My Íslendingasögur: A tough first day hiking in Iceland

My Íslendingasögur: A tough first day hiking in Iceland

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Here is Laurie, lining up at this stupid excuse for a store to buy camping fuel for his stove, in case we are caught out on the trail and don’t make it to the hut.

It really just gets worse, as we had stuck our packs in the other bus and it isn’t here yet, so I have no rain gear, I am already freezing, this is not starting well.

Then it starts really raining, but the bus arrives, we get into our gear and get ready to roll. A couple of hikers had turned back but we’re made of stronger stuff, right?

We don’t have a lot of photos from the first day of hiking, conditions were too awful. Generally it was fog, rain, and climbing 450 meters.

It was immediately obvious that my plans for meals had gone awry; I had set things up for continuous eating of snacks, continuous fueling. But we had to take off our backpacks to get at food and ended up stopping on the only sheltered spot we could find (on ice!) and making little cheese and salami sandwiches. So much for that.

We finally arrived at Hraftntinnusker hut; it was like arriving at Ellis Island. We had to stand outside in the rain for twenty minutes because no wet clothing was allowed inside, so everyone had to strip out of their boots and rain suits in a little dark vestibule. Inside it was incredibly crowded; this was the luxurious room where there were actually beds. We were assigned to the second floor, where we got a 2 foot wide foam mattress on the floor, in a room with 24 other people. I was not impressed.

I decided that I had brought a tent and was going to use it. Going out into the fog I first tried to set it up in a spot that was so windy I couldn’t do it; then I moved back and managed to get it up and climbed inside.

I even was able to do some writing on my little keyboard and iphone! However I had not brought a Therma-rest pad because the tent was really for emergencies, and quickly learned why “therma” is in the name of the product: the ground was really cold and within five minutes I knew that I couldn’t possibly sleep here, the heat was just being drawn out of me. I went back inside and found my little pad and was asleep within seconds.

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