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Lava tourism, the eruption in Geldingadalur

Pictures are at the bottom...


In late february, we got a big earthquake, 5.7, biggest one I'd felt. This then proceeded to become regular and eventually developed into, "looks like some magma intrusion in a line here, but... no idea when/if it might come through"

And then, Friday night, 19th of March, it finally came out! You can read (in Icelandic) a very through summary of all the developments at the Icelandic Met Office. A less detailed, but still quite thorough summary in english is also available. The area is pretty rough, it's not a common walking area, and the main road through the area was closed due to damage from the earthquakes over the month leading up. Still, some people went out that night, had a wonderful time. We had a busy weekend already planned, but decided we'd try and go there on the Monday. The kids could go to school, and hopefully access would be sorted out by then. Over the weekend, authorities tried to suggest a terrible route across the old lava field, purely because it had better parking, and some poor souls did what they were told, and had long rough days. A lot of more sensible people looked at a map and decided that walking the closed road was farrrrr simpler, and safer for everybody, and by all accounts Sunday afternoon was quite a party. Still a long day though, times of 3-4 hours walking each way. These long treks, and the many various ways being walked had put quite a load on local rescue teams, so Sunday late, the route from the south road was marked, and the roads authority was pushed to make the road open again, at least as a one lane road.

This dramatically improved access :) Now we were down to only ~1-1.5 hours each way, on a marked trail!

So far, so good, our monday plan was looking good. As long as the eruption kept going.

Fortunately, that seems not to be a problem at this stage, but it's still March in Iceland, so the weather is still an issue!

So we went tuesday. Along with a few thousand other people :)

It was amazing. It's hard really to say much more. This is "Helluhraun" or "Pahoehoe" lava, so super runny and beautiful. Quite a different experience to my trip to see the Fimmvörðuháls eruption

So, we had a great day, we even all went into town afterwards for some "Apre-lava" and enjoyed ourselves. Which was to be prescient, as the next day our covid wave 4 started, and everything closed down :(