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Cycling Around Iceland!

From Forrest falls to smokey bays : THE FULL CIRCLE!!

all seasons in one day 10 °C

From Forrest falls to smokey bays : THE FULL CIRCLE!

After leaving the comfortable little town of Vík it wasn't long before we arrived in Skógar, an even smaller location, with a population of around 25, but packing one hell of a clout! The punch been, in my belief one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Iceland. Skógafoss is a majestic sight, on your first accountance to your last, any time of the day, and I assume any time of year! The name Skógarfoss literally translates to 'The Forest Waterfall'. Which was funny, because there isn't exactly an ampleness of trees in the area! If you climb up a small trail to the right of the waterfall, it takes you up to the edge of the river Skógá, which flows down from springs at the base of the Eyjaöll mountains. There are little view points of the waterfall along the way, which are both hazardous to get to, and worth the reward. The energy in the area was bewildering. Skógafoss falls about 60 meters and is about 25meters wide. It creates a constant spray, which apparently can produce a perma rainbow, best viewed on sunny days. We were not so lucky, with the 'non existent perma' rainbow. The power of the waterfall seemed incredible. Not as powerful as some others in Iceland such as Dettifoss, but enough to make you feel everything on your body shake as tons and tons of playfully falling water crashed to the ground beneath you. We soon had to absquatulate from the scene, before soaking ourselves to death.
As many a folk story tells of there being a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, this one could (have been) be genuine?! According to communal law, Þrasi Þórólfsson was the first Viking to settle in the area. He apparently buried treasure behind the wall of water at Skógar. Many years later during the 17th century three local men managed to get a rope around a ring on the end of the box, but the ring broke off and that is all they were left with. The ring can 'now' be found in the Skógar museum, but was fashionably used for the door ring on the local church for a number of years.
Apparently this was an old folklore chant about Þrasi's gold.....

Richly stacked is Þrasi’s chest
under Skógar’s waters cold.
Who so ever goes there first
will have wealth untold.
(Translation Bernard Scudder)

After staying around the tranquil area of Skógar, we eventually managed to pull ourselves away and head back on the final stretch to Reykjavik. I would be lying if claimed that there wasn't a lure to get back to Reykjavik and a major civilisation, but I was still enjoying small town life, and clean clean air haha. We made our way leisurely back towards Reykjavik, stopping by a few towns for convenience means, and interest. The town of Hvolsvöllur, was an important post after the recent eruptions earlier this year. There was a red cross mass care centre set up here to help people affected by the eruption. Culturally however, Njáls saga or 'Brennu-Njáls saga' (The Story of the burning of Njáll) is known to have taken place around this area. Apparently it is one of the favourite saga's of Icelanders. The story tells of blood feuds in the 13th century. It was a nice little town but we were now feeling the need to let loose and party all night long again in the smokey bay.
Succeeding our time in Hvolsvöllur, we made little more stops than were needed. It was a matter of days, over a few hills as we neared Reykjavik, and our eventual finish to our full circle. It seemed ridiculous to see how far we had been, people and places that we had seen, were all now behind us. The circle road had been better than we had imagined sometimes, and more like a horror movie at others. The weather had been great to us at times and also nearly pushed you over the edge of insanity. The relief was obvious, we had just completed a trip of a lifetime, and it felt amazing. A flood of emotions came over me as we passed the Reykjavik sign. I couldn't stop smiling, maybe because I'm bordering on alcoholism and I knew I could have a binge, but I think not. I'm pretty sure that I felt proud of myself, extremely proud of myself. Not just for realising that I can actually do these sort of things, but realising that by doing this amazing adventure we have been able to help so many people through raising money for charity. And maybe this is where the sad part hit me, the fact that I felt so lucky. The fact that not everyone can just get away and go and travel around Iceland, not just because of their financial stability, but more because of their health. Then the travelling bug bit me again, and none of us were able to wipe the smile off of our faces all day. Brilliant!
The smokey bay, as we like to call Reykjavik, is a translation we were given by a guy on one of our adventures throughout Iceland, and it just stuck. On our return we managed to find the couch surfer we had stayed with over our first few nights in Iceland. He put us up for a few nights, which was great as always, to not hear the wind through the wall and to see a friendly face. Over these days spent near Hafnarfjörður all we did was relax and share memories of our adventures throughout Iceland. Afterall it had been one crazy trip. We eventually moved out of his flat and took with us our bike boxes which he had kindly kept under the stairs in the basement of his flat building. We headed down to the central camping site of Reykjavik, which was colossal in comparison with other sites around Iceland or even other towns. The location was fantastic. Not to far away from the 'Reykjavik 101', but also not to close. However we were very close to the bay area with some stunning views out towards Akranes, a town we hadn't quite made it to.
Now it was time to party............ and party we did!!!

