September 2, 2016
Day 3 was more of a travel day than anything else. The reason I chose Höfn for the place we were staying was due to it's proximity to Vestrahorn.
We left Höfn in the morning and made our way out towards Vestrahorn. The weather wasn't very cooperative; it wasn't raining at the time, but the skies were rather bland and gray. Regardless, I definitely needed to stop, but the chances of getting any great photos wasn't very likely.
Upon arriving, we ran into the little cafe to get our passes to access the beach and low and behold, the photographer I had ran into the past two days was sitting inside. Since this was now the third day in a row we had crossed paths, we finally got acquainted. His name is Cory Marshall and he's a photographer based out of the San Francisco area. He shared some of his work with me, which was simply stunning, and we talked photography for awhile. He's a very talented photographer who shoots both film and digital, and his determination to get a shot is remarkable; case in point, he stayed and camped at Vestrahorn for 3 days until he got what he wanted and moved on - I stayed for something like 3 hours. Please do check out his work - http://corymarshallphotography.com/
Cory, Antonia and I all headed out onto the beach to admire and get photos of the Vestrahorn. I found a nice spot on a dune to grab a few photos before making my way down onto the beach. The tide was low, so I was able to walk around quite a bit of the beach area. I won't lie, the beach felt a little erie - the sands are dark, the water is dark, the setting is just very dark. That aside, it was impressive!
We stayed out for about an hour and a half before making our way back to the cafe. While we were walking along the road, we noticed some horses walking through some water - it was very picturesque and I just had to grab some photos.
We said goodbye to Cory and continued on our drive to the northern part of Iceland. I had a few stops in mind along the drive, but had no idea of what the remainder of the southern coast looked like. The scenes were stunning; a clash of colors collided with the coast once we made our way around.
As we headed into one of the fjords, we stopped at a lesser seen waterfall known as Sveinstekksfoss. We arrived a little late in the day for really good light over the falls, but that wasn't a reason to not take some photos.
After our quick stop, we headed over a beautiful mountain pass. Part of it reminded me of Loveland Pass in Colorado - the way it twisted up and over the mountain; other than it was very "Iceland" - there was only ground vegetation and a fantastic river that fell over several areas creating a series of waterfalls along the drive. The road was anything but smooth, but the views made you almost forget about all of the dumps and dips.
Our drive took us through a few more fjords, a valley that followed a river, rich in green color, and eventually up and over into an old lava flow region of Iceland. One of the most beautiful mountains I have ever seen lay in this part of the country - it's known as Herðubreið. Now, Herðubreið is a very unique geological feature, and, thanks to Wikipedia, I now know what it is!
Herðubreið is what is known as a tuya. A tuya is a type of distinctive, flat-topped, steep-sided volcano formed when lava erupts through a thick glacier or ice sheet. They are somewhat rare worldwide, being confined to regions which were covered by glaciers and had active volcanism during the same period. (source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tuya)
We arrived in the town of Mývatn. We got setup for the night, went and got dinner and as we were heading back, the northern lights were active (again). Naturally, this meant I needed to get photos. We watched as they danced in the sky, making beautiful, and also rather erie, shapes all night long. I'm pretty sure I stayed up until 4am that evening watching the northern lights.
Day 4 was yet another wonderful day in Iceland!