Hot Dogs at Hólmatungar

An Icelandic Saga Part Two: Chapter Four

Day 7. 12 August 2002

Monday. Waiting for the neow mythical machine to come and do it’s work on the west bank of Dettifoss, we make our way to the East sid where we take in an alternative view of the falls and split into smaller groups, repairing, and maintaining steps put in twon years ago by previous volunteers, redirecting the main path to the best viewing area along a safer route (four years ago an American lady died falling from here into the canyon and to this day it is not know whether or not it was suicide, as it is believed to have been), and improving the the way-marking of the path to Selfoss.


Lunch is taken with a view over Selfoss, and we finisht the afternoon with the building of a couple of water breaks in record time.

Supper this night is a rather nice hot dog and burger meal with potatoes and vegetables to which we invite the remaining two rangers. From them, Jenny, Clare, Alex, Summer and myself learn some Icelandic: Mur godt is Very Good. Spariđ is Save and Vasiđ is water – also how to say butter, rolling the r with the same technique as flutter tongue on the flute.

Day 8. 13 August 2002

Tuesday. A week ago today we all met up at Heathrow, clean and fresh for the adventure ahead. Now we are like old friends, and we laugh and joke with each other like such.


Today we are working back on the west bank, but in lusher, greener, more furtile surroundings of Hólmatungar and the work involves removing the braiding of many paths to create just one good path, cutting through carefully replanted vegetation.


We lunch on hot dogs cooked by the beautiful Réttarfoss before the weather for the first time (during the day) on the this holiday, takes a decided turn for the worse. Low cloud decends and rain seeps through our layer. We finish early, tired by the rain and I enjoy a nice warm shower for the eighth day in a row – an incredible achievement condsidering that it is an half hour drive to the showers and on cooking days it is is normal to go.

Upon our return there is a short wait before a supper of vegetable currey is served, (during which I am dripped on in the tent) and we then enjoy a game of cards before bed. The game is Cheat and it seems that in this game, all the camaraderie that we have forged is lost – Larry, it definitely getting into the swing of the game – at one stage declaring his last card when he still had half a pack between his knees.

It seems also that ‘Larry’ has become shorthand for ‘we need a rock bar now to shift this one’!!

Chapter Five: Whale watching, walking in the canyon, and what to do if you get lost in an Icelandic forest…