Ike says “halló frá Íslandi!”
This trip is all about the power of water, and so the first stop was at the red diamond – Hveradalir (the valley of hot springs) in the Kerlingarfjöll mountains. The blue river, red rhyolite mountains and colours caused by the geothermal activity give the place a uniquely colourful appearance:
Next was Hveravellir (Hot Spring Plains) which is full of fumaroles and hot springs – nothing as explosive as Strokkur at Geysir but lots of little, constant eruptions:
A fumarole is an opening in the ground’s surface either on, or near to, an active volcano. Hot sulphurous gases emerge through this opening, and where there is water this is super-heated by the pressure and emitted as steam.
There is a sculpture here commemorating some famous outlaws who lived at the springs in the 18th century:
On the way out of the Highlands Ike saw the Blöndustöð Hydroelectric Power Station which dams the Blanda river creating a 57 square km reservoir. Over 99% of Iceland’s electrical power is from renewable sources, approximately 73% geothermal and 27% hydroelectric: