I had seen so many pictures of the highlands, which are the central, mountainous part of Iceland off of the Ring Road. It looked beautiful and I knew I had to see it!
The drive to Thorsmork is not an easy task. The road is an F road, which means you are only allowed on it if you have a 4×4 car. We did, but it was a Dacia Duster, which is a smaller sized SUV. This kind of car is not made for some of the river crossings you will encounter on this drive. Our plan was to just get as far as we felt comfortable and see as much as we could before turning back.
The drive follows alongside a very wide river. There are several small fingers that break off from the river and cross the road. The beginning stretch of the road has no river crossings and isn’t difficult at all. Then came the first crossing which I was nervous about. I pulled over to get out and examine how deep it was. As I was getting out, another Dacia Duster passed me and crossed the river easily! I knew that if I followed in his path, I could also made it, so we forged on.
We made it across three river crossings. The fourth looked a lot deeper. I know the other Duster had made it, but it made me uncomfortable, so we turned around. On the way in we had passed a sign for a hiking trail called Nauthúsagil that I thought would be fun to stop at on the way back.
We stopped at the Nauthúsagil trail and started exploring. There was a sign with historical information but nothing about where the trail actually went. I looked up and saw what looked like a trail to a waterfall off in the distance. I imagined that the trail went up to the top. The trail splits in the beginning: one way goes alongside a creek down to the very bottom of the waterfall. The other side goes to the top.
We started out on the creek trail for a few minutes until it was clear that we’d have to be walking through the water and we weren’t prepared with the right shoes. We turned around and headed up the high trail. I noticed on the way up that there was a rope to assist climbers coming up from the lower creek trail.
The trail went pretty much straight up, but I managed to make it all the way to the top of the falls! It continued on, but I couldn’t tell where to. My mom was tired, so we turned back. It was fun to explore a trail that we had no idea where it led!
Where the road to Thorsmork meets the Ring Road is Seljalandsfoss. This is a huge waterfall that you can walk all the way behind. I expected to get soaked by walking behind it, but we really only got misted. I was still thankful for my rain jacket and lens cloth for my camera though! We arrived here just before sunset. It was the perfect time because most of the tour buses had left and the sky was beautiful.