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Landmannalaugar to Þorsmork, pt. 1

Alftavatn hut

We’ve just arrived after our second day of hiking. Time to get caught up!

The first day was a long climb up from the Landmannalaugar Hut across lava fields and past steaming, hissing sulfurous vents. We had lovely views over the surrounding hills, and several stretches of sunshine. The rock is all kinds of crazy colours, with a lot of pink, green and orange.

At the end of the day we descended from the last pass to the hut, a compact two-story wooden structure on two axes. Our group took one of the downstairs rooms and, over a warm dinner, got acquainted: Marcel and Oliver from Germany, Helga & Willi from Denmark, Alain & Corine from France, Caroline & Amy from Ottawa & Whitby, José from Portugal, and Anne & me. The guide is Katarine, and the driver (who takes our packs from hut to hut) is Clemmi. A good group! Before we knew it it was 10 pm (very strange being somewhere that doesn’t get dark!) and we turned in to our bunks.

This morning was cold, windy, and damp. After an early breakfast we set off down across the valley, climbing up and down over the various ridges lined with snow. We climbed up the far side and then had a short descent to an amazing view down over the valley to Aftavatn, green and bright despite the gloomy skies. The trek down into the valley was pretty long, and included a short river crossing, but soon we were at the hut and settling in.

The countryside is amazing around here, raw topography with bright fluorescent green moss, black lava sand and creamy mud. We’re having a great time so far — but looking forward immensely to a hot shower!

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