of the lake when we came to wash in the the morning. But it was very beautiful, with this perfect mirror surface. And in the middle of the night we had a special bonus: the Northern Lights – no photos I'm afraid.
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On our last day we walk to the Ófaerufoss waterfall, in the Eldgjá area, and back to Swan Lake. The waterfall used to be fronted by a perfect natural bridge (steinbogi), which finally collapsed in spring 1993. Click here for a photo, kindly sent to me by Vincent Lowe, showing the way it was.
Icelandic landscape photo Icelandic landscape photo Eldgjá – a small part of which can be seen in these images – is reputedly the largest volcanic fissure in the world.
Icelandic landscape photo Off the main Ring Road round Iceland, transport is often by agile four-wheel-drive buses with their expert drivers. This is our bus, at a 'comfort stop', taking us back from the end of the trek to the Fljótsdalur Youth Hostel, and the luxury of eating real bread from a real plate!
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Back in Reykjavik for a day before the flight home, we made the essential visit to the beautiful Hallgrim's Church. The obvious thing to do is to travel to the top of the tower and enjoy the view over the city, which we did. But I was very struck by the beautifully simple interior.
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