15-Jul-2004 -- We were staying at a friend's place in Reykjavik, and having a 4x4 delivered that morning. While waiting, I was web surfing, to try to determine what we should do with 5 days of sightseeing in Iceland.
I had heard of this project from a friend and since we were in Iceland I thought we might visit a site close to where we were going. But when I checked on the web, all but two sites on Iceland had been visited already. I showed this to Martin who had never heard of the project. We spotted the places on the map and the closer one was right near a dirt road. He was immediately hooked and said that we needed to elevate this to the highest priority.
We headed off to the site by way of Geysir (the original) and Gullfoss (largest waterfall). We went to Hverallir where 38 boys were staying in the 40 person hut, so we camped in the campground and soaked in the hotspring.
The shortest route was one that crosses north of the Hofsjokull glacier and sounded pretty hairy (see sign photo). I thought the reference to quicksand was probably a bad translation of something else (not so!). When I read that one shouldn't travel alone, I said "I'm not alone. I'm with you!" (Not what they meant).
The other way was by going all the way across the island to Varmahlid and then back south.
The road was not hard to find but it was hard to follow, especially going over hard rock surfaces. We half expected to be stopped by the only river crossing shown on the map. From there we intended to walk. Crossing this river had become quite large in our minds. At one point a serious rushing river appeared to our left.
But in fact, our crossing was only a small creek (at least when we crossed it). We managed to drive within a few hundred feet of the confluence. We felt a bit giddy having got off so easily.
After taking the pictures, we drove a bit and went for a hike up toward the Hofsjokull glacier. As Martin was crossing a small stream on some cobbles, he found himself suddenly sinking at an alarming rate into muck. He managed to backpedal and get himself out quickly. This was the quicksand. I was standing 5 feet away and even there, I started sinking too, as part of some weird chain reaction. It was strange how we could be gingerly walking over apparently stable rocks and mud and then having both feet sucked down simultaneously. Cool stuff.
Then we left.