Part Three: Lake Myvatn and the sulphur fields
The area of Myvatn and the river Laxa which flows northwards from it is a major attraction for bird-watchers, as is Iceland generally, and we encountered parties of Americans in Iceland for just that reason. It seems that Iceland and the Falkland Islands are particularly attractive for them although Iceland is the easier of the two to reach.
Not far from Myvatn is a major area of volcanic activity. We visited the site after dinner, arriving at 10 p.m. and found we were the only people there.
Walking around the bubbling mud pools, craters and steam vents with a strong smell of sulphur all around, it was easy to imagine we were on the moon surface or another planet entirely and it was nearly midnight before we left.
There were a number of safety instructions and some dangerous parts were roped off but this apart it was left to you to enjoy these natural wonders entirely in your own way.
Not far away is the Krafla geothermal power plant which was also deserted and by this time it was after midnight and the light was approaching its lowest point,.
Already we had come to appreciate the changing cloud formations. Why they should be so striking in this area I cannot imagine but we were frequently drawing attention to unusually beautiful skies
Our stay at Myvatn was for two nights so we had a full day to explore. We chose a circular route to the northern coast intending to take in a series of falls along the Dettifoss river valley and afterwards the port of Husavik. Unfortunately this turned out to be by far the worst day's weather of our stay with torrential rain much of the time. The roads became more and more treacherous and it was an endurance test rather than a day out. We completed the route but missed out the falls entirely.
As we departed Myvatn the next morning the millions of midges were still in evidence - as was the mosquito netting fixed to the headgear of those walking or cycling in the vicinity of the lake to protect the exposed parts of their heads and necks.