Rishi Sankar: Ah Trini Travelogue

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So day three of the Most Extreme Elimination Challenge continues…..

Posted by Rishiray on September 18, 2008


Two days ago, our intrepid travellers braved the dangers and stupidity of crossing a slightly dried out river bed downstream from a glacier. I of course, fell into a nice little sinkhole but bravely jumped out and ensured no catastrophe, while Lev decided that Ice Caverns were his things, thinking he was a mountain barashka, hopping from boulder to boulder, realized that you couldn’t hop, if a boulder disappeared into the river. We passed test 1 of Iceland, which would be Glacier diving and falling!

Yesterday, we attempted the Super 4X4 relay, where an adventurer decided to go hard core off road driving, but in an attempt for Bonus points for the Most Extreme Elimination Challenge, we decided that off roading was too tame for us, we would create our OWN road through foot high rocks, crevasses and soft mud with a Santa Fe Hyundai (Korean made) 4×4. This in the end left us with mild heart burn, took 4.5 yrs off our lives, when we realized that in doing this, we could destroy the axles and be stranded 50km at the end of nowhere with only some sheep and horses to keep us company. Oh yeah and how I could forget the gales… oh the lovely gales!!! In the end, we passed test 2 of Iceland, which would be exhibiting superior driving skills and not destroying the undercarriage of a vehicle.

Well today, since everything comes in 3’s, it was time for the Toyota Rock/Wind Challenge, where our intrepid explorers will attempt to sightsee across Myvatn and environs with Hydrogen Sulphide gas in their faces from mud volcanoes, climb volcanoes with 85 km/h winds whipping pebbles and stones at their skin and faces, walk across lava plains and sulphuric pits with -5C wind chills caused by the 85-100 km/h winds.

So today’s path will lead our explorers through the following terrain and areas of Iceland from Myvatn to Blondous. Take a look from the Center of the Map to see where  Myvatn is… and then we are heading to the end of the Map.

The Myvatn area looks like the following

Things to see and do in Myvatn would be on our list include:

  • Höfði, where one-of-a-kind lava clusters rise out of the lake
  • Dimmuborgir, where the interaction between the magnificent lava formations plays with the imagination. Dimmuborgir sports a lava formation that can be walked into and looks like a church dome
  • Grjótagjá chasm is yet another wonder; it has an underground flow of hot water and can be explored on foot.
  • Hverir are natural clay springs with boiling clay. They are quite a remarkable sight.
  • The volcanic area Leirhnjúkur, which last erupted in 1984, is a breathtaking area where you can explore the lava fields and see how new life emerges in the fresh lava. This route has been called the “diamond route”. Trips to Herðubreiðarlindir and Askja with a stop in the great Drekagil canyon are also available. The astronauts involved in the lunar landings were trained in Drekagil before their historic voyages to the moon. These trips are available either in organised group trips in super jeeps or in a sightseeing flight (only available during the summer time). 
  • Whale watching is offered from Húsavík and has become extremely popular. Since the whale watching started, 12 whale species have been spotted in Skjálfandaflói bay. There are various reasons for the good whale watching conditions in the bay, one of which is that a deep current runs through the bay, which is 755 feet deep at the most, relatively close to shore.
  • Dettifoss, Europe’s most powerful waterfall, and Jökulsárgljúfur national park within which you will find Ásbyrgi and Hljóðaklettar
  • Herðubreið mountain, which is considered the queen of all Icelandic mountains and Askja mountain, which has Askja lake and Víti crater.

So this was the path today, yesterday we went to Dettifoss, but the high winds made viewing it quite tough, Lev and I walked down the path and within two minutes our pants were soaked from the high winds carrying the mist from the waterfalls. Dettifoss is quite the waterfall, but having seen so may waterfalls here in Iceland, it kinda just looked like another of all the others. It is quite the huge waterfall though.. it is the most powerful in terms of Volume in Europe. The roar is quite loud!!! Due to its size and the canyon it comes down from, you can walk right down to the bottom like most of the other waterfalls.

So really our day started with two things, the Hverfjall Volcano Crater

If you look closely in this picture at the center of the road, you can see a white dot .. that is our trusty 4X4… but this was the first part of the challenge, since the winds and pebbles taken by the wind served to hinder us… not just hinder us, but smack us around ..literally… Lev has a video of his hat and everything being taken off by the winds.

and back to the mud/clay volcanoes at Hverir…. but anyway .. time to head out back on the road <to be continued>

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