Day 1, July 25th – Sprengisandur

Sprengisandur means three things in Iceland
1. A certain part of the Highlands of Iceland between the glaciers Hofsjökull and Vatnajökull
2. The highland road traversing this region.
3. A very remote airfield with two runways near (but not connected to) the Sprengisandur highway in the highlands

On Sprengisandur road The Sprengisandur highland road is with its 200 km the longest of the Icelandic highland roads. It begins near the volcano Hekla in the south, where another track is going to Landmannalaugar. Like the Kjölur and the Kaldidalur highland roads, Sprengisandur is also a very old connection between the north and the south of the island. It has been known since the times of first settlement. But it always had a rather bad reputation with fast weather changes (even in the summer, it may snow up there) and dryness of the lava desert.

Origins of the name People had to cross the desert fast with their horses, to "spring" over it, so as to get new grass and water for themselves and the animals. There has also been a lot of superstition about it. Stories about bad ghosts and criminals were told, and, subsequently, the old tracks fell out of use for some time. This is also the subject of a very famous Icelandic folk song: Á Sprengisandi.