Rob attempting to get clean in a hot spring on the Vestri Jokulsa

Hot bath in the Vestri-Jökulsá

After a late night, we slept in a bit and when we did get up, we were not allowed to get our own breakfast, but were invited back into the farm. These guys are great, fresh bread for breakfast – thanks very much!. We eventually extracted ourselves and headed for the Eystri Jökulsá.

We stopped for lunch by some hot springs on the Vestri-Jökulsá and after a quick inspection we concluded that we should have a go at making a bath. At the stop we found, right on the banks of the Vestri-Jökulsá, there is a clear water hot spring that is producing several litres per second at about 70ºC that runs straight into the river which is at 5ºC. Tom tried to make a shallow basin in a sand bank to mix hot and cold water, but was not really able to get it deep enough. A young lad from a nearby farm comes and investigated what we were up to, but did not say a word, not did he want any Rivita and jam. We eventually create a bit of a dam in the river and whip off our kit for a quick wash. It is not entirely satisfactory as the water is freezing on one side and boiling on the other, but it is a bit novel to have a hot wash by the side of a glacial river.

After lunch we inspect the canyon on the Eystri Jökulsá that I kayaked in 1989. In 1989 we only ran a short section of the canyon, and climbed out after some of the better rapids. This year we plan a two day trip to paddle from close to the Hofsjökull down to the plain after the end of the main canyon. Set up camp in the Eystri Jökulsá and will check out the upper part of the river tomorrow before we set off.