Since the start of this week, the Volcano at Meradalir has been producing a lower volume of Lava than previously, down from 11m3 to between 3-4 m3 per second. The consistency of the Lava has also changed, it appears now to be thicker and more viscous. It’s not possible to predict what this means, however. Last year’s eruption at Fagradalsfjall also slowed for a period and then came back gangbusters and erupted more dramatically than ever. So while everyone breaths a collective sigh of relief that the nearby coastal road looks safe for now, we remain, quite literally, on shifting ground.
The path to the volcano, though not exactly a walk in the park, will not pose too much of a challenge if you can handle a few hour’s hike. Decent boots are essential, and hiking poles are preferable. There are some steep ascents and descents over uneven ground. The trail is crowded and narrow in sections, requiring opposing lines of traffic to pass at points that are slippery when wet. It takes time to cover this type of terrain and rain will slow everything down. You don’t want to rush, overtaking people on the short steep sections is hazardous, for yourself and others.
Much of the path is over uneven rocky terrain, where you need to take care with every step. Approximately 2 km of this uneven section was levelled with earth-moving equipment (below). There remain several Km of uneven terrain and steep, moderately challenging sections on the journey to the eruption.
Most of the hike takes you across a plateau, to your right is the crater from last year’s eruption at Fagradalsfjall rising up from the still cooling lava field.
There are no bathrooms at the carpark, and worst there is very little cover, no trees to hide behind, so be warned! Last toilet call is the gas station at Grindavik.