Around Iceland – T6ED

Tour type: Discovery adventure with sightseeing and short hikes

Difficulty:

EASY

HARD

Price from:  

Adult: 465.000

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  • AUG
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  • OCT
  • NOV
  • DEC

What's included: Guide, full board, accommodation, transportation

Departures: April, May, June, July, August, September, October

Duration: 12 days

Accommodation: Sleeping bag accommodation in hostels or mountain hut

Pick up: From hotel or guesthouse in Reykjavik from 08:30 in the morning

Group size: 6-15 participants

Language: English and French

Walking per day: 4-6 hours

  • Tour Description

    Highlights of the Tour

    • Complete tour of Iceland’s different landscapes.
    • Peninsula of Snæfellsnes where fire and ice meet the ocean.
    • Flexibility with a private bus.

    This complete tour of the island, at times close to the coastline and at times pushing inland, offers a full approach to Iceland’s many different faces: volcanoes in all their forms, outlet tongues of Europe's largest glacier, countless waterfalls, deserts, and a vast ocean.  You will travel across Snæfellsnes, Mývatn, the East Fjords, Akureyri, Jökulsárlón, Skaftafell, and much more.  A trip to those who want a piece of the entire island. 

    Included in price: Guide for 12 days, vehicle transportation for 12 days, food for 12 days (from lunch on day 1 to lunch on day 12), accommodation in a hostel or a mountain hut.

    Not included in price:  Anything not mentioned above.

    Minimum age: 14 years 

    Note: For this tour to be confirmed, the minimum number of passengers has to be met. If the tour is not confirmed you will get a full refund.

    Available upon request: Accommodation in Reykjavík

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  • Tour Itinerary

    Day 1: Glymur – Hraunfossar and Barnafoss – Deildartunguhver hot spring

    Departure northwards with our first stop at the bottom of Hvalfjörður, the "whale fjord", where we hike to the highest waterfall in Iceland Glymur, which is located at the bottom of a canyon and measures 198m high.   Once we are back to the bus we take the road to Deildartunguhver, a hot spring with the highest outflow in Iceland and probably the world!  Its water is used to heat the villages in the region up to 64 kilometers away.  Close by we make a stop at Hraunfossar, a series of waterfalls that emerge between two layers of lava.  A stone’s throw away is Barnafoss, a waterfall made famous by a sad story which your guide will tell you about. Sleeping bag accommodation in a hostel/a mountain hut. 
    Driving:  3 - 4 hrs total                         Walking: 3 – 4 hrs total (accumulated)

    Day 2: Snæfellsnes and Eldborg - Arnarstapi - Hellnar - Djúpalónssandur

    In the morning we hike to the Eldborg crater, a volcanic crater that rises like a fortress above the surrounding lava field.  We continue our tour to the southern part of the volcanic Snæfellsnes peninsula and its national park.  This very beautiful and remote area is famous for its glacier-covered volcano, Snæfellsjökull, as well as the volcano that Jules Verne described in his novel, Journey into the Center of the Earth, as the entrance into the depths of the Earth.  As a protected area, the southern coast of the peninsula is sparsely populated but offers a variety of volcanic landscapes at the edge of the ocean: craters, lava flows, hot springs, and cliffs.  The coastal village of Arnarstapi as we will see has some of these irregular formations of basaltic columns and natural arches.  It is home to large colonies of seabirds, such as gulls, arctic terns, fulmars, and kittiwakes.  From there we continue our walk over the lava fields to Hellnar, another tiny fishing village.  Nearby we will find Djúpalónssandur, a pebble beach surrounded by rock formations where sailors and fishermen used to test their strengths on three different sized rocks still lying on the beach today.  We continue to Grundarfjörður where we spend the night. Sleeping bag accommodation in a hostel/a mountain hut.
    Driving:  3 - 4 hrs total                         Walking: 3 – 4 hrs total (accumulated)

    Day 3: Snæfellsnes peninsula: around Kirkjufell – Stykkishólmur – Drápuhlíðarfjall

