All the time forecast promises cold but I’m again hot in the tent.
This might be due to the fact that my sleeping bag has comfort temperature -1 C.
This time I eat outside. Clouds are half-way down the mountains and float above the landscape like a white blanket. The tent is wet and it stays that way. It is no big deal because all other things are packed waterproof anyway.
The trail goes there where the river comes from. It collects all streams into it. The river comes from higher ground so I disappear in fog. In fog appear lakes, motionless like ghosts. No sound except for water gurgling somewhere and a lone bird chirping. Fascinating.
After a while the trail connects with a jeep track that leads to small gravel road. From there to the left is six kilometers to the campsite. A car drives by and the guy inside proposes that I go drive with him. He goes somewhere to take there oil and comes later back the same way. It is boring to drive alone. I refuse to go into the car. Weird guy. If I wanted to drive a car here I would have brought my own. Besides, my mother does not allow me to go with strangers.
Visibility has been reduced to a couple of hundred meters. I need to climb Hvítserkur Mountain which probably is not the smartest thing to do in this weather. The mountain is nowhere to be seen anyway. GPS tells me what direction it might be located. I think a moment and leave my backpack leaning on a pile of stones. I take with me camera, rain jacket, pen, notebook, GPS with spare batteries and a snack. The key ring of course too.
Ground heads up. Up is big white. A trail was supposed to start from the parking lot but there was no parking lot. So it’s improvising in fog. A few times I reach a place with too steep angle. Then I find the trail. Then sun comes out. The cloud has a huge hole on one side of the mountain.
The top also slowly comes into view and consists mainly of sharp edges. The whole mountain is a pile of loose rocks and it is not clear why such a thing stays together in the first place. After some scramble and walking on all fours I’m up. The location of the treasure is marked in the GPS and it is easily found. Not many places here for hiding a plastic box. Inside are some souvenirs from Czech treasure hunters and two stones. I log and leave the key ring. This was what I was most afraid of that after logging I absentmindedly walk back down together with the key ring. The wisest thing to do would be heading strait back but I cannot resist the temptation to eat the snack right there.
Cloud wraps the mountain in again. Back down it goes quite fast after some sledging. Half way are four ptarmigans. Three of them fly away, one walks. Come on, bird, why don’t you fly?
GPS tells me where my bag is. Luckily no-one has seen it to steal it. The mountain, for example is probably stolen because it has totally disappeared. Weird thing is that my jacket is dry but hair is wet. Maybe sweat from fear.
Visibility reduces to zero. Only from time to time a waterfall or a meadow full of hare's-tail cottongrass comes into view.
The man with the car comes back. Wonders that I’m already here. I admit that I actually climbed the mountain. He asks what did I see and hearing about the sun tells his mountain climbing story. A normal guy, not dangerous. Inquires where I’m from and why I speak Icelandic.
It does not take much more gravel until the house becomes visible. The family from the previous place talked about something like the house being closed. The man even showed me where to put coins to turn on shower. With coins it is easy, I have no cash whatsoever with me. The warden’s house is closed indeed. Though the window one can see that chairs have been lifted up. Season is ending. Open are toilet, water, shower and drying room where something even blows out hot air. Against all expectations also the big house is open where there are kitchen and sleeping places. Well. The campsite is nice but because of low cloud it is very damp outside. I eat some snacks and move into the house after a moment of thinking. Hang the tent in the drying room. We’ll see what happens.
Maps and books in the room. I look through the maps. To save my own book it is better to read something local. Like Eco’s The Name of the Rose, translated into Icelandic. Nafn rósarinnar. Outside parts of landscape appear from the fog just to disappear again. The further the evening progresses the less I want to go and sleep outside. The problem is that sleeping inside costs as much as a decent hostel. I leave it for the morning to decide for how big amount I write the check.