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Cycling around Iceland

Borgarnes and beyond!

semi-overcast 12 °C

Borgarnes and beyond!

Leaving the south we have slowly made our way up the coast. After being trapped in a wind storm and beaten by the rain we tried our luck at a little bit hitching through a tunnel which would cut out travel time to Akranes down by a day. However bicycles are not allowed through the tunnel. We were not so lucky with the hitching as there was 3 of us, but an old German man that we met was lucky and was wisked away within an hour of hitching! It was around this time, after 3 hours with our thumbs out that we decided to take on ´the de-tour´. This was atleast one days cycle extra. The bay we were heading around is called Hvalfjörður and some amazingly beautiful scenery. The weather was a total mix, but as the locals told us this area can be one of the windiest in Iceland. Mind you, im sure they say that all over!
After a nights sleep in the middle of nowhere we woke to life in a cloud. The mist was litterally that thick that you couldnt see 10yards in front of you. We held off our estimated time of take off... with a coffee and some food. Only 30 minutes later there was no cloud and the skies were showing blue. It was time to leave the stunning fjord/bay behind us and move beyond, into uncharted teritory..... and on our way Borgarnes.
We made it back to route 1 pretty quickly. The weather had lifted our spirits, and the sight of route 1 also lifted the mood further. Borgarnes 23k from the turn off, this time on the otherside of the tunnel. We set off and quickly came up against our major challenge for the day. The first and pretty much only hill of the day. It was a slow, long climb to the top. What didnt help was the annoying ´racing car drivers´ motoring past with no respect for cyclists. This isnt usual here in Iceland. Most of the drivers have been very respectful, even going out of their way to drive into on coming traffic as not to get to close to you! Nice people. The cycle up route 1 towards Borgarnes was almost one straight, flat road. The smells of the local plants and flowers filled the air giving a gorogus aroma as you cycled. There were a few mountains and lodges around but nothing major untill we saw Borgarnes in the distance. The town/city sits to the north side of Borgarfjörður. There is one ´main street´, but this seems to have all the usual shops and extras a town of this size should have. There was a nice feeling about the place. We got talking to a local girl in the library, who told us that we could camp in the old camp sight, located behind a few buildings..... true to her word there was nobody there and the camping was perfect.
A funny occurance, which I am still unsure about is known as 'the runtur'. This is where people drive in circles, around the block or up and down a street. It looks like one of the most boring, pointless things on earth, but actually ammused me to see what small town folke do with their evening time. Borgarnes was alive with the runtur drivers. Back and forth they went, up and down the half mile long road. Half mile would probably be genorous too.
On searching for a bar or some nightlife in Borgarnes we cam across a place called B57, but this was only open on weekends. The only other bar seemed to be a 2 in 1. A Phillipino resturant and bar, with the classic five clocks on the wall allowing you to know what time it is in Sydney or LA, a strange big town feeling in such a small place. Borgarnes however was a lovley break and allowed us to fill up on supplies and gaze at the beautiful mountains before putting our heads down.

Icelandic days of the week....... Vikudagurinn (days of the week),
Mánudagurinn = Monday
Þriðudagurinn = Tuesday (Þ and ð are th sounds in english)
Miðvikudagurinn = Wedensday
Fimmtudagurinn = Thursday
Föstudagurinn = Friday
Laugardagurinn = Saturday
Sunnudagurinn = Sunday.

Bless bless (goodbye)
Tom Cartledge

Posted by tchgate 05:25 Archived in Iceland Tagged ecotourism

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