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--- xus (1/15/2013)
Day 5

We left Egilsstaðir after 9:00 am, and headed towards Lake Mývatn where our hotel for the next two nights was located. Along the way, we came up to a sign that said Dettifoss is 30 km away on route 864. Route 864 is a secondary road, not F road, which means our rental car is allowed to drive on it, so we decided to check it out. What a mistake! The road was not only unpaved, but was washboarded horribly. The shaking was so bad that we couldn't see straight and were getting a headache. I couldn't believe that a road leading to a major tourist attraction can be this bad. After much suffering, we reached Dettifoss parking lot. There were a dozen or so cars/RVs, even a tour bus there. One of the cars suffered a flat and was changing tires when we arrived.

1. Dettifoss is said to be the largest waterfall in Europe in terms of volume discharge. From the parking lot, you still have to hike ~1/4 mile to the fall. Since it was 40 F with pouring rain and 50 mph wind, by the time we reached the fall, my jeans were drenched and I was chilled to the bone. And this was all I saw. I can't tell you how disappointed I was. The fall, though powerful, is nothing comparing to the Niagara Falls!

From Dettifoss keep going north on route 864 lies the Jökulsárgljúfur National Park. On a good day with decent road condition, we might consider going, but not today.

2. Back on the Ring Road. This is Haverarond, just east of Lake Mývatn.

Note: Askja, the area used for Apollo 11 crew in the late 1960s to train for their impending moonwalks, is ~100 km south of here on F88. F road is for 4x4 vehicles only.

3. Haverarond.

4. Haverarond.

5. Haverarond.

6. Haverarond.

7. Haverarond.

North of Haverarond, on a side road to Krafla, we passed a geothermal power station. BTW, all around Iceland, hot water smells of rotten eggs (cold water is fine and is drinkable). This is because it's heated by geothermal energy. Most of the time it's tolerable, but not at our Lake Mývatn hotel. The sulfur smell was so strong in the hot water that I had to brace myself to take a shower every time.

8. Geothermal power station.

9. Víti crater, Lake Mývatn area. I wish we had a better picture of it. But it was 40 F with pouring rain and 50 mph wind again, so we only took one picture and ran back to the car.

10. Lake Mývatn is in sight. The main road is the Ring Road (in the front then bend to the right). The side road leads to the left is to Mývatn Nature Baths, a Blue Lagoon like geothermal spa. Many people on Tripadvisor claim that it's better than the Blue Lagoon, quieter, cheaper (2,000 ISK/person) and much more natural setting.

11. Lake Mývatn.

12. Hverfjall crater next to Lake Mývatn.

13. A short hiking trail by Lake Mývatn.

14. Lake Mývatn.

(To be continued)

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