    After a short transfer, we start the day by hiking around the mountain Kirkjufell.  The hike goes around this beautiful little coastal mountain that features steep slopes overlooking the ocean and the nearby village of Grundarfjörður.  We continue our discovery of the northern coast of the Snæfellsnes peninsula by driving through the fjords.  Passing through the Berserker lava field, we come to the small fishing harbor of Stykkishólmur and its old houses.  Above the harbor there is a hill, with a small hike to the top, where we uncover a colorful and spectacular view that embraces the whole bay that is dotted with countless islands and the mountains that lie to the south.  On the way we will learn about the story of Erik the Red who lived in this fjord.  Upon committing a crime he was forced to flee Iceland westwards and went on to discover Greenland. Sleeping bag accommodation in the Breiðafjörður region.
    Driving:  3 hrs total                         Walking: 3 – 5 hrs. total

    Day 4: Vatnsnes peninsula - Skagafjörður - Akureyri

    Today we head east by vehicle through the Laxárdalsheiði pass and then descend into the fjord of Hrútafjörður.  Occasionally, remains of icebergs drifting from Greenland settle onto the beach deep within this fjord.  Driving along the coast of the Vatnsnes Peninsula to Illugastaðir, we encounter a colony of seals on the shore.  On the opposite side of the peninsula we stop at Hvitserkur, a strange natural double-arched rock off the coast of Iceland.  From there the route takes us over to Skagafjörður, a fjord known for its rich breeding of Icelandic horses and numerous local choirs!  There, we can visit one of the country’s most interesting museums: Glaumbær (Museum of Arts and Popular Traditions, entrance: 1600 ISK, about 13 €).  Towards the end of the day we arrive at the capital of the north, Akureyri.  Home to almost 20,000 residents the town sits deep within the largest Icelandic fjord and is surrounded by many mountains over 1000 meters in altitude.  A small visit to the city’s rich botanical garden, which contains 400 out of 950 of Iceland’s indigenous plants. Sleeping bag accommodation in a hostel/a mountain hut.
    Driving:  5 – 6  hrs. total                         Walking: Occasional small excursions during transfer.

    Day 5: Goðafoss - Mývatn

    Goðafoss, known as the fall of the gods, is our first stop of the day.  After that we head east along the road towards Mývatn and its magnificent lake.  The region of Mývatn is a massive concentration of numerous volcanic formations.  The day is dedicated to visiting these various geological phenomena such as: The Krafla volcano with strings of volcanic fissures and vast lava flows, the enormous explosive crater of Hverfjall, the crater of Víti (silent since 1724), Námaskarð and its solfataras (pots of boiling water), the bizarre formations of Dimmuborgir, and the pseudo-craters of Skútustaðir. The lake is also a paradise for onithologists. Optional bathing in Jarðböðin, comparable to the Blue Lagoon by Reykjavík (approximate price: ISK 4 000 per person, about 28 €). Sleeping bag accommodation in a hostel/a mountain hut.
    Driving:  1  hr. total                         Walking:  5 hrs.

    Day 6: Mývatn - Jökulsárgljúfur National Park - Dettifoss - Egilsstaðir waterfall

    To the east of Mývatn, we will hike in one of the most active volcanic regions in Iceland.  The Krafla volcano (pronounced “Krabbla”) with its series of volcanic fissures erupted nine times between 1975 and 1984.  Huge black lava fields with fuming steam dot the area.  We continue to the canyon of Jökulsárgljúfur.  Here with a hike we’ll find the most powerful waterfall in Europe, Dettifoss, and watch as the sediment-rich river discolors the cascading water.  After that a hike to the site of Hljóðaklettar, a distinctive cluster of basalt columned rocks, and to Ásbyrgi, a steep horseshoe canyon said to have been created by Odin’s eight-legged horse.  Finally, we drive through the high desert plateau to Egilsstaðir, the biggest town in the east with about 2,000 inhabitants. Sleeping bag accommodation in a hostel/a mountain hut.
    Driving:  4 – 5 hrs.                 Walking:  4 hrs.

