Tag Archives: Hengifoss

Baaaaaaad Icelandic Sheep Need No Sherpas

The newest shoot of grass growing on a bit of volcanic wasteland for the first time ever in the history of the world, that’s the one that tastes best to a sheep, and they will risk life and hoof to get it.

Marauders in Stekkalækur

They’re Icelandic, hence very independent. No sherpas needed.


The Most Beautiful Thing About Hengifoss

Well, first off, Hengifoss is cool because to get there you have to walk at the top of this 80 metre high cliff, and you don’t see it, which is good.

And then you get to spend a couple hours, and finally you get to walk up the river.

You never reach the falls.

Distant views are good, though.

And a bit of dilly-dallying along the way.

And the sandstone, like, that’s cool, too.

And, well, this stuff:

Not to mention a bit of cooked seabed. Very shiny!

You’ll never get to the falls, though. Here, let me show you why:

Sinkholes! Worth a peek. All this ice is hollow like this. Tricky.

And not just that. No path to the left:

No path to the right:


The whole time, the falls are calling out with the sound of artillery going off as boulders are bonking down off the cliffs. You can’t get close to the cliffs or the water, but who cares.


You can just sit around waiting for the sun to get out from behind a cloud.

Definitely that. There is, you see, a mystery here, and I don’t just mean how gorgeous these falls really are, but, well, dragon blood:

And the best of all is you don’t get to the falls. That’s key. The cliff along the way plays a part in this. That’s it in shadow at the left of the image below. 

Here, maybe the following image will make it clear. The water doesn’t matter, except to focus your body and your eye. The mountain makes a space, and in that space water has no floor. It falls straight towards the centre of the Earth.

And you are in that space, falling with the water. You are in the centre of the Earth.

You can’t go further because you are as far as anyone can go. In the heart.

Don’t Be a Stranger in Iceland

Public access to beautiful things in Iceland, including stunning waterfalls like Hengifoss…

…is privately maintained and crosses private land at private expense.

The Way Back from the Falls is a Great Journey Too

So if the trail is muddy, give thanks. It was given to you as a gift. To be respectful, stay on it.

It’s a way of giving thanks and preparing the way for the next traveller.

Missing Your Camera Lens? I Found It.

Dear Photographers! Did you go to Hengifoss in Iceland and stop at Littlafoss halfway up and … drop this intricate, beautiful and very expensive thing?


Canon 28-135 mm Lens

I hate to be the bearer of bad news: it rattles now. I don’t think that’s good.

I found it when I clambered down a long path into the canyon to get a closeup view of this…


I guess you were trying to get there, too. I don’t blame you. Yesterday, I tried from the other side of the canyon, and got this instead …



Squeeeeeeeeeeezing around the edge of the cliff to have  a peak.

I tell you, this slow move-the-human-around zoom method takes a bit of puffing, but it sure changes one’s perspective. Still, I’m sorry about your lens. Here’s where I found it, if that helps, seen from yesterday, on what I thought was the wrong side of the stream, but which now seems just as interesting as the right side, if it is that, if not quite as dramatic… but your lens! First the setting …


… and now, X marks the spot …


I could send it to you, if you like. Lemme know. Next time, though, I recommend the human movement method, cuz I’ve become quite smitten by it. It takes some time, well, heck, days, really, but it’s not bad, you know. It kind of focusses the mind. Here’s the focussing apparatus (kind of big, yeah, I know — won’t fit in my camera case) …


Bring walking sticks. Now, it’s a mighty beautiful fall, which is why I keep going back, and why you were so taken by it too, I bet. Here it is from the viewpoint, as I’m sure you remember …


Easter Afternoon

If I’m right, you dropped the lens from about here (see the x in the upper right?) …


And I would have, too. That’s way too close. Man, those basalt chunks fall down. There’s a dam in the stream down there five feet high of stuff that came down this winter alone! The wind blows there something fierce, too, so I understand: hard to hold onto a lens with half-frozen fingers when that wind blows. Man, I am so sorry about your lens. If it’s any help, this is the best closeup I could do with my little Lumix …


Not glossy photo magazine worthy, I’m sorry, but it gets me out and about exploring what the world looks like when a human looks at it from all kinds of different ways. I find it fascinating, but, hey, it’s a bigger relief that you didn’t fall, thank God for that, although I bet that when that thing went you felt like you were falling with it. I hate that feeling. I’m glad you hung on. Drop me a line. Harold