Icelandic lesson..........

finnast - think, find
líða - feel
lítast á - like
sýnast - seem
þykja - think, find
dreyma - dream
langa í - want
vanta - need Mig vantar kaffi. - 'I need coffee.'

Football & Sport
fótbolti (m.) - football, soccer
kappleikur (m.) - match
klúbbur (m.) - club
komast yfir boltann - to gain possession of the ball
leika (v.) - play
leikmaður (m.) - player
lið (n.) - team
mark (n.) - goal
markvörður (m.) - goalkeeper, goalie
skora (v.) - score
sparka (v.) - to kick
vinna (v.) - win

Fruits
ananas - pineapple (courtesy of Rodney Martel)
appelsína (f.) - orange
apríkósa (f.) - apricot
banani (m.) - banana
bláber (n.) - blueberry
epli (n.) - apple
ferskja (f.) - peach
jarðaber (n.) - strawberry
pera (f.) - pear
rúsína (f.) - raisin
sítróna (f.) - lemon
tómatur (m.) - tomato
vínber (n.) grape

Vegetables
agúrka (f.) - cucumber (agurk)
baun (f.) - bean (bønne)
gulrót (f.) - carrot (gulerod)
hrísgrjón (n.) - rice (ris)
hvítlaukur (m.) - garlic (hvidløg)
kál (n.) - cabbage (kål)
kartafla (f.) - potato (kartoffel)
laukur (m.) - onion (løg)
rófa (f.) - turnip (roe)
salat (n.) - lettuce (salat)
sveppur (m.) - mushroom (svamp)

Posted by tchgate 12:24 Archived in Iceland Tagged ecotourism Comments (0)

Cycling Around Iceland!

DANGER FROM KATLA!

all seasons in one day 14 °C

Danger from Katla

Arriving in Vík í Mýrdal, southern Iceland in the early hours of the morning was spectacular. The weather was still. The inhabitants of which is around 300, were all still tucked away in bed, and the only noise around for miles was the mix of sea birds and waves relaxing the mind. The fresh scent of salt water reminded me of been back at home, in a sea side fishing town such as Whitby. The presence was electric, maybe just to reach another settlement, but calming as well, odd. On the way into Vík you pass a rather surprisingly situated but oddly awesome golf course. The course follows the cliff which runs into the town. Only a 9 hole course I think, but still something to surprise and catch the eye. I can only imagine that it gets ridiculously windy around there and can sometimes be impossible to play.
The ride into Vík í Mýrdal was a pleasant ride itself. We had ridden from Kirkjubæjarklaustur over the last few days, and had received mixed weather conditions. Gods here really do like to remind you that Iceland is a rough and rugged country and shouldn't be taken litely. We had utilized the wild camping laws to the full on this stretch of road. There are plenty of places to set up your tent, but sometimes finding shelter from the wind is hard, comfortable surroundings can be hard to find anywhere, even on campsites! But why, why, why would you come to Iceland and cycle around the island if you weren't ready for that??
Vík, or Vík í Mýrdal in full is the southernmost populated point in Iceland. We found that the small town holds many delights to charm the weary traveller. The black sandy beach at Vík is beautiful, with great views over the stunning Reynisdrangar or 'basalt sea stacks' to me and you. They rise from the sea majestically, almost as if a tale of giant creature from the deep. Reynisdrangar is well worth a gaze for a few hours, especially when finding out that according to folk law, the basalt pillars were apparently trolls that were caught outside at dawn. The sea is supposed to be notoriously rough around these mythical stone trolls, not that we tested this theory, but I would tend to take local Icelandic advice when it comes to weather and sea conditions. It's almost as if they are all meteorologists. While sat on the black sands we couldn't help think how amazing the surroundings actually were. The black sandy beach was actually rated in the top 10 beaches in the world in 1991 by Islands magazine, an American publication. Contrary to belief however, Vík is apparently the wettest place in Iceland. Binary to most peoples views of perfect beaches I would expect. We experienced the beauty with a pinch of nice weather and a serious lack of people. Tourists that is to say.
Nearby to Vík is the impressive Mýrdalsjökull (mire valley glacier) which houses a little shop of horrors! Home to Katla, a volcano which has an eruption pattern of every 40 or so years, the giant hasn't blown its load in over 90 years, since 1918. It has a rather impressive 10km diameter caldera (cooking pot also known as a cauldron), the giant shares similarities with Yellowstone national park in America and Glen Coe in Scotland. Apparently scientists are monitoring it more closely since the eruption of the much smaller Eyjafjallajökull. Personally we were not nerved by the shadow of the volcano. Visiting is surely one thing but imagine living in Vík. The local people were heavily effected by the recent eruptions in 2010, but if Katla explodes, the flash flooding expectation is very high. This obviously is a huge worry to the population of Vik and the surrounding areas. If Katla explodes and manages to melt such an amount of ice, then the town of Vík í Mýrdal could be wiped out completely. The church in Vík is located high upon a hill, visible to all. It is believed to be the only building that would stand a chance of surviving flash floods. This in mind, is why the people of Vík periodically practice rushing to the church on any sign of an earth quake.