    Day 7: Stórurð - fjords of the East

    A drive east to Borgarfjörður sends us on a hike to Stórurð, an emerald-colored lake hidden in the midst of large boulders that lie under Dyrfjöll.  After the hike we return to Egilsstaðir and then continue along the large elongated lake of Lagarfljót.  The locals claim that a monster inhabits this lake like the Lochness in Scotland.  Then we enjoy the beautiful Eastern Fjords as we descend towards the sea at Berufjörður. Sleeping bag accommodation in a hostel/a mountain hut.
    Driving:  2  hrs.                      Walking:   4-5 hrs.

    Day 8: Eastern Fjords - Höfn

    We follow the coastline with magnificent landscapes.  On one side the endless ocean but on the other there are countless multicolored mountains.  In the bay of Lónsvík we start the day with our first hike.  Surrounded by rhyolite hills, the small valley of Hvannagil is filled with warm tones of ochre, orange and red, and black contrasts of the basalt.  During the hike we will pass through the small lakes nestled in between these mountains.  We continue towards Höfn but just before reaching the city, we undertake a coastal hike around Vestrahorn. Sleeping bag accommodation in a hostel/a mountain hut.
    Driving:  3  hrs.                      Walking:   4-5 hrs.

    Day 9: Jökulsárlón - Múlagljúfur gorge

    We head west towards Skaftafell.  Along the way we stop at the glacial lake of Jökulsárlón, dotted with icebergs that calve from the massive Breiðamerkurjökull and one of the wonders of this region.  Optional boat tour among the icebergs (Price: 5000 ISK, ca. 40 €).  Since the ocean is very close by, seals often visit the beach and lake.  After the lake, a hike along Múlagljúfur brings us to a very impressive canyon with beautiful waterfalls and astonishing rock formations. Sleeping bag accommodation in a hostel/a mountain hut.
    Driving:  2  hrs.                      Walking:   4-5 hrs.

    Day 10: Skaftafell National Park

    With a transfer we come to a beautiful park that sits at the foot of Europe’s largest glacier, Vatnajökull.  It is a green oasis of arctic birch decorated with flowers, valleys, waterfalls and rivers as well as surrounded by mountains and glaciers.  Overlooking the park is Iceland’s highest peak Hvannadalshnúkur, an enormous glacial mountain that rises 2,110 meters above sea level.  From Skaftafell we can also see all the way to the ocean across the immense black flood plains of Skeiðarársandur.  We spend the day on the park’s paths to discover its magnificent and impressive nature, such as the Mórsárdalur valley, the Bæjarstaðarskógur woodlands, the Morsárjökull glacier and the small hot springs of Jökulfell, a blissful combination of ice and lava.  Goal of the day is a climb to the peak of Kristínartindar, a breathtaking view of all the park’s glaciers that descend from the highest peaks of the country. Sleeping bag accommodation in a hostel/a mountain hut.
    Driving:  1  hr.            Walking:   6 hrs.

    Day 11: Fjaðrárgljúfur - Peninsula of Dyrhólaey - waterfalls of Seljalandsfoss and Skógafoss - Vík - Hella

    Heading west past the village of Kirkjubaejarklaustur, we walk along the canyon Fjaðrárgljúfur.  Passing through the village of Vík where we can, in June, discover the largest colony of arctic terns in the country. Walk up to the black sand beach dominated by the coastal cliffs to see the rocky needles protruding from the ocean. Afterwards, a second walk on the peninsula of Dyrhólaey or on the mountain of Reynisfjall, where beautiful cliffs of the south coast cut in the volcanic rock sheltering colonies of seabirds (in particular the nice little puffins). Stop at the impressive Skógafoss waterfall, then at Seljalandsfoss waterfall (behind which it is possible to walk!). Sleeping bag accommodation in a hostel/a mountain hut.
    Driving:  1  hr.            Walking:    3-4 hrs.

