Tom and Andy kayaking in Pyranha Mountain Bats on the Eystri Jokulsa

Eystri Jökulsá Day 1

Woke up and made breakfast in bed. Out of bed by the late hour of 10:15, and on the river by 11:15. This is the first day of our planned 2 day descent of the Eystri Jökulsá and the start of the river is rather flat, and there is a cold wind blowing off the Hofsjökull. . A chap stopped his car by as we were getting in a photographed us, something we are now getting used to.

The side effects of several weeks of kayaking in Iceland

The river wound around the plain above the canyon ahead of us and we had to negotiate simple but shallow rapids. Soon enough the pace picked up and before too long we got to the section we had inspected the day before. There was nothing too difficult, but a god 3km stretch of continous grade III-IV rapids. The valley really is remarkable, steep sided and very remote. Reminded me a bit of upper Langdale in the English Lake District, but with a large glacial fed river.

The wind made paddling today rather cold, and we lunched by a largish clean water tributary. Interesting mixing of glacial and non-glacial water at the confluence. Lunch consisted of luke warm soup, standard for river lunches. A quick game of Pooh Sticks, and we were on our way.

The afternoon provided enjoyable, although not exciting paddling and we reached our planned over-night spot at about 16:30. The weather was not too dismal, so we put up the tent and went for a quick wander about, looking at the small church and some derelict farm buildings. The church was locked, so could only be inspected from the outside. The derelict farm buildings looked very old; earth roofs that had long since collapsed in.

Lunch stop on the upper section of the Eystri-Jokulsa

The rain started so we retreated into the rather cramped tent and cooked dinner (more BeanFeast™). Some excellent views in the valley before we turned in for the night, and the unusually early time of 22:30.

The church we camped near on the Eystri Jokulsa