Rob, back again on the surfing wave, Jökulsá í Fljótsdal, Iceland

Inspection of the upper Jökulsá í Fljótsdal

Bit of a slow start this morning, and I awoke from a strange dream about meeting Madonna (the pop star, not the Biblical Mary) and being taken to dinner after visiting a film set. Weather is pretty poor today, and we plan to walk further up the Jökulsá í Fljótsdal too see if there are any worthwhile rapids above the road.

We drive as far as we can, and set off on foot, having left the tent erected. It is very wet, and we just soaked just walking up through the first field to the fell. There is a bit of a path though, and we can see the river fairly well and don’t have to fight too much with the local vegetation. There are some good looking rapids, but there are also many nasty looking waterfalls. It really is not worth the effort to carry all our kit up here and then spend most of our time portaging the horrible foss.

Stop for lunch by a foss, then carry on. We come to a canyon, but cannot get close to the edge to take a look at the river, and eventually we abort, and walk back along the ridge way above the river. Get some nice views of Snæfell. One the way we have a strange argument about the nature of intelligence. Tom is of the opinion that we are all born with the same intelligence, and it is only environmental factors that effect the intelligence of adults. I disagree. Since we have no reference material to refer too we are at an impasse, and conversation goes elsewhere.

Gets wetter and wetter as we walk back to the tent (sorry, no photos today). Tom and I decide to paddle the same stretch of the Jökulsá í Fljótsdal again. I capsize on the very first wave; not a good sign. I am not paddling too well today, but we get down the section without any problems.

[Note from 2011] Since we kayaked the Jökulsá í Fljótsdal in 1989 and 1991, the river has become victim to the Kárahnjúkar Hydropower Plant and it is not clear it is still possible to kayak the section we describe. It does look like the tail-race canal does enter the river below the section we describe, so perhaps it is still possible. Any recent feedback appreciated.