Rain, wind, sulphuric steam, bitter cold and a layer of snow too deep to drive through.
From Egilstadir we drove north to Husey, which, when you include ourselves, the two Germans in the room below ours, and the population of the community, calls itself home to about ten people. The road to Husey is long and bumpy, and winds through some of the most homely landscape we have seen in Iceland: green fields, and a turf roofed house, hemmed in by two long mountain ridges; the road follows a river which allegedly houses seals. The hostel is blue, guarded by dogs (friendly), and is an old farmhouse, full of bright paint, many rooms, a sitting room with comfy chairs and a kitchen. There are at least two shower rooms. The house was cold when we visited, but radiators helped. It is also full of seal skins, crabs (ornamental), and other similar things. Checking in and out could have been streamlined with the addition of a reception desk / working doorbell. We spent the evening playing chess and exchanging tips with the two Germans (Nikolai and Sarah) who had done the circle and missed their boat. They gave us stuff for the tyres to kill snow, and advised us that the road to Dettifoss was getting hairy. Next day we rose early, looked for seals (none there) and drove on.
We decided to see Modradalur, Icelands highest farm, on the way to our next point, Thorshofn (Þorshofn), which is the gateway to a peninsular that looks like a duck. The road to Modradalur was terrible, and on occasion looked impassible, but careful driving got us through. The farm was closed for the season, and we went without the hearty soup we had craved. Onwards to Thorshofn. We ate in a petrol station - I had lamb schnitzel - and enjoyed pretty scenery. Arrived in town and joyously found a pharmacy - which was closed - and a restaurant, which was open, though food was excessively creamy. We have found Iceland to be generally closed, and have consequently planned a return south to where it might be open soon. Had a bath in a hotpot, and watched the northern lights, which again danced slowly and subtely across the sky. Hostel, clean, new, full of welcoming bones and does a great farmhouse-like breakfast.
Morning saw us check out some abandoned farmhouses before hitting town, photographing ham, and leaving. Went to drive the shortest route to Myvatn, but rapidly found our road blocked by snow, which we both tried to drive through, and failed. Luckily neither got stuck nor slid off road. Went the long way round, and saw Icland's most northerly point (2.5km below arctic), and some scary scarecrows. Road to Dettifoss also blocked, so went via Husavik - home to the famous phallalogical museum, closed, but with an impressive facade. Continued to Myvatn where we took a "nature bath" hot, cold, outdoors, similar to Blue Lagoon but less finished and otherworldly, and more extreme in temperature.
Following day we found Dettifoss still inaccessible, so popped up the road to Hverir - ugly, alien, stinking and fascinating volcanic field, and Krafla - much the same, but bigger. I nearly fell in a hidden crevice. We left soon after. The weather was bloody awful and we sulked greatly, this would have better suited a summer day I think. But we went on to Dimmuborgir, the "dark castles" home to trolls and their children, and namesake of a Norwegian metal band. It was pretty amazing, canyons and formation made of cooled lava, and we spent over an hour their. Went home to get ready to eat, but found all restaurants closed (bloody annoying), so, we're heading back towards Reykjavik a little swifter than planned - its getting old that we have to eat nothing but frazzles and chocolate every day, and that hot dogs are a luxury. We will therefore not get to Europes westernmost point, nor to a glacier beloved of Jules Verne. In exchange, we plan to visit many other attractions, including a rock, a hole, and some ghosts. So lets see if we make it.