Right here in our backyard, a few kilometers away from the Blue Car Rental headquarters, a beautiful volcano has erupted. It was preceded by a couple of 'fun' weeks of intense earthquake activity.
Since the eruption is not covered by a massive glacier, it's nothing like the notorious Eyjafjallajökull eruption. You know, the one that halted air traffic in Europe. The new eruption is in Mount Fagradalsfjall. That translates to 'Beautiful valley mountain.' More specifically, it's in a valley called Geldingadalur, which translates to 'Valley of the Eunuchs.'
The mountain is on the beautiful Reykjanes Peninsula. Scientists say that the fantastic lava flow is a small eruption. It is astonishingly beautiful; there's no denying it. Lava is pouring endlessly out of 3 cones and is slowly filling up the valley. The eruption is what Icelanders like to call a "tourist eruption." That means that people can pretty much walk right up to it and watch it in all its glory from a short distance.
It's not without hazard, though, since the air is filled with nasty gasses, but if the wind is blowing in the right direction, it shouldn't be a problem. People that decide to hike up to it should also be aware that new rifts might open up without warning in other places. Please, do not get too close to the cones or the lava flow since it's, well, hot! Duh.
Our search and rescue heroes have marked a walking path from Suðurstrandavegur road up to the valley. It's about a 7-kilometer hike back and forth.
People are advised to bring warm clothes, drinks, food, and other hiking necessities. Authorities are pointing out, rightfully, that the hike isn't for everyone. There are steep slopes and moss-covered lava, which is surprisingly hard to walk on. Even on the marked path, people could get lost, especially when it gets dark.