I needed to get out of town, and Wolfgang had a friend visiting, Alex, and they were both keen to come along. We headed south. I had some destinations in mind that were going to be a bit off the beaten path, filling in some blanks on the map.
It turned out to be most rewarding. We started out at Skogarfoss, it's always lovely, especially in the sun. We also all got to see the complete circle rainbows I'd seen with Joel the year before, and told people about. neat. (even if none of that starts with H)
Next up, our first mysterious detour. Heiðarvatn. This is a quite large lake hidden away in a valley just north of Vík. It's quite a nice sudden change in view to crest a low rise and see a big lake ringed by mountains, but it wasn't our real destination. It's surrounded by a couple of farms, and isn't really for swimming or anything.
Our destination was still hidden from us. We parked the car and were going to go and walk down to the lake to just have a look, when suddenly I turned around and saw our destination. Or more specifically, where it was obviously hiding.
Hrossafoss was a completely unexpected gem lurking away behind a farm. We greeted the farmers, and were waved on up the creek. I don't think this gets a lot of visitors, but they seemed happy to meet us. We enjoyed watching lambs gambolling and being lambs, or at least, I did. I love the way lambs bounce around.
Hrossafoss itself is a very short walk up from the farm, tucked into a little canyon it's eaten out for itself. The water is rather poor quality by icelandic standards, being a bit too minerally. The falls themselves though are quite scenic, kinda like a small Seljalandfoss. It was very harshly backlit when we were there though.
Onwards through Vik, to our next Hidden H place. Hjörleifshöfði. This was another unexepected gem. We knew nothing about this other than a couple of pictures and a road sign. We stopped the car in the middle of the road, and walked over to where we thought a good way up would be. We promptly found a car park, a clear fresh water stream, and a signed walking track. And then a tourbus roared back out in a cloud of dust. Still, other than the single group of three just leaving as we arrived, we never saw anyone else that afternoon.
Turns out Hjörleifshöfði was another early setllement, that of Hjörleifur, the second settler of iceland. He has a grave on the very top, saying he was killed in 875. Apparently it was a farm for quite some time through the years, but eventually Katla's swathe of destruction and the spreading sands of Mýrdalssandur destroyed the once lush green pasture. Still, an absolutely stunning location for a house. The old ruins have an amazingly prime location. We enjoyed a good stroll all over the mountain, walking back north a ways and dropping to the car down a sandy slope, before continuing on our merry way.
Kirkjubæjarklausturs for dinner and waitresses, and a look at the floor there, then on to the final H of the day, a cabin at Hörgsland. Neither Alex nor Wolfgang had proper sleeping bags, and my tent isn't big enough for three anyway. We got a nice cabin with all the mod cons for 6900, and had a couple of bottles of homebrew. (For the very curious, Hörgsland is the same place that Jared, Nerida and I had hired our taxi driver to take us into Núpsstaðurskógar.