Our trusty Landrover, crossing a tributary of the Markarfljót

Kayaking on the Markarfljót

After a day off walking to recover from the disappointment of not paddling on the Markarfljót canyon, we find a section we can paddle.  We make another cracking start and as Tom and I pack up, Andy checks out the Landrover….

There are lots of loose bolts which are all tightened up, and more alarmingly, he finds a cracked spring (Front LHS). I hope it is not a problem and we re-assure ourselves by saying that it was probably like that when we got it. We drove up the river from our campsite and found a suitable spot to get in. There is a 4m drop just above the putin, and we found out that the plunge pool is rather shallow. In addition to water coming over the drop, there were also visible rather a lot of rocks. This river really is heavily sedimented.

I ran the shuttle, 30 minutes to drive down, 90 minutes to walk back up. Not a car came past. A bit of food, and we were on the river. This was a bit of light relief after some of the paddling we have been doing, and there is nothing too challenging at all, but the river is pretty continuous. If Iceland ever wanted to host a Wild Water Race, then perhaps this is the course, although the access is somewhat difficult. Gave my boat something of a big clout on an invisible rock, so perhaps would be a bit hard on carbon/kevlar racing boats. There was plenty to look at too, some little canyons with strange boils. Hundreds of geese with chicks. And an awful lot of pink flowers. Got back to the Landrover at 16:00, just in time for lunch.

Andy chose to drive back down to the main road, so I took on the mantle of walking through the fords, taking the camera with me in a dry bag. The water was pretty deep, just shy of my now stinking green Buffalo boxer shorts. (3 weeks on without a rinse so far). All was going well on the fords until Andy took it upon himself to go off the desired route and ended up getting stuck in some very soft sand. Fortunately he was able to reverse out, even though the Landrover was axle-deep in sloppy mud.

We had a long and dull drive around the south of Mýrdalsjökull and we are now camping up a track we used on our way west.