The Grand Slide just above our ingress point on the Skafta

Setup to Kayak the Skaftá

Awoke in reasonable time and started to prepare to kayak the upper Skaftá. We are planning one night on the river and this is the remotest section of river we have done yet. The shuttle is 23 miles, and the roads are very quiet.

As we are packing up a smarmy Icelandic chap arrives in a modern 4WD jeep (compared to our 20yr old Landrover Series IIA) and wearing a purple shell suit (nice). He stops for a chat and cannot understand why we have stopped where we have, and proceeds to drive up the slope we have failed to get up without a problem.

Eventually, we are ready to go. Tom and I are going to drag the 3 boats and all the kit 3km to the river, whilst Andy is going to drive the Landrover to the getout and somehow get back to the top. We help him up out of the small valley we have been in for 2 days and see him off across the gravel. Tom and I start the epic boat haul. We try to rig up some harnesses so we can pull all 3 boats together, but the friction is so high we can only make it work on the flat and down hill. We end up carrying the boats up hill, and dragging elsewhere. We leave a trail of small bits of plastic boat as we go. We meet the Icelandic chap on the way back, and he takes a load of photos of us. Apparently, he works for Iceland Review, some sort of magazine, but is not too keen to do an article on us. 2 hours later, we are at the river, and somewhat exhausted.

The rain starts, so we put up the tent and sit it out. I am reading “The Aquitaine Progression” by Robert Ludlum and manage to make some progress. 19:00 and Andy still has not returned. Only getting slightly concerned so far, and as it has brightened up, Tom and I go and take a look at the river. The top fall is a definite no-no. The hole at the bottom is pulsing like mad. The next few rapids look challenging, but not too scary, and we think we will run them in the morning. As we inspect the rapids, we see Andy appearing over the horizon. He has tales of few cars and no lifts. The 23 miles took 6½hours. Andy’s magic thumb obviously was not working today. Lovely BeanFeast for tea, before reading ourselves for bed.