Another bright and sunny day! The early sunshine and vivid blue skies catapulted me out of bed today. It’s not the kind of day to languish in the studio. I had the little hamlet of Kleifar in my cross-hairs for a while and had been waiting for a good day to cross the bay for a visit. It’s not far – if you continue the road past the black sand beach you swing around the bay and up a hill to a smattering of farm houses looking back at Òlafsfjörður. So I stuffed my backpack with gear, grabbed one of the bikes and headed out for the day.

It’s not a long ride to Kleifar, only I felt the need to stop every two minutes to capture a sound recording or take a photo, so it took me a while until I actually got there. The road to Kleifar is a dead end; if you continue the road you end up in someone’s front yard. My first stop was the little hydro-power station, sporting some concrete and a roaring waterfall. More sound recordings. Then the trail ended and I kept going, hugging the outer edge of some properties, right near the edge of the cliff. The rolling meadows just beyond Kleifar are a magical spot. You have a fantastic view of the fjord, the mountains, and the summer-green hills. I spent about half an hour there listening to the seabirds, trying to make more sound recordings (darned wind!) and dangling my feet across the edge of the cliff. The cliff walls are covered in grass, so it looks like a vertical meadow. The sea is completely clear, you can see huge boulders deep in the water.

Kleifar meadow panorama

Kleifar meadow panorama

Click here for a panoramic view of the spot

After my little pause I headed back into the village of Kleifar (such as it is) and headed up the mountain. There are three hiking trails indicated with signs, but they don’t actually seem to go very far. When I got to the end of my trail I just kept on treking. Unlike my first mountain hike, this ascend was pretty easy. The hill slopes up gently, the only obstacle was the occasional snow patch I had to cross. Most of them are easy to traverse, but I did sink in half-way up to my knees on occasion.

I picked the highest spot I thought I could safely reach and took another break when I got there. The view from the top is spectacular.

Kleifar mountain panorama

Kleifar mountain panorama

Click here for a panoramic view of the spot

And, for some reason, this area of the mountain is fairly wind-still. In fact, it got so hot that I stripped down to my bra and underpants and had a one-hour sunbathing session while sketching the mountaintops. Tan lines in Iceland – who would have thought?

It was mid-afternoon as I headed back to Òlafsfjörður. On my way down I filled up my now empty water bottle at a small mountain stream. Alice had told me that you can safely drink the water. I tried it – and it was good!

I will definitely be back in Kleifar soon, maybe for a midnight sun hike.

Here is a slide show of my day in Kleifar

Kleifar mountain panoramaDrinking real mountain spring waterFilling my water bottle in a mountain streamSun bathing in the mountainsKleifar mountainsGetting to the topI'm crossing a snow patchThe view onto Kleifar from the mountainKleifar hiking trailsOn my way to Kleifar