    Day 12: Geysir – Gullfoss – Þingvellir – Reykjavík

    Our last day starts with a visit to the Geysir, from which the international name geyser derives from, a rare phenomenon of water violently and intermittently discharging from the ground.  After a short transfer we arrive at Gullfoss or the “Golden Waterfall,” which cascades into an impressive gorge of the Hvítá or “White River.”  After that we head to national park of Þingvellir, the site of Iceland’s original Alþing, annual parliamentary gatherings.  These meetings are known as one of the oldest institutions of democracy in the world as Þingvellir offered a superb location with Iceland’s largest natural lake lying adjacent and the continental drift running through the park.  It is a UNESCO world heritage site.  At the end of the day we drive back to Reykjavík. 
    Driving:  3  hrs.                      Walking:    2 hrs.

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  • Equipment List

    For your own wellbeing and safety, we strongly suggest following the advice of our equipment list, which includes having good quality rain-gear tops and bottoms! Also, understand that cotton clothing is not appropriate for any strenuous outdoor activity – this includes jeans and t-shirts. Modern outdoor clothing is by far more comfortable and will greatly improve your experience. 

    Boots and Clothing:

    • Hiking boots – light hiking boots with waterproofing and ankle support are preferred. 
    • Long and short sleeve thermal underwear – Wool or synthetic. 
    • Rain Jacket with a good hood– Preferably waterproof and breathable material. 
    • Hiking pants.
    • Rain trousers – Waterproof and breathable material. 
    • Gloves – Wool or synthetic.
    • Socks – two to three pairs of hiking socks - Wool or synthetic.
    • Warm hat – Wool or synthetic. 

    Other gear:

    • Backpack for clothes and items used during the day. Size: 20-30 litres. 
    • Duffel bag for your overnight gear, preferably not a suit-case.  
    • Towel – A light weight and packable one. 
    • Sunglasses and sun protection. 
    • Water bottle. 
    • Casual clothes / change of clothes.
    • Prescription medication and other personal health items.
    • Toiletries; Toothbrush, toothpaste, soap etc. 
    • Swim suit (depends on tour). 
    • Tours in huts: 
    • Sleeping bag – A basic sleeping bag with no specific temperature rating is sufficient for summer tours. Good summer sleeping bag will do for winter tours in huts (depending on tour). Please note Sleeping bag is not needed for The Treasure Trail IMG332
    • Earplugs 
    • Headlamp for reading and getting around the hut. 

    Optional gear:

    • Walking pole(s). 
    • Pen knife. 
    • Sun/rain Hat or a Cap. 
    • Thermal mat (for lunch breaks). 
    • Camera, spare batteries and a memory card or films. 
    • Puffy jacket to throw on during stops (e.g. Primaloft or down) 
    • Slippers for indoor use. 
    • Aperitif or other heart-warming spirits.

    Should you have any questions regarding this equipment list or the equipment on our tours feel free to contact incoming@mountainguides.is.

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  • Gear Lexicon

    Discovery Adventure

    What is a Discovery Adventure?

    On our Discovery Adventures you will get a chance to see allot of Iceland – driving between sightseeing spot. You should also be ready for some for a bit of walking – but nothing extreme or hard. Depending on tours you could be staying in Mountain huts, guesthouses or hotels.
    Please note that not all parts of the gear lexicon apply on all tours. 


    Light Hiking Boots

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    Salomon Quest Origins GTX

    A light pair of boots is more than sufficient. Having them waterproof and high enough to support and cover your ankles is a great benefit and will help keep you dry on wet or snowy ground. 


    Rain Jacket and Pants

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    ME Manaslu

    Wind and waterproof tops and bottoms are essential in Iceland. Preferably a jacket with a good hood. Rain pants with zippers along the legs make getting them on much easier. 


    Insulation layer

    A fleece jacket would the classical insulating layer. Wool would also be a good option. Here it is also possible to layer up – two thin jackets or a jacket and a vest rather than one very thick jacket. A thicker base-layer for colder days could also be a part of adjustable layering. 