Most of our time in Vík was spent relaxing and hoping that we would get a chance to see, or take part in a flash flood practice evacuation to the church. We were unlucky in our both our hopes, but the relaxation was grand, and well needed. There is plenty to do in and around Vík. I would recommend this smart little village/town as a great place to base yourself if travelling in the area, or if passing through.

Icelandic lesson.......... some adjectives you could use to describe food..

beiskur - bitter
bragðgóður - tasty
bragðvondur - bad-tasting
feitur - fat
ferskur - fresh
harður - hard
hrár - raw
magur - lean
meyr - tender
mjúkur - soft
safaríkur - juicy
seigur - tough
saltur - salty
stökkur - crispy
súr - sour
sætur - sweet
þurr - dry

and to accompany the food.......

ávaxtasafi (m.) - fruit juice
bjór (m.) - beer
gos (n.) - soft drink
kaffi (n.) - coffee
kók (n.) - Coke, cola
mjólk (f.) - milk
léttmjólk (f.) - skim milk
te (n.) - tea
vatn (n.) - water
vín (n.) - wine
hvítvín (n.) - white wine
rauðvín (n.) - red wine
öl (n.) - beer, ale

Posted by tchgate 10:43 Archived in Iceland Tagged ecotourism Comments (0)

Cycling Around Iceland!

Icelandic Alps, fires & floods!

overcast

Icelandic Alps, fires & floods!

