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Cycling around Iceland

Hitch hiking in heaven....

overcast 9 °C

Hitch hiking heaven!

The ferry from Stykkisholmur to Brjanslaekur via the island of Flatey was a great way to pass a day and check out some interesting views of the coast line. We were heading into the rugged north western fjordlands with some interesting weather on its way. Not long into the 3 hour boat ride the weather on land looked horrible and therefore dashed any hopes of any nice photos of the coast. The waves grew and grew. It wasn't long until we could see them slopping at the windows of the lower deck, the motion of the ocean was now in full flow. Everyone else seemed to be either sleeping or eating the vastly over-priced food that they offered on board. We did however manage to find a cinema at the front of the boat and watch a few episodes of friends. Not normally my choice of tv, however it was nice to watch 'some' tv and try to relax for a few hours.
On arrival in Brjanslaekur the weather was gloomy and rather dull. A mist hung in the air and a cold wind slapped you in the face. It didn't appear like it was going to be an enjoyable cycle to a campsite. Brjanslaekur litterally on has the ferry teminal and few farms in the bay. Cars lined up waiting to get onto boat. We stopped at a small cafe to change into our cycling gear, and then proceeded to find the campsite and N1 gas station. We covered the distance in no time at all. The weather had actually brightened slightly, so we decided to carry into the early evening. It was a great choice until, route 60 threw a spanner into the works. About 10 miles down the road from ferry terminal the road turns into a gravel excuse for a road. There were signs of men at work but nothing appeared to be done. The road was to harsh to cycle on for a good 10 kilometers so the only way through was to walk. We finally got back on the bikes and made it about 20miles before stopping to get some refreshments. It was around 11.30pm. The light was dull and the cold air was drawing in and extinguishing hopes of getting anywhere. We spotted some headlights heading our way, and in our direction on the horizon. We thought it would be funny to try and hitch. We didn't expect the guy to actually pull over and pick us up. haha. He had nothing in his truck and so had plenty of room for our three bikes. we broke them down, wheels off and everything in in record time, and them jumped into the warm and cozy interior of his truck. He amused us as he looked a lot like Parker, Lady Panellope's driver from Thunderbirds. A brilliant guy, whom was just glad to be having some company I think. He drove us to just outside Reykhola which was about 100k. If it wasn't for Parker, I feel that we would still be lost in the western fjords today. Legend!!
The next day started soooo well. The sun was shinning, there wasn't a cloud in the sky. It actually felt summer for all of about 2 hours. We spent the time chilling out and doing some yoga, trying to catch some rays. Eventually the time of take off was on us. We headed off into the gloom. The wind was up to its usual tricks, head on into our faces without the smallest break. The view back of the bay of Reykhola was stunningly beautiful. A small collection of tiny islands filled the bay forming a kind of archipelago. Just as we got to the best view the wind broke for a few minutes and gave us time to embrace the beauty of what lay before us. Bliss. A road side bar and a cheeky mojito wouldn't have gone a miss.
The cycle between Reykhola and Budardalur wasn't particularly easy or stunning. There is a rather long bridge crossing at Kroksfjardarnes which is amazing. The smell of the salty sea air and the view of the mountains is awe inspiring. We stopped for a small spot of lunch just to take in the surroundings before jumping back onto the saddle and heading into a wind tunnel situated between to large mountains. The road the deviated out of the wind and up and huge mountain, which was painful to walk up but the cycle down was awesome. Once again the view was stunning and the adrenaline rush from travelling at 50-60kph was a great rush!
We eventually arrived in the small dwelling of Budardalur and found a small guest house for the evening. A bed and a hot shower was just what we needed after a hard days cycle. The price was about average for Icelandic guest houses. 3000 ISK.
The town of Badardalur is apparently one of the best places in europe for producing new milk products and is also renowned for its cheese in the whole of Iceland. Other than that, it was just a nice cozy place to relax and look out over Hvammsfjordur.
Some small points of interest and historical importance lie in the west fjords. Located at Latrabjarg is Iceland's largest seacliffs. Stretching 14km long and at a hight of 441 meters high. The epic story of exile and adventure "the saga of Gisli Sursson" transpires around the region of Dynjandi. Lokinhamradalur valley is one of the most ghost infested and scary places in Iceland. In 1615 many Spanish sailors were brutally slaughtered by farmers led by a county sheriff in the region of Aedey, across the bay from Isafjordur.
When travelling in the Westernfjords be prepared for a bumpy ride. The weather seems to change in the space of 10 minutes and then change back again not long after. The mountain passes were unbelievable and savagely beautiful. My only annoyance was that we didn't quite see enough of the fjords. Not all at once though I suppose.

Icelandic lesson..... Animals.

Cat = Köttur
cow = kýr
dog = hundur
duck = önd
elephant = fíl
goat = geit
hen = hæna
horse = hestur
lion = ljón
monkey = api
mouse = mús
pig = svín
rabbit = kanína
shark = Hákarl

Untill next time.... just remember Ice keeps Ice cold. haha

Posted by tchgate 10:59 Archived in Iceland Tagged ecotourism

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