    Hands, feet and head:

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    ME Knitted beanie

    Gloves: A light pair of fleece or wool gloves or mittens does the job. You can also take a pair of ski-gloves or other wind and waterproof shell gloves. Having an extra pair is recommended, and then of different thickness.
    Socks: Wool is definitely the preferred material for hiking socks. Different blends are available. If you are prone to blisters or have new boots you should consider wearing a thin liner sock underneath your hiking socks. Make sure you have a few pairs of socks to keep your feet dry and in good conditions.
    Warm hat: A normal ski-hat/beanie is perfect. You could also use a thick buff. An extra a buff is also nice to have, you can use it to protect your neck and face when needed or as a thinner option for a hat. 


    Puffy Jacket

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    ME Compressor Hooded Jacket PrimaLoft

    A nice light puffy is great during brakes. The insulation could be down or synthetics (such as Primaloft). It should not be very big or bulky for summer time use. Synthetic insulation is preferred as it keeps most of its insulating properties also when wet but down is also a good option.  A puffy vest would also be a good option. 


    Casual clothes / change of clothes

    Once in the hut it is good to be able to change out of your trekking gear. Even if we do not like you to wear jeans during the hike you are welcome to wear them in the hut/tent in the evening - same with a cotton T-shirt. If it is could a warm jumper or an extra fleece jacket is always nice. Few pairs of comfy socks and some fresh underwear.  Avoid bringing too much extra clothing – life in the mountains is simple and nice, so one pair of extra pants, warm jumper and a few t-shirts and briefs should do the job just fine. Light sneakers and slippers for indoor use will feel great at the end of the day. 


    Backpack / day-pack

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    Love Alpine AirZone Trek 30L

    You will need a nice daypack to carry your extra clothes, river crossing shoes, food and water for the day. Having a compartment for smaller items like sun screen and sunglasses is also good. The pack will never be heavy, but a bit of padding on the shoulder- and hip straps/belt with a buckle is good. Unless you have some bulky personal needs, like photographic equipment, then you should be fine with 20-30L (1200 - 2000 cu in).


    Duffel-bag

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    ME Wet & Dry bag

    On many of our tours your overnight gear is going to be transported from hut-to-hut / camp-to-camp and space is limited. We therefore ask you to pack your gear in a soft bag rather than a regular hard suite case, since this is more space-efficient. A 60 - 80L bag should be more than enough for all your extra kit including a sleeping bag.  If it is reasonably waterproof that is a big plus. 


    Sun

    A baseball cap or a comfortable hat with brim is great to have and is useful both in sunny and rainy weather. You should also have a nice pair of sunglasses and some sun-bloc – SPF 15-25 should be enough protection for most.  If you plan to be playing on snow covers summits you should bring a pair of quality sunglasses for mountaineering SPF 30 – 50 sunblock.  


    Personal items

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    Make sure to have all your prescription medication with you, if you have any medical condition that could in any way affect you during the trip make sure to let your guide know. For those suffering from allergies having antihistamine is advisable – or any other medication that works for your condition. Items for personal hygiene should also be included, having a small bar of soap handy or some liquid hand soap is a good idea. Toothbrush, toothpaste and dental-floss should be packed. Avoid liquid antiperspirant and glass containers due to risks of spilling. Feminine products like pads, tampons etc. should also be packed if needed. If you take vitamins or other supplements you should continue to do so during your holiday.
    In most cases you are sharing sleeping facilities with one or more fellow travellers – so a pair of good ear-plugs can ensure a good night sleep. Those not used to the bright summer might also like to bring an eye mask.  Contact lenses, lens liquid etc. Pack shampoo, conditioner and shower gel in small plastic bottles that close tight.
    A big towel is nice to have – especially if you are taking a bath in one of the natural hot-pools. 


    Swim suit

    Bathing in the natural hot-pools will be one of the highlights of your trip in Iceland (depending on the tour). Make sure you come dressed for the occasion. There are no specific rules, written or unwritten on how to dress or not to dress; board shorts, speedos, bikinis or bathing suits – anything goes. Quick drying is good. 


    Water container / thermos flask

    In Iceland & Greenland you can drink from any stream, no filters, no iodine or chlorine! It is good to have a small water bottle at hand. A 1L bottle should be plenty as water is easily found all over. If you are a warm drinker we will be happy to fill up your thermos in the morning and a selection of teas will be available (very dedicated tea drinkers often bring an emergency stash of their favourite brand). Cold drinkers might like to bring their favoured powdered flavouring/vitamin/energy drink. 