Skaftafell National Park is located in the south of Iceland. Dominating the skyline and a huge amount of tourist interest. The national park lies in between Kirkjubæjarklaustu and Höfn, which makes it easily accessible for day trips or a passing stop on route 1. Personally I would recommend staying for a few days and really seeing this beauty. If your into your hiking there are some great walking trails around here. If your like me, and you like to just gaze across the beautiful landscape then this is one attraction you shouldn't miss. On June the 7Th 2008, the Skaftafell National Park became part of the larger Vatnajökull National Park, which dominates Iceland. The Skaftafell National Park was founded on the 15Th of September 1967 and now measures 4807 km2, making it Iceland's second largest national park.
One of the main attractions and tourist "must See's" is a waterfall which has similar rock formations to the Giants Causeway in Northern Ireland. It was formed by a lava flow, cooling extremely slowly forming crystallisation. Which waterfall am I?! Svartifoss (The black waterfall)! Apparently the hexagonal basalt columns have influenced some of Iceland's architects, and most notably Guðjón Samúelsson, whom himself designed, among many others the 'Hallgrímskirkja' (Reykjavik's most noticeable building) and Akureyrarkirkja (the church of Akureyri). The resemblance is amazing! The national park also contains some of the most beautiful natural and rugged land in Iceland.
Skaftafell apparently housed the site of a manor farm in the middle ages. The church acquired land here and later the estate belonged to the Danish king. Fire and Ice or glacial flooding has had a profound effect on the area. History tells us that farms were destroyed by lava flows in 14Th century and the area was then known as Öræfi (wasteland). More recently the area has been effected by glacial flows. Volcanic activity beneath the glacier caused the dramatic release of ice and water and is known as jökulhlaup. The devastating flow cut a ridge into the ice margin 1km long, 250m wide and 40m deep.
There is so much to do in Skaftafell. You can go hiking until your boots wear thin. You can go mountain biking to mystical forests, yes forests, apparently guarded by trolls, or at least used to be. There is a great visitors center here giving much needed information and history, and Svartifoss, where the main congestion heads is well worth a viewing. Svartifoss is approximately 45 mins hike from the visitor center. We were lucky to get a few days of sun, and slight bit of colour to our faces. The unlucky thing for me, was that my batteries for my camera ran dead, and I couldn't charge them. I'm absolutely gutted about this. After spending a few crazy and stunning days in Skaftafell we decided to move on head towards Kirkjubæjarklaustur.
The trail from Skaftafell to Kirkjubæjarklaustur was just short of 70km. We decided that due to the lack of hills in the area we could probably finish this distance in one day of cycling. We had after all met other 'serious' cyclists that were completing 100km or more everyday. Route 1 running towards Kirkjubæjarklaustur ran past Skeiðarárjökull which was the sight of the 1996 jökulhlaup. The weather we has along here was mixed, as it usually is in Iceland. After a few previous nice days we were back to usual Icelandic variation. The rest of the cycle to Kirkjubæjarklaustur was spent mostly in 'the zone'. I would find that on this ground I could cover a lot of ground pretty quickly. I would then turn around to check on my friends and not see them on the horizon behind me. Stopping and waiting was something I was used to by now, but landscape around here wasn't much to shout about.
In the late evening we eventually arrived Kirkjubæjarklaustur (Church farm cloister) and set up camp. This town or village is pretty small, but well known for a number of interesting reasons. we decided to spend a day. Firstly and mainly there is another natural hexagonal basalt feature here, which once again reminds the viewer of the famous Giants Causeway in Northern Ireland. It is worth a look. Kirkjugólf or also know as church floor is made of basalt columns stuck in the earth, giving a pavement appearance or a church floor.

The settlement was apparently used before the settling of the Norse men. The Irish monks were apparently here. In 1186 Benedictine nuns set up a well known convent on the site, which lasted until the reformation of 1550. Not far above the town are the quaint but dramatic 'waterfall of the sisters' (Systrafoss) and the 'lake of the sisters' (Systravatn). Both worth a visit. Iceland is all about these little towns. Adventuring and finding out tails and stories steeped in fascination. Here apparently was the home of good and sinful nuns. The sisters rock (Systrastapi) is supposed to be a burial site of two nuns from the convent, after they had been burnt at the stake. One of the nuns was accused of selling her soul to the Devil, carrying communion bread outside of the church and also having sexual intercourse with men. The second sister was apparently to have spoken ill of the Pope, but this was eventually retracted, and folk law says that flowers now grow at her grave. Systravatn also has a rather unusual tale of its own. Apparently it was a lake frequently bathed in by the nuns. Apparently one day two nuns saw a hand rise up from the lake with a gold ring upon it. Both of the nuns apparently showed a greedy nature, and tried to seize the golden ring from the hand. While acting in such an un-nun-like fashion they were pulled under by the hand, and both nuns drowned.
The amazing church related stories don't end there. Apparently during 1783, pastor of the local church Jón Steingrímsson, delivered what became known as the "Fire Sermon" (eldmessa). Legend says that his sermon stopped a lava flow from destroying the town during 1783 Laki eruptions. Like the more recent explosion of Eyjafjallajökull, in 1783 not only was Iceland affected by the volcanic eruption. Many countries throughout Europe were effected. From Bergen to Belin and the old Kingdom of Bohiemia, and Great Britain reported a number of deaths due to poisoning. In Britain alone apparently 23,000 people died from poisoning due to the release of 8 million tons of hydrogen fluoride and an estimated 120 tons of Sulphur dioxide giving place to what was known as 'Laki haze' across Europe. One report from the time says that 'the fog was so thick that boats stayed in port, unable to navigate, and the sun was described as "blood coloured". The eruption is also linked to famines world wide in 1784. Crazy, crazy stuff. And just think how much people were complaining when Eyjafjallajökull, made its stamp on the world. Evidently, I don't think it would even compare to the Laki eruptions of 1783. We were the lucky ones! If anything this should teach us to respect nature more and awe in its beauty. We are not in control of nature, and should learn to respect that much more.

