Iceland Review sent a team of three to the Holuhraun eruption site. Their mission is called: ‘The Journey to the Center of Iceland’ with obvious reference to Jules Verne’s famous book Journey to the Center of the Earth, set in Snæfellsjökull, West Iceland.
The group consists of editor and photographer Páll Stefánsson, who has been to every eruption in Iceland in the past 30 years and photographer Geir Ólafsson.
The three began their quest just before 8 pm last night, taking the Sprengisandur road over the highlands. Facebook friends of Iceland Review have been able to follow their progress through the night. The passed Hekla, the most famous volcano in Iceland, by which time it was already dark. That did not deter them from sending photos; close to midnight they passed some swans.
The road they took across Sprengisandur is one of the most difficult to travel in Iceland because of the many rivers drivers have to cross. During the drive, the dark and a fog was so thick that it seemed as if it could be cut with a knife.
However, they made it all the way to the Askja region and entered the restricted area with press passes at around 6:30 am after having driven for about 580 km (360 miles).
Getting a permit is not simple, but with Iceland Review being a reputable publication we could cut through the paperwork. We had to buy gas masks for all three expeditioners as toxic gases are being emitted from the lava.
Our team encountered some ICE-SAR search and rescue squad members on duty, guarding the closed-off area, and crossed glacial river Jökulsá á Fjöllum at the Kreppa bridge at 7 am. They are expected to arrive at the Holuhraun eruption site around shortly after 8 am.