We visited Höfn twice. First time as day tourists taking the courtesy of hitched cars. The second time we arrived at two in the morning after eight hours of hard paddling in soame challenging conditions. Those were not dangerous on their own. However the combination of swell from side, strong tail wind, low to no visibility and rain, and shore where landing wasn’t possible made the last two hours a slightly anxious ones. Nevertheless we reached the harbour and proceeded to paddle to the campsite. Our first visit was filled with sunshine, sightseeing, and visits to shop and pool. When we had enough we just simply walked away. The second visit proved to be more complicated. We could not reach the campsite being halted by shallow waters some half a mile before the site. Poof, went our dream of flat grass, dry toilets and access to washing machine. Where to now?
We decided to land in the harbour on a slipway as most of the Höfn natural areas have large non-camping signs. Then we pitched a tent across the road, behind an empty boat trailer, among the tire tracks hoping that no one would object, for we will be staying here more than one night.
The rest of the night was rainy and windy, and full of hooting cars. They thought it was a great idea to beeb a horn when passing a tent at five in morning.
We got up with the idea that since it is a bit miserable and we were not in the most convenient spot maybe we could find ourselves a roof and a bed. As we began our search, we slowly realised where we are compare to where we have been. Everything was fully booked, including hotels with rooms for over 40 000 ISK (over £300). Wow, we were used to being almost the only guests so far. True, we had some signs of what’s going on on our first visit here, the shop was very well stocked, and full of people. People, who jump out of their cars quickly grab what they need and speed off. People on mission to see everything and take pictures of everything in the very limited time they have for it. We reached the tourist hive.
Sadly it looks like there are more tourists than Höfn is prepared to deal with. The tourist centre is glamorous, but to get information, e.g. accommodation, from the guys there, resulted in us being pointed to computer with internet. No public laundry, only wash machine was in the campsite, where they were only offering the service to customers. I have to say, in the end, after our insistent persuasion, and maybe because we stayed long enough, they kindly agreed. The pool was great, but no longer can one get complimentary coffee or have it by the hot tub.
We may look like tourists in our land clothes, but our time zone is even slower than local one. Slowly we realised how lucky we were so far, either it was due to the remoteness of places or pre tourist season, not sure.