Icelandic lesson.......... Countries of the world

England = England
Ireland = Írland
Scotland = Skotland
Wales = Wales
Untied Kingdom = Bretland
Holland = Holland
France = Frakkland
Germany = Þýskaland
Sweden = Svíþjóð
Denmark = Danmörk
Norway = Noregur
Iceland = Ísland
Finland = Finnland
Fareo Islands = Færeyjar
Spain = Spánn
Italy = Ítalía

India = Indland
China = Kína
Japan = Japan
Russia = Rússland
Australia = Ástralía
New Zealand = Nýja-Sjáland
America = Ameríka
United States = Bandaríkin
Kenya = Kenýa
Brazil = Brasilía
Argentina = Argentína

Posted by tchgate 09:53 Archived in Iceland Tagged ecotourism Comments (0)

Cycling Around Iceland!

Black beaches & glistening glaciers, all in the spectacular south!!!

all seasons in one day

Black beaches & glistening glaciers, all in the spectacular south!!!

As we moved into the apparent 'wettest' area of Iceland, we were in for an immediate surprise. Not rays of sunshine and temperatures of the Savannah, rather one of the most attractive natural wanders of the world - Jökulsárlón (the floating glacier). The views of the amazing Vatnajökul had been teasing us for days. Amazing views in sometimes a hostile environment. We hadn't received a battering by the elements like we had on the west coast, but still it was sometimes hard to plunk up the courage and the mental strength to carry on. So you can imagine our delight when finally arriving late at night at the floating glacier that is Jökulsárlón. Instead of heading straight to bed after a long days cycle we got the tent ready, had some food, and then stayed up until about 2am exploring the edges of the floating glacier. Other 'must see' sights around Iceland had taught us wisely that during the summer you can see anything at anytime. Meaning you can go to a waterfall at 2pm and maybe not see anything for people everywhere, and really feel down spirited that you didn't get the right connection with the location. However if alternatively you are like us, and can stay up between 9pm and 2am you can be alone with some of Iceland's and the world's greatest natural locations. I believe it's one of the best ways to experience the haunting beauty some of the treats of Iceland really have to offer.
Located in the south of Iceland. Smack, bang on route 1 Jökulsárlón is an amazing place. Easy and rewarding to find. Apparently 18km² and 200m deep, making it the biggest glacial lake in Iceland, and apparently the second deepest lake behind Öskjuvatn. Due to heavy melting of the surrounding glaciers, Jökulsárlón is not separated from the sea by a huge distance. There is however a tributary which has many happy marine wildlife playing around on its way to the big blue ocean. Jökulsárlón is definitely one of my top destinations in Iceland. It is just stunningly beautiful. The kind of the jaw dropping, while trying to smile beauty. My face didn't really know what it wanted to do. I was genuinely slightly emotional. There was only myself and my two best friends alone, with the creaking noises, the marine life and the shear beauty which lay before us. We sat in silence and partial disbelief of what lay before us. Maybe because it was summer, or meant to be, and lying before us was a mass expanse of floating Ice. Maybe it was because we were sharing something of this magnitude for the first time, maybe it was just a lot to take in at that time in the morning. After maybe 5-10 minutes of sitting on the rocky surroundings of the glacier, we finally found our voices again. Pictures were taken and it was time to retire back to the tent for a much needed rest.
When we had finally risen from the land of sleep, we thought a little more exploring might be on the cards. However, the glacier was pretty full with the day tourists, the bus tourists, the camper van tourist and a couple more campers. We had camped by the black sands, over the road from the glacier, looking out of our tent with insane ocean views. There was to be nothing strenuous done. Relaxing, reading and gazing out into these surreal surroundings. We enjoyed the weather until it turned sour in the afternoon, and drove us back into our tent. This was disappointing, but typically Iceland, and by now we were totally used to the changing of all the seasons in 10 minutes, let alone a whole day. When you usually associate summer with warm sunny days or even going on holiday to places just because of the heat or their amazing white beaches, we were totally contradicting this image, sat in our tent, in the wind and rain on a weirdly beautiful black beach. Were/are we mad.... I'm still not totally sure.
The next day we didn't make it that far. The weather aloud us a brief slot to get our tent down around 10am. We then plodded on another 10km or so, and on to some more amazing views of the glacier. We decided it would be great to once again camp by the ice, in the middle of summer, and had also heard via word of mouth, that the sun was on its way tomorrow. A change of scenery away from all of the camper vans was just what we needed. The mist was soon onto us however and we were once again driven into the belly of our tent. Cards, stories and soup were in abundance, and tent life prevailed for another thrilling day of Icelandic weather.
Sure enough the next day brought us delight. The sun was out to play and the wind and rain were nowhere to be seen. Sun cream on and time to hit the road. Next major destination over the horizon was selected to be Skaftafell National Park. The Alps of Iceland........

