Sunday, 21 August 2011

Out and About!

Saturday I introduced some friends to the art of geocaching.  Iceland is a pretty cool place (no pun intended) to geocache as the scenery is breath taking and terrain and difficulty ratings are usually around at least 3 out of 5....which means you get a fairly good workout.  Before we headed off in search of caches we called into the local farmers event that was on in the outskirts of town...pretty much like the good old Aussie Agriculture Field Days.

  Plenty of farm machinery to look at if you're into that sort of thing!

Lots of animals,
fabulous looking cow,

check out those horns!

A few horses
and goats.
This little piggy could sleep all the way home!

Plenty of opportunities to get up close and personal.

There were even dogs on show!

 Plus plenty of crafts and demonstrations of traditional skills such as spinning, butter churning and cream making.

From here we went in pursuit of our goals for the rest of the day...find a few caches, mark coordinates of a few spots for new caches to place and end the day with a swim in the fabulous Hofsós pool.   Having said this we did not start out till 2 in the afternoon, firstly we took the coords for a couple of contender places for future caches to place.

One being near the ferryman.
Ferjumaðurinn Jón Ósmann who use to ferry people and goods across the river...

his view.

And another at Garðsvatn Lake, a particularly good bird watching spot.

Then we ventured to Kolkous, down a gravel road to our first cache find for the day, it was amazing that the Bjarki and Patricia's little car was still in one piece as that gravel road vibrated the hell out of it and us.   But we found the cache which was where a large health spa was planned to be built to cater for the Japanese tourist market...but alas after the 2008 crash it did not eventuate.  This place has also just recently been excavated by archaeology students.

Bjarki with his very first cache find and Annabelle looking on.

From here we travelled towards Hofsós firstly to checkout Patricia and Bjarki's potato patch.

Many Icelanders plant potatoes every summer and there are many communal plots like this around.

All the plots of potatoes were thriving.... 

all except one!
I wonder who that belongs to?

Hmm...Bjarki´s and Patricia's potato patch was a little sad to say the least...especially for a couple of food scientists....we all had a good laugh!

We then ventured on to find the Hofsós Cliff cache that has eluded me twice before.   To get to the cache we had to climb along a narrow ledge of Basalt rocks about 26m above the sea below....a little scary...I have scrambled along here twice before, never finding the cache which is hidden on the upper edge of a large rock....damn it...they're all large rocks...but this time we went a little higher and I just happened to sit on the right damn was a clever little hide.  So Dizzy Dames and Bern and Gill who were with me on the two previous searches...I finally have been able to log a find on this one.
View down from cache location!

Unfortunately we took just a bit too long and the pool was closing as we entered which was a shame as we were really ready to soak our bodies and soak up the fabulous view from this spot.

Definitely will come back to the Hofsós pool for a swim sometime soon!

We were told of another pool that was open until 8pm...not the same views but still a lovely warm soak.  I have forgotten the name of the location but it was pretty much halfway between Hofsós and Siglufjörður.  So after our swim we decided to go through to Siglufjörður for dinner.  Bjarki connected his blackberry to the Geocaching site and found a couple of caches for us to do while there.  One had just been published so we were hoping for a FTF (first to find).  We found the first one relatively easy and knocked that off before dinner.

Bjarki and Patricia wanted to go to this restaurant that they had been to before which apparently is excellent in fact that they were totally booked out when we arrived and we couldn't get a table.
 Beer garden out the front of the restaurant we could not get into.

These two chaps were also waiting for a table!

impressive scrap wood sculptures

Siglufjörður township
So we ended up at a little place that specialised in pizza and it was pretty good.  After our tummy's were happy we went off to find this just published cache.  Once we found the parking area we realised that this was not going to be a quick grab.  It was pretty much straight up a mountain and you had a choice to climb the 300 odd metres up from the carpark which looked pretty near impossible to us...or take the longer at least 2km's but not quite as steep route...following a path around and up the mountain.  It probably took us at least 45mins to walk up and about 30mins to come down.

This path went around and up the other side of the mountain and acts as a bit of a barrier for avalanches as the side had been excavated straight down into the rock.
 View of Siglufjörður as we ascend.

We got to the top around 10pm and it was getting dark, visibility poor, the coords were telling us to cross the river which Annabelle...the most nimble of us all decided to give it a go and with GPS jumped from rock to rock to the other side but to no avail she could not find the cache...I then double checked the coords and realised I had punched in the wrong seconds and without to much a do Annabelle found it on this side of the river and Bjarki and Patricia claimed with Annabelle's help their very first FTF on their very first day of geocaching...Bjarki is definitely hooked!

 This is a very gloomy/shadowy pic (night time remember) of the steel railings up on the mountain which help to stop snow avalanches sliding down onto the township below.

 It was very dark as we made our way back down the mountain to the car.  
View of Siglufjörður as we descend!

It was a good hours drive back to Sauðárkrókur and I got in at midnight and still needed to take Perla for a walk as she had been cooped up inside for most of the day.  I certainly have had my workout for the day month.
 Thanks to Bjarki, Patricia and Annabelle for a great afternoon/night out. 


  1. Love your posts Vicky - the name of the place were you went swimming - is Sólgarðar (Sun-yards);°).... it´s situated half way between Hofsós and Siglufjordur - in a place we call Fljótin (Big rivers)...