29th June 2023 (day 46): Road trip begins – the golden circle!

After a very short night sleep, we are finally on our way! We picked up our Dacia 4x4 with a pop up tent on the roof, this is going to be our home for the next 6 nights.

Leaving the city behind, we head east. We intend to complete the full circle of the Ring Road anti clockwise, but remain flexible if more time needs to be spent in some places.
The road is beautiful, the green hills are softer and the open space wider than in the faroes. The lupins are in full bloom and turn the hills into fields of light purple.

First stop is Thingvellir NP, and after admiring our first (of many to come) waterfall, we walk between the 2 tectonic plates: America on one side, Europe on the other. We return to the car walking briskly to escape the busload of tourists.

The 2nd stop on the golden circle takes us the Geyser National Park where pools of boiling water meet the oxydised magma and thriving lupins providing a colourful palette of orange and purple. Amidst all this, the  geyser burst into a powerful jet every 10mins or so. An incredible sight, albeit somewhat spoilt by the presence of hundreds of visitors.

Closing the triangle, we reach Gullfoss waterfalls at the end of the afternoon. We foolishly hoped that most tourists would be gone but quite the opposite. This marvel of nature is however quite spectacular, a kind of mini Niagara. The power of the water is exhilirating and despite getting wet and cold, it is positively energizing!

A not so quick detour takes us on a dirt road to Haifoss waterfall, one of the tallest in Iceland (122m). With the sun beginning its journey down, we walk to bottom of the cascade taking in all the beauty around.

Unfortunately wild camping is prohibited in Iceland and given the number of visitors with campers, it’s probably a good thing. Arriving late at the campground, I quickly reheat the meal I had prepared in advance. After today, we decide to try to avoid the mass tourism as much as possible and have super early starts and make the most of the evening light to visit the most popular attractions. Long days ahead! 


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