One of us got up early to do a couple of morning hikes at the Herðubreiðarlindir oasis in the Central Highlands.
Then we made the long drive back into civilization and drove to Egilsstaðir, the largest town in East Iceland, to camp for the night and prepare for next few days in that region.
After determining our camper van would make it okay, we ventured into the Central Highlands on the "F" roads. After a couple of river crossings and slow-going, we arrived at the Askja caldera. A short hike through snow led us to a mountain lake and a volcanic crater - beautiful!
That took most of the day, and then we drove to another location where we camped in the shadows of a snow-covered mountain, and we were the only people there. Being able to do today's adventure without being part of a tour, on our own schedule, was wonderful.
Today we explored the east half of the "Diamond Circle" which lies within the boundaries of Vatnajökull National Park. This northern section of the National Park is Jökulsárgljúfur which means "glacial river canyon".
We drove into the northern entrance to the canyon, hiked a mid-section of the canyon, and visited one of the most powerful waterfalls in Europe.
The weather was better today as we visited several interesting spots in North Iceland.
We started with a couple of lovely waterfalls, one of which was one of our favorites from our entire trip. Then we made three stops around Lake Mývatn before visiting a couple of thermal areas including a crater with a lake. To end the day, we took a whale-watching tour in Húsavík.
Unfortunately, we had lousy weather on our 8th day in Iceland. We did stop at one of the best village pools in the country, but other than that, we drove in the rain around mountains that were covered by clouds.
It looked like the Tröllaskagi Peninsula (the troll peninsula) is beautiful, but the weather just hampered our visit, and we didn't get to see or photograph much.
We had rain and low clouds most of the day which curtailed some of our plans and had an impact on the scenic views.
The Vatnsnes Peninsula is probably best known for seal watching, and there were certainly a lot of people watching seals at the popular spots.
But our favorite stop of the day was at Kolugljúfur Gorge, where waterfalls tumbled into a short, but beautiful canyon.
Today we headed to the Strandir Region of the West Fjords, a remote area of about 800 people that includes the county of Arneshreppur which is quite sparsely populated with only about 50 people in 780 square kilometers (300 square miles). It's the least populated county in Iceland and where we spent most of our day today.
The remoteness and the beauty were wonderful as we enjoyed this rarely visited section of coastline. A little time in an oceanside, warm swimming pool just enhanced our experience.
Today was another rainy day, and we didn't really have anything planned on our "must see" list. After a visit to the visitor information center in the West Fjords largest town, Ísafjörður, we came up with sort of a plan.
We drove up a mountain, had a wonderful buffet lunch, did another waterfall hike, and then camped at a remote farm.
We didn't have the beautiful weather of yesterday, but we still enjoyed driving the crazy back roads of the West Fjords, visiting Rauðasandur Beach, soaking in our first Icelandic hot spring, and seeing the magnificent Dynjandi waterfall.
We also experienced our first one-lane tunnel and, after driving 244k (about 150 miles), we ended the day in a campground that had its own waterfall.
The West Fjords of Iceland are a little too far from Reykjavik for most tourists to spend time there, so we were really looking forward to getting to that remote, beautiful area.
After an iconic photo op on the Snæfellsnes Peninsula, we drove around Breiðafjörður, the body of water separating the peninsula from the West Fjords. The scenery and roads were amazing, and we ended the day camping for free near a white sand beach.