Vatnajokull


Vatnajokull is that big chunk of ice in the south-east of Iceland. The mountains along the south and east force most of the ice to the north.
In the gaps between the mountains, however, it does make an appearance! Since "jokull" is Icelandic for glacier, it's the Vatna glacier.
There are only a few big ice caps in Iceland, and all are called glaciers. Then each single extrusion of ice from the big glaciers is given its own name.
We started today in Hofn, marked by the red dot on the right. Then we travelled south-west to the area "Jokulsarion", also marked by a red dot.
We ended the day at a campsite marked with the red dot in the camera icon, Skaftafell. The long red line marks the region that we were not allowed to drive in during high winds.
The smaller red line marks the huge flood plain of Skeidararsandur. It is 40 km by 20 km, and no one lives there. The glacier sometimes
releases floodwaters due to under-ice volcanism. When this happened in 1996, 3.6 cubic km of water flooded the plain, washing everything away, and leaving icebergs everywhere.



Morning in the Hofn campsite. This is the view to the north, where we drove through the day before. Now we can see the cliffs!



And we're on our way south of Hofn, with our trusty cycling map as our guide!



The geology here is older, with a lot of erosion in evidence.



Around each headland there was a waterfall in a valley. We weren't stopping for small waterfalls anymore...



From a distance it looked like a field of big marshmellows!



And then it started. In the gaps between the headlands, there were bits of the Vatnajokull making their escape!



Another headland. Each of those layers in the rock is a seperate lava flow. I can count over 30 of them...



Around the headland, and another Vatna glacier extension! These all have glacier names, and my map book lists them all, but for now: they're glaciers!



Ok, here's another!



No, make that a triple!



This was a common scene. A farm house with guest cottages added. The locals could make more tending to the tourists than to the sheep!



Here's another! I'm assuming if you're used to the mess and smell of the sheep, the tourists aren't that much worse, after all!



And around the next corner! Most of the pictures on this page were taken while moving. The Nikon lens's vibration reduction works quite well!



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