M aking hey is seldom easy. Making hay in cold Northeastern Iceland 600 meters above sea level next to impossible. However, due to rotten local landlords that is exactly what few hundred poor souls had to do in times past. Only one of almost 20 such farms is still standing and a visit to the place is no less than outstanding. A detour to visit this place will not be forgotten as long as you live.
The name is Sænautasel. Which no one in the world outside of locals, and peculiar folks from Georgia, will be able to pronounce or understand. It literally means a place to call home by a lake called Sænaut. Sænaut, by the way, was and is a huge but likeable monster. Judging by old folk tales these are almost like lake whales. Giant animals with no feet splashing around with not a care in this world. We´re told you can actually ride one on most summer days…
Although, no sænaut, have actually been sighted for centuries, that does not mean they did not exist. They do, period.
However, while you can get coffee and unusual ancient local delicacies at Sænautasel you´d be well advised to stay away from the nearby lake. Unless you want to dive in or fish 😉
However, there is a problem if you happen to rent a car from one of Iceland´s ridiculously expensive car rental companies. You know, where a day in a shitty Suzuki Swift will set you back 25 thousand local kronas (183$ / 178€), you cannot visit this seriously old Icelandic highland-farm without breaking your rental contract.
You see, although easily accessible, this place is so high up in the highlands the road to Sænautasel is labelled an F-road by the road authority in Iceland. It means you cannot drive here without renting a 4×4 or getting an extra special super-expensive insurance. Which usually means highland roads with very, very limited service and therefore higher likelihood of damage to the vehicle.
Don´t buy that shit and don´t buy a special insurance. During summertime the road to this marvelous place is not first class but for a gravel road it is very decent and you need not worry about any damage to the car.
Plus, you can actually stay here in a dormitory kind of way like folks here did in times past. Totally unforgettable if you ask us.