Day 5, Egilsstaðir to Skaftafell via Höfn

We left Egilsstaðir’s decent campsite and temporarily veered off the ring road towards the fjord-town of Seyðisfjörður. The final descent into Seyðisfjörður was a beautiful route immediately recognisable as the skating scene in Ben Stiller’s Secret life of Walter Mitty (previously mentioned on Day 2). Listen while read:

The drive to Höfn really deserves it’s own post — it was spectacular. You really need to go to Iceland and experience it yourself though; a mere post by a first-time blogger just won’t suffice.

This drive is what trips like this are made for. Gigantic mountains dipping into the oceans with two-lane roads hugging the coast sitting precariously on top of the loose volcanic gravel. Specks of snow-capped mountains in the distance and occasional glaciers of snow trickling down through valleys and crevasses. Black sand beaches and surprises around every bend. The scale of the scenery was mind blowing. It truly was a place to free your mind. If you get the chance to go, enjoy it, and take your time soaking it in.

Be warned, there were a few tyre tracks carved out like scars from adventurous cars that look like they were stranded. While it is tempting to veer off to see the view, best not do it on loose sand.

Day Five culminated in a trip total of around 21 hours driving. Toddler needed a nap, as did I. Once we reached Höfn, I proceeded to join him in for a glorious hour snooze.

The weather had turned against us earlier, and was still clinging on with continuing grey skies and rain since Mývatn . It was cold, grey and generally miserable – we were over it. The scenery was our saviour at this stage. Once we had awoken we headed for lunch at one of the Lonely Planet’s recommended lunch spots, Hafnarbúðin, and decided to sink our teeth into some Lobster baguettes as it looked like a good place to thaw. We were the second set of people there, and by the time we had finished the place was heaving. They even had free coffee from a wicked Icelandic digital coffee machine. I wish I had taken a photo of it, but I was too excited by the thought of warm coffee.

The lobster sangers were delicious for AUD$24 each (2,000kr). I almost bought another… I should have! It also seemed like a popular drive-thru spot for the local Hofn-ians (is that what they are called?) so definitely has local cred. A definite must visit in Höfn then! Toddler’s taste buds ended up experiencing something new as he devoured half our baguettes.

Next stop on the way to Skaftafell was Jökulsárlón Icebergs! (see the hero image at the top). It was a very weird spot where you can drive right up to the harbour-like area, where within a stone’s throw there were myriad icebergs just chilling. There were actually two spots to see the ‘bergs, one closer to the harbour, while the other was a beach near the sea. Both great spots that toddler enjoyed; the beach even allowing for some touch and feel moments with beached icebergs! Mr Toddler was overjoyed even in the bitter cold. It’s amazing how a good distraction can take away all the pain and exposure to the elements.

A few fancy selfies here and there and we were back under the car heater warming up again for the route to Skaftafell in Vatnajökull National Park.

A mesmerizing drive winding and weaving through ever-changing topography. On the approach to Skaftafell we were welcomed by a couple of rousing glaciers. We were all absorbed by the scale of these natural formations and the beauty of the surrounding area. The sun was beaming across the Skaftafell Camping ground resting upon the mountains in the distance. The camp ground was spacious and the fee collectors were friendly — you may even catch a tune from the background guitar player.

Today’s total driving took place over 352 kilometres across 5 hours and 2 minutes

Mr Toddler was snow suited up early and we were also in for an early night recuperating for another big day of hiking and sightseeing for Day 6 which ends at the tongue-twisting Hveragerði.

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