The primary highway in Iceland seems to be compliant with hiking paths in Craters of the Moon - aka 96 % pavement and 4 % mystery meat.
However, when it comes to the secondary highways, the compliance isn't quite as high. Actually, from our experience I'd say the ratio is reversed. 96 % gravel and/or holes. It makes for bumpy driving that's for sure.
Thing's didn't get any less shaky when we turned down what we thought was a secondary highway earlier today. About 1½ hours and 37 km later, we found out we'd been driving on a 4x4 road. Woops. It's a good thing our VW Polo is a trusty all-terrain vehicle.
It's of no help that our maps are pretty sub-par. There's even some disagreement about which of the roads are the secondary or tertiary highways.
Before we hit the roads today, we had a bit more fun in Akureyri. Although Jeppe has gone on record multiple times stating that he neither can nor will train before 10.00 in the morning, we'd agreed to meet and train with Villi at Fenrir at 9.00. Turns out that Jeppe should have stuck to his principles - after a few rolls he had to sit out with an overexerted shoulder.
I had a some really good rounds with both Jeppe and Villi, it feels great to be training a bit more frequently again and most of the soreness from my Mjölnir visit has passed at this point. As an extra perk, I got to find out how well an A2 gi fits my frame - we borrowed gis as ours hadn't the chance to dry after last evenings training.
Done we training, we set out for the grocery store and stocked up on provisions. Our plans for the day was to go see Myvatn and Dettifoss and then go about as far north as possible. When we reached Myvatn, the weather gods weren't really with us. We got treated to some heavy clouds and a more-or-less constant drizzle.
Instead of spending a lot of time outside the car, we went on a few short hikes inbetween driving. We went out to see Lake Myvatn, the lava formations at Dimmurborgir and Grotganger thermal cave. And then we shook out our raingear and headed towards Dittifoss.
On the way there, Caroline and I stopped and took a look at some random geothermal activity while Jeppe rested.
At Dittifoss we got even more soaked. Not because of rain, but because of mist from the falls. Now that is an impressive waterfall! I don't doubt it is the most powerful in Europe!
My mistake of the day was to wear flip flops for the small hike down to the viewpoint. They're not too good in slippery muddy moss. Jeppe had to catch me a few times as I was doing my best Bambi routine. I've been eschewing closed shoes the last few days as I broke off some of my big toe nail in Mjölnir, and it's quite uncomfortable to compress that part of the toe.
With the occational hand from Jeppe and Caroline, I managed to get through the most slippery spots. Safely away from the spray from Dettifoss, we headed towards Selfos, another waterfall less than 1 km from Dettifoss.
It was very picturesque, with a mist-cone in the middle of the falls. There was a large area next to the path which had tons of tiny streams leading down the side of the cliffs. We forded some of them to get a view from the edge of the cliff. Surprisingly, all of us walked away without wet feet.
The rest of the day was spent on the crazy rough roads, and on the drive to Raufarhöfn where we spent the night.