6 July, 2010
The weather forecast was looking pretty terrible for the rest of the week, with a bit of a window today. Helen was still feeling pretty terrible though, so we planned a day trip to Stórurð for Mum and I, and then we'd pack up and head south and homewards, try and get behind a big storm rolling up the eastern seaboard.
But Stórurð? What's that? Who snuck all those letters into a nice clean english sentence? Literally, it means something along the lines of "Big place covered in big boulders." As we'll see, it's quite an accurate placename, but there's more to it than just big rocks. It was also a recommended place to go by a work colleague who was from the area, and there was a nice picture of it in the local tourist paperwork too. Seemed like a good idea :)
Helen was going to sleep in the car for a while, so we locked her in and headed off down the track, in some wonderfully refreshing sunshine on the western side of the mountains. All classic Icelandic summer walking, lush green grasses, water everywhere, and all the life out to play. This tracks resident critters were snails, hundreds of them, in various stages of squish/escape from what seemed to be a large walking group ahead of us.
We rounded a ridge, and started walking into the main valley, up towards Dyrfjöll itself, which is truly one of the most impressive mountains I've seen in Iceland. Proper serious cliffs of proper looking rock. Not vegetated and cumbly like most places. This was pretty clearly a small glacial valley, and as you get up a bit further, through seas of wildflowers, you reach "the big pile of boulders"
There's a very pretty meadow down low, with a creek winding through it, and some big boulders and lovely blue snowy silt laden water making some nice pools.
But that's nothing! The track winds around and up a bit further, and there's just a sea of pools amongst giant boulders, all of them lush milky blue water from all the silt, yet still enough room to walk around in easily. A truly excellent spot to visit!
But, we still had to walk back. You can actually walk back over the mountains to Bakkagerði from here, but we had Helen asleep in a car, so we were going to walk back along a high ridge and meet up again along the road.
This was also a nice walk, as the clouds conveniently lifted a bit for us, giving us some sunshine to walk in, and some nice views down into the valleys around us.
A lovely leg stretch, but from here, it was time to head south, and try and dodge this storm coming.