Was sad to depart the magical glaciers of Southern Iceland but onwards to Northern Iceland. The next pitstop is at Mývatn . The Mývatn area is a volcanically active area with quite a few nature spots that you should check it out.
The drive there from Höfn took me 5 to 6 hours. I have a story for this drive. Somewhere during the drive there, the GPS route me through a short cut up in the mountains. It was real terrifying one lane drive up in the mountain gravel road. I was driving at 12km per hour fearing for my life. After a gruelling 40 minutes or so, there was sight of flat lands. So guys don’t completely trust the GPS. Cross-check against your phone GPS to make sure that you are really heading the right direction. For Iceland, just follow Route 1 and drive along to be safe.
The drive towards Mývatn also took me through a scenic coastal drive after Höfn.
There’s also a story where my tire pressure was giving me some warning light. It was an experience as I learnt how to pump the tire and check the tire pressure manually. In Singapore I don’t drive at all. I clock more left hand drive hours than right hand drive hours. I can’t afford a car in Singapore as it’s too expensive and I suck at driving and reacting to busy traffic. Iceland is perfect for driving and barely has any cars.
One of the first indication of entering the Myvatn region are the sulphur fields and mud pools of Hverir. The landscape is out of the world and looks kind of like a Martian landscape. I can’t think of any other part of the world where the landscape look other worldly.
This volcanic crater had caught my attention during the planning process. It was like a meteoric crater, a mountain created from an impact. The circumference was so wide and you could hike or run around the rim. But the wind was strong, and you could get blown off. I used the image above as I didn’t have an overview image of the volcano.
The Dimmuborgir is a volcanic lava field that you could do a little hike around.It was a maze created by nature which could be slightly dangerous at night. A place that you wouldn’t want to get lost at night. It’s going to be cold and dangerous.
I wouldn’t recommend this place unless you have spare time. Maybe I didn’t explored the place enough as it was getting late. The landscape is the same throughout but it is possible to get a few interesting shots from this place.
My stay at Myvatn is at Dimmuborgir Guesthouse. I chose this place for its scenic view of Lake Myvatn. The layout of the guesthouses are individual cabins. For each cabin, there are two units and each units can house two guests. The kitchen area and toilet is in a separate cabin. This might be inconvenient for some people. It was one of the cheaper option around the area and had a great view of the lake.
Almost wanted to give these two waterfalls a miss. I missed a turn and couldn’t find the way to the waterfalls. Turns out they closed the old roads as they were gravel roads and dangerous. But now, there is a safer tarmac route to the waterfalls.
The Dettifoss is where they filmed the Engineer disintegrating scene in the movie Prometheus. The sheer force and magnitude of this waterfall is breathtaking.
It is a short hike to the bank of the waterfalls through snow and mud. So if you are heading there, be prepared to have the right shoes for walking in snow and mud.
On the other side of Dettifoss, is the Selfoss. While the scale of it is smaller than the Dettifoss, it is and experience that you could actually hike into the streams on the bank that lead to the waterfall edge. My friend hopped all the way to the edge of the waterfall. Not for the faint hearted. I stayed within my comfort zone because once you fall off the edge of the waterfall, that’s it. So always stay safe as you are exploring these places. Explore at your own risk!
6. Other places to visit at Mývatn
Mývatn Nature Baths (https://www.myvatnnaturebaths.is/en/prices-hour)
This is one of my regrets for the trip. I didn’t make it to the Mývatn lagoons where it is a cheaper option to the Blue Lagoon in Reykjavik. The spot offers a place to get a warm bath from the harsher weather in the North.