ICELAND-LAND OF FIRE, ICE AND LUPINES. PART 3 THE EAST

After our visit to Detifoss we set off on our journey to Djúpivogur on the east coast. Most of the way was on Route 1. The weather was dull but mostly dry but cloud levels were low so views were not great. We stopped off at Egilsstaðir, the largest settlement in eastern Iceland with a population of just over 2,000, for lunch, food shopping and of course a visit to Vinbudin the state liquor store.

Shortly after leaving  Egilsstaðir we left Route 1 for a shortcut on Route 939, a gravel road also called Oxi after the pass it goes over. If you think of Oxi as a gravel road in the mould of The Wrynose pass but about 18k long then you get some idea of what it’s like. Add in the complication of it being in the clouds with resurfacing work going on but with no contraflow and you will see that made it an interesting drive. However, glimpses between the clouds showed some fine potential views so we returned to drive over in good weather a few days later, see photos further down the blog.

Our Route
Our Route

Now you may have wondered why the title of the blog is ICELAND-LAND OF FIRE, ICE AND LUPINES, well the lupine part anyway. The reason is that Iceland is covered in them. Apparently they were introduced from Alaska to stabilise the soil.

The ubiquitous Lupines
The ubiquitous Lupines

Our accomodation was one of some fine cabins at Bragdavellir Farm about 10k past Djúpivogur. The best place we stayed. Well appointed cabin, excellent WiFi, pleasant, helpful owners and fine walks on the farm itself, what more could you want? Oh, and its own 30m high waterfall Snædalsfoss.We were staying for four nights, many people only stay a night and there were quite a few entries in the visitors book regretting not staying longer.

East to find
Easy to find
Spot the cottage, and the waterfall
Spot the cabin second on the right and the waterfall Snædalsfoss behind
Our cottage is the one in the middle
Our cabin is the one the right
The view from the cottage
The view from the cabin

We had some fine walks on the farm from the cabin.

A fine spot for a wild camp in a motorhome
A fine spot for a wild camp in a motorhome
Sian and the 30m high Snædalsfoss
Sian and the 30m high Snædalsfoss
A great view up the valley at the back of the farm
A great view up the valley at the back of the farm

And a short phone video from the same spot. A superb spot for a wild camp, now where’s my tent?

Sian watching some red throated divers.
Sian watching some red throated divers.
One of the two friendly horses on the farm
One of the two friendly horses on the farm
Some old
Some old “mechanical horses” on the farm
We thought these might be footpath signs but it turns out the mark the underground route of the telephone cables
We thought these might be footpath signs but it turns out the mark the underground route of the telephone cables
The next farm
The next farm
The bridge by the farm on Route 1
The bridge by the farm on Route 1

We decide that we wanted to back over The Oxi Pass in  good weather and fortunately a break in the weather allowed us to. The map below has the route. Our cabin is marked with a pin near the bottom of the map. We followed Route 1 north along the coast to Breiðdalsvík, a small fishing village. Then Route 1 goes inland, becomes a gravel road and gains height through some splendid scenery until it meets the Oxi pass road, Route 939. Enjoy the photos.

Oxi Route
The route over Oxi Pass
Superb picnic site inland from Breiðdalsvík on Route 1. Not a bad spot for a wild camp either
Superb picnic site inland from Breiðdalsvík on Route 1. Not a bad spot for a wild camp either
Still on Route 1. Note the gravel road and the gradient coming up. Hire cars looking a bit dirty!
Still on Route 1. Note the gravel road and the gradient coming up. Hire cars looking a bit dirty!
Looking back down the valley in the direction of Breiðdalsvíkl. Taken from the same spot as the previous photo
Looking back down the valley in the direction of Breiðdalsvíkl. Taken from the same spot as the previous photo
Sian admiring the view at a lay-bye just before we reach the Oxi Pass road.
Sian admiring the view at a lay-bye just before we reach the Oxi Pass road.
Mountain Hut, or Bothy, Icelandic style
Mountain Hut, or Bothy, Icelandic style
...and inside the bothy
…and inside the bothy
Oxi Pass
Oxi Pass
Views on the Oxi Pass road
Views on the Oxi Pass road
IMG_8962
Final stretch on the Oxi Pass Road, after the steep gradients and bends have been negotiated
Love this road sign!
Love this road sign!
Threatening sign at each end of the Oxi Pass Road, presumably the gate swings over to block the road in bad weather
Threatening sign at each end of the Oxi Pass Road, presumably the gate swings over to block the road in bad weather
...and back to Route 1
…and back to Route 1

The nearest village to the cabin is Djúpivogur about 10k away. Djúpivogur has a pleasant harbour, with an excellent cafe with a museum attached. I can thoroughly recommend the cakes at the cafe and the only hotel has a restaurant where we had the “unofficial” Icelandic national dish…pizza! It seems to be on every restaurant’s menu, probably because it is relatively cheap.

The cafe with the wonderful cakes
The cafe with the wonderful cakes
Djúpivogur Harbour
Djúpivogur Harbour
20150705_181610
Djúpivogur
Strange birds eggs sculptures at Djúpivogur
Strange birds eggs sculptures at Djúpivogur
Inside our cabin
Inside our cabin
View outside the cabin with my two favorite Icelandic beers
View outside the cabin with my two favorite Icelandic beers
Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s