Tom paddling his Pyranha Mountain Bat, on the Jökulsá á Fjöllum in the Jökulsárgljúfur National Park

Kayaking the Jökulsá á Fjöllum

Really hot and sunny day here in Iceland. Plan to set up and run the lower canyon of the Jökulsá á Fjöllum as it runs through the Jökulsárgljúfur National Park.

Pack up the tent, and Andy runs the shuttle. Tom and I lie about in the sun waiting for him and reading our books. Andy has got a lift back along Route 864, although not along the small track to the get-in and we don’t have to wait too long for him. We scramble and bash our way down to the river in the sweltering heat. It was 28ºC in the Landrover cab when Andy left, and getting into our wetsuit trousers, Buffalo Mountain Shirts and dry cags is not that pleasant.

Tom and Andy in their Pyranha Mountain Bats, on the Jökulsá á Fjöllum in the Jökulsárgljúfur National Park

The river is great fun, and even Andy is enjoying the big water today. The first section is super fast, with giant waves, but no real hazards. Then there is a boily section, where keeping away from the canyon walls is of utmost importance. We stop in  the Jökulsárgljúfur National Park to take photos of us kayaking with the famous basalt column columns in the background.

There is a good surfing wave in the lower section of the river, although we are unable to recirculate onto it. Tom capsizes in exactly the same spot that Ian capsized in in 1989, and he executes a perfect roll.

Tom and Andy on a volcano rim at sunset, nr the Jökulsá á Fjöllum

We get to the bottom in  a good mood after such a great paddle, and sit around in the sun for a while before heading back up Route 864 and 43km of bumps. Now camped in a volcano crater just to the south of Route 1. There is a beautiful sunset and I combine the 300mm zoom lens with the 2x converter to get a pic of Tom and Andy standing on the crater wall with the sun behind them. We found a sheep that looks like it must have fallen off the crags, it is not quite dead, and has a horribly broken back. Tom tries to egg me on to finishing it off with the shovel and making mutton chops, but in the end, we leave it to its own fate.