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An Ambitious route to Askja - Day 4, Nýidalur, Hrauneyjar, Flúðir, home.

Pictures are at the bottom...

30 July - 2 August, 2010

...Continued from Day 3

Ahh, just a shot home, back down sprengisandur. Shouldn't be a big deal. A bit of rain, a bit grey, but no big deal, we've just done all the tough stuff.

Sign says 115km to Hrauneyjar. GPS agrees. Car computer says 85km to empty, and we've already used up the spare. This should be fun....

After a leisurely breakfast, eating up most of what we have left, or at least, trying to, we roll off down the road, Logi at the wheel. At first, the gap between the trip computer and the gps just keeps growing. It's not looking good. We really should have gotten petrol at Mývatn, not Akureyri.

Eventually, it seems to stabilise, with about 25km to go. Which was still going to suck, even if we get another 8km or so on empty, that still leaves a 30+km walk with a petrol can to get home. Things are not looking good.

Miraculously, we actually _overtake_ two cars here, despite doing our best to roll down all hills, and stop on the top of hills when we see a car coming we'll need to pass.

It's wet and grey outside, and though it's still quite interesting looking, this is NOT the day to stop the car for sightseeing, so we keep our eyes on the gps and the trip computer, and watch the scenery just go past. (Though, this part of sprengisandur is really only fun in that desolate fields of gravel way...)

Eventually, the gap starts to narrow. Logi's magic rolling is starting show some gains. By the time we pass Þórisvatn, it's down to a manageable 8-10km or so, only a leisurely 15+km walk back to the car with a fuel can. Logi starts to talk about maybe driving back out via Landmannalaugar if we get there without refueling. I feel that is a little masochistic, as it's already 3pm, but the optimism is infectious. We might actually make it!

We hit the bitumen, and a sigh of relief goes through the car, not far now, mostly downhill, and much better fuel economy. We now we'll be ok, but just _how_ ok will we be?

The trip computer is ticking down the km to empty, 4.... 2....

We spot Hrauneyjar in the distance, and the trip computer ticks down to 0km to empty.

Saved! From the night before, we knew we still had a km or four left in the tank, but it was still a very nice feeling to make it in without having to hike back and forth with a petrol tin.

But now, we have time on our hands! And, on the three days prior, we'd managed a swim in a natural hot pot every day. Where would we swim today? We all agree that it's too late in the day for Landmannalaugar, and resign ourselves to the pools at Hveragerði.

But inspiration strikes, and I consult the hotpot book. Flúðir beckons us, and after a few false turns, we find the rather beautiful pool there. A couple of people there tell us that a few minutes earlier, a local land owner had come storming up, and told _some_ of the people there to leave, but not them, some weird idea of something or other. We decide to just have our swim as planned, and take care of the place, as always. I do manage to collect a couple of cuts on my toes falling into a pool while picking out garbage, but that's a small price to pay.

Relaxing in the pool was a lovely end to the trip, making 4 from 4 hotpots, and recharing us nicely for the last leg over the hills back home.

It's probably worth nothing that despite this being a big drinking weekend, we'd barely taken anything with us, which was very pleasant. We managed to make some amends for that with a sundaymonday session, getting a few of the slackers who'd been too lazy to come along for the actual trip, to admit to how lazy they were, and party a bit with us for the end of the weekend. For an extra bit of fun, we were all invited back to an afterparty, while we walked back home up Laugavegur. The kids offering the party however, expected us to take taxis back to _Hafnafjörður_ for such a party! We all laughed. Much merriment was had over the whole weekend.