Trekking At Laugavegur, Iceland

The story goes like this – I came back to the same hostel after the unexpected trip along the south coast. After we caught some sleep in the hostel, we met up again. We checked out some cafes and pubs. While they were having a chat in a cafe, I went to the information centre and got some inspiration as to where else I could go. I signed up a trekking trip to Laugavegur. The information centre staff told me it was still cold up on the mountain and suggested I should buy some more warm clothes if I hadn’t had any and one spare pair of shoes. She even suggested a cheaper store (everything in Iceland was expensive, not only for backpackers but for everyone). So, I went back to the cafe. While I told them about the hiking trip, some travellers sitting next to our table said to me, ‘yes, you do need some warm clothes and a spare pair of shoes.’ Those travellers just came back from the trip so they shared their experience with me. The reason why I needed another pair of shoes was we needed to cross some creeks and we needed to put the feet into the water. There could be some sharp things on the riverbed so we couldn’t cross the creeks with bare feet. With another pair of shoes, we could change them when they became wet.

The rest of the day for me was to spend some more time with the two travellers on their last day in Iceland and shopping at a department store. I really didn’t intend to buy anything but I followed the travellers’ advice. That’s the wisest thing to do.

Also, flash back to don’t remember when, I talked to a traveller who had a serious cold at the reception. I caught his cold… so, other than shopping for clothes and spare shoes (I should have brought my wet shoes with me), I bought some cough syrup and Panadol cold and flu pills. Fortunately, the pharmacy was just right beside the hostel.

During the time I was in Iceland, the Iceland football (soccer) team went into the semi-final. It was a big thing in Iceland.

Street art in Reykjavik
The crowd in Reykjavik. Everyone was excited about the Euro Cup.
Icelandic lamb soup. LOL! Ba!!
I think it was a church?
Put one of your gloves here. It was for the singles. A speed dating event 😀
Along the coast in Reykjavik. It looked like a boat.

The weather was good on the first day of our trekking trip but like any other days in Iceland, it didn’t last for long.
Even though it was summer in Iceland, we could still see snow on the mountain. Not only that, it was very windy. When I was there in Iceland, it was very windy wherever I went.
The first natural hot spring we saw. Can you see the steam in the photo?
The hot water came out of the nozzle of a pipe. The water was hot, again.

My cold started to get worse on my first day of the trekking. I walked close to these hot pools and inhaled deeply to clear my nose. It felt really nice.

We trekked through the mountains.

As I chatted with other travellers, they told me they had prepared for this trip for quite sometime but for me, it was spontaneous. One of them couldn’t believe it.

Take more photos while the sky was clear. It was rare!
This was one of the snowy paths we went past. It wasn’t easy to trek on the snow because it was still very thick.
See the hikers in the photo? This area looked very wild.
The blue water in the midst of the snowy mountain.
The beautiful mountain and the beautiful weather!
Another hot spring. Lovely! It was really cold up on the mountain. When the hot steam was blown towards us, I inhaled deeply again to clear my nose. 😛
The ground was very colourful and soft.
I was always the last one.
If there was no one in the photo, this would look another planet.
Steams were everywhere.
It’s so weird. The mountain had the hot steam, hot spring but at the same time, snow. Nature is so amazing!
My tent and sleeping bag included in the tour.
The water in this lake was cold. Actually, the water in the creeks on the mountains was very very cold so when I crossed the first creek, my feet were frozen.
Can you see a few little human beings in this photo?
What a beautiful view! A lake surrounded by the mountains! Beautiful! It actually reminded me of New Zealand. In fact, the entire Iceland reminded me of New Zealand.
A waterfall we saw on the way to our campsite.
Our tents. No, we didn’t stay inside them. They were kitchens.
These were our tents.
The sign says Porsmork (or Þórsmörk in Icelandic or Thorsmork)
This is a place where hikers and cars meet. That means, if you don’t want to hike, you can drive too. I was so sick in the end that I had to take the minivan (the one that belonged to the tour company) back to town. (Porsmork, Thorsmork or Þórsmörk)
We were really lucky to have some sunny time during our trip. Note, I didn’t say sunny days.
Our colourful tents at the camping site
I asked two of the girls in my tour group to take this photo for me this way. Because of this jacket, I was called bumble bee by one of the guys in my group. I bought this jacket at the shopping mall in Reykjavik too. Good choice.
The tour guide took us away from the campsite and visited this gorge.
Look at the colour of the mountain! I wonder where that red came from.
It was a really beautiful place but it was very windy and chilly as well.
A waterfall we saw at the gorge.