    Sleeping Bag Hut

    The mountain-huts during the summer are usually warm, although most are not heated during the night. Any old sleeping bag will therefore do, unless you get cold easily. For temperature control having a full length zipper is the best. A liner bag is also a very nice addition and will improve your ability to regulate your head during the night.  If you are doing a winter hut trip or summer camping a 3 season sleeping bag would be sufficient. All the huts we use have mattresses on the beds so no need to bring your own for huts.  


    Head-lamp

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    Even though the summer night is bright the inside of the hut/tent might not be. A headlamp is also useful for a bit of reading. There are plenty of options available for LED head lamps that are just perfect for reading and getting around. A small flash-light will also do the job. Most LED headlamps have more than enough light for our purposes and the battery life is so good that one set will do for your trip.  


    Other cool things to have

    Book – to read during the evenings.
    Music - and head phones. Some of our guides also have speakers with them to share Icelandic music.
    Diary or note-book – to write down your good memories from Iceland. Also a pen or pencil.
    Power-bank / extra battery for your electronics – small solar cells usually do not work that well in Iceland so a pre charged power bank is a better option.  Charging your electronics in huts in the highlands often is not an option or will cost you extra. Having converters adapters for 220 V will help.
    Playing cards and travel games – or other toys you might like and can travel.
    Cash – in mountain huts shower normally costs about 500 ISK and work on 100kr coins.
    Travel pillow – as long as it is not very bulky, otherwise you can just use your clothes.
    Powder drink mix – Good water is never a problem – but you might like a bit of variety. Some also contain vitamins and minerals that help your body after a hard day. 
    Shorts - It does get warm enough to wear shorts. They are also nice for sleeping in, in case you need to get out in the night. For hiking it is nice to have some pockets, for the items that other ways would be in the pockets of you pants. But any old pair of shorts will do.


    Aperitif of other heart-warming spirits

    Aperitif of other heart-warming spirits - Liquor laws in Iceland prohibit the sale of alcohol in most places you come by on your trip in the highlands and limited opening hours stop you from buying any most other places unless you are staying in a hotel. So having a flask (preferably plastic or metal) to share with your fellow travels in front of the camp fire (gas heater) can be the crowning of a good day. You can take care of this in the duty-free up on arrival in Iceland if you like. Just follow all the Icelanders on your flight – they will take you straight to duty-free!
    On trips to Greenland you can take care of this in the duty-free up on arrival in Iceland. Duty free in Kulusuk, Greenland does not sell high % spirits – but if you make it to the supermarket they will have beer. 


    Gear shopping in Iceland

    Already in Iceland and need to grab some extra gear? No worries. There are a few shops in Reykjavík to go to (remember to ask for a VAT refund slip when you buy over 5000ISK, saving 14%):

    Íslensku Alparnir: http://alparnir.is/  this is where IMG gets its Mountain Equipment gear, much of with is featured on the pictures above – can’t go wrong there.

    GG-Sjósport: http://www.gummibatar.is/ grate products, but not in the down town.

    Laugavegur: the main shopping street down town has a few stores, including some local brands like 66°North and Cintamany.

    Kringlan & Smáralind are the indoor shopping centers in Iceland – both have outdoor stores – and they are open on Sundays and till 21:00 on Thursdays. 

    For your own wellbeing and safety, we strongly suggest following the advice of our equipment list, this includes having good quality rain-gear, tops and bottoms!  Also respect that cotton clothing is not appropriate for any strenuous outdoor activity – this includes jeans and t-shirts. Modern outdoor clothing is by far more comfortable and will greatly improve your experience. 
    Should you have any questions regarding this equipment list or the equipment on our tours feel free to contact
    incoming@mountainguides.is


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  • Map
  • Departure Dates
    Tour Dates Availability
    26.06.2017 Available Select
    10.07.2017 Confirmed Departure Select
    07.08.2017 Confirmed Departure Select

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