Rob on the Pjorsa

Kayaking on the Þjórsá

Monday morning and we are up relatively early. We aim to paddle on the Þjórsá, Iceland’s longest river, which at our guess is flowing at over 800 cumecs.

We set off east and go via Selfoss where we calculate the Landrover is doing a remarkable 18 miles/gallon. Good job the fuel is rather cheap here, due to the country’s fuel tax policy.

We just paddle a short section of the Þjórsá at the Route 1 crossing. The river is huge, and the waves are bigger than any we have seen so far, although there are no serious hazards. There is a very nasty fall at the bottom of the section river left, but the shoot river right is runnable.

Moving the tent without spending too much effort

Andy chooses not to paddle and is not feeling great, so Tom and I set off along the flat lead in the to the rapids. Tom and I both got the moves required to miss the nasty holes and enjoyed the huge waves. As we approached the fall at the bottom, we could see the column of mist rising. Tom ran the final rapid first, and I followed. Made quite a hash of it, but still managed to avoid the horrors.

It is still really hot, and we sat about drinking tea and reading. I am fighting my way through the Thornbirds. After some recuperation, we set off and pitch our tent at the foot of Hekla, on of Icelands more active volcanoes.  Tom cooked us a strange brew to eat,  and after dinner we are told by a passer by that we cannot camp where we have pitched the tent. The tent we have is a geodesic dome, so we just unpeg it and load onto the Landrover. We find a suitable spot a mile up the road, and re-pitch. Andy and Tom go off and have a wash in the Ytri Ranga and I will follow once this is written. I am writing this sitting in the Landrover squashing midgies against the window cill.

Having a late evening wash in the Ytri Ranga