On our final day, I couldn’t handle it anymore so I told the tour guide I had to give up. He was ok with it. One of our group member encouraged me to keep going. He said he had a cold too and he took some pills and was fine. But I think I had a different virus. The syrup and the pills that I got didn’t make me feel better. They also made me very dizzy too. I needed somewhere warmer and the strong wind was making me worse too. The situation that I encountered was like what I experienced when I was in Puerto Natales in Chile (it just happened that there was a Chilean couple in my hiking group). So, like I said above, I took the minivan and went downhill and then back to Reykjavik. Once I checked back into the same hostel, I felt much better. The temperature went from 2C on the mountain to 12C in Reykjavik. 10C difference! Of course, I felt much better. The culprit was the temperature and the strong wind up on the mountain.

That night, I went to shore nearby and watched the sunset at around midnight. But there were too many clouds.

Like me, some travellers also went to see the midnight sun.

After I knew that the Blue Lagoon was manmade and super expensive, I decided to go somewhere else. I was told the locals usually went to a beach where there was a hot pool.

I was told the ring you see in the sea was the hot area. But I went to a pool instead.
The hot pool at the beach.
As I walked around the city, I found a church.
A statue along the shore

I signed up for a snorkelling trip and went with the guide the next day.

The ground. The rocks looked like a piece of wrinkled paper laid down on a desk.
The place where we did snorkelling.
I didn’t have a GOPro back then so I bought a water resistant instant film camera and got this picture developed. That film processing shop in Singapore didn’t do a good job. Anyway, this was how deep the water was. Some people went scuba diving too. Do I recommend it? I honestly have no idea what the scuba divers will see. For me I didn’t see anything except the rocks. I like rocks but if you don’t, you’ll probably find it boring.
Why did we go there? Maybe we did some sightseeing after snorkelling… I don’t remember.
The rocks we saw at the site.

The dry suit I got had some holes so in the end, my hiking pants were slightly wet. When I told the guide, he didn’t believe me. After I took off the wet suit, I showed him the water on my hiking pants. He then believed me. It was really cold. There was some current in the water too so I couldn’t swim fast.

I met an Icelandic poet who was walking her huskies. 😀 The eyes of one of her dogs were very interesting. One was brown and the other was blue. So beautiful. Hm… I met a girl just a few days ago who had eyes like this too. 🙂 Not only that, one of the dogs tried to talk to me. It was murmuring something but because I didn’t know the local language, I couldn’t figure out what it was trying to say. Before I left for the Euro Cup game, she told me her name and said I could find her on Google. I tried but I may have got the spelling wrong.

A very happy husky. This was probably the one who was trying to talk to me in human language.

It was a big year for Iceland that year. Their soccer/ football team did really well in Euro Cup. Áfram Ísland!!

The crowd on the lawn at the city centre.
Look at the kid! His face was painted with the flag of Iceland.

Áfram Ísland! Probably everyone in Reykjavik (or maybe Iceland) came to this square to watch the game.

The team lost in the end, but they did really well. Even though the team lost, the crowd celebrated it after the game finished. I went back to the hostel to pack my stuff but before that I went to see the sunset again.

It was much clearer that day. This was kind of the midnight sun.

So, that gave a perfect ending to my trip.

Where did I go next? Hm…

Stay tuned. 🙂

25 June – 3 July 2016

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