Icelandic lesson..... around the house....(hús)

Kitchen - eldhús
Living room - dagstofa, stofa or in old houses - baðstofa
Bedroom - svefnherbergi
Bathroom - baðherbergi
Office - skrifstofa
Garden - garður
Garage - bílskúr
Pantry - búr

Posted by tchgate 15:50 Archived in Iceland Tagged ecotourism Comments (0)

Cycling around Iceland

Heading south

sunny 15 °C

Heading South....

Leaving Egilsstadir was actually quite upsetting... after a few days in this cheeky little town I felt quite attatched. I believe it was a mix of the warm hospitality shown by the locals and a chilled out atmosphere to this adilic little town. Anyway we were heading to Höfn only 246k away. The route 1 here ran between the south eastern fjords, and there was a noticably bad stretch of road which we were to look out for. Its amazing that on the main highway through a country in europe you can actually come across road like this. The road wasn't by any means Nepalie standards, where every bump throughs you out of your bus seat, and leaves you scrambling around in embaracement. No, these roads stretched through amazing fjord landscapes with rocks, sand and pebbles all over the road. Not even a good tyre tred was left by passing vehicles to allow an easier cycling path for the weary traveller. Yes, yes, yes.... I should shut up about the roads and just get on with it... its like the wind, it grinds you down. You can't cycle fast over this surface. As we had already had one inner tube blown out in the northern fjords we were taking no chances, and taking our ride with extra cautioun. We tried to hitch for a while, but with no luck we plodded on in our general slow fasion. The weather wasn't great and the clouds were decending down upon us, it didn't look good. So after maybe travelling 60k we decided to call it a day, and settle down for the night in a random field which looked softer than the rest of the surroundings, but turned out to be just as pompus and irritating as the hard ground all around us! Not a great first nights sleep. It only added to the annoyance, which the road had already caused us. Brighter things were to come.
The next day however was much better. After finally leaving the gravel road and returning to the beautiful asphelt surface everything seemed to get better. The sun was out and shinning bright, the wind was down, and the scenery was stunning. It was rather dreamy. Cycling past mountains and mountains on the way to the coast was beautiful, I kept thinking to myself, and the same question came up...... 'why didn't they film any of "Lord of the rings" here?' The landscape was rugged and wild, and empty up untill meeting the small town of Breiðdalsvík. There wasn't much going on in the small town, however it made a brilliant stop for some food, and an hour or so to relax and take in the mornings views, and the ever pending ones which were all around us. The bay was amazing. I feel that we were lucky to witness this bay area on such a calm day. I have a feeling that we should have tried to camp around there and taken the rest of the day off. However we dragged ourselves onwards to Djúpivogur.
Djúpivogur is also a fantastic little settlement. It is located near the island of Papey, which it is believed, was the settlement of Irish monks before the Norse conqueres came. The island is named after Papar, which is apparently from Latin and Old Irish meaning 'Father' or 'Pope'. The town itself seemed to revolve around the fishing industry, like many towns in Iceland. It was quaint and still. There wasn't all that much going on though. It was a brilliant place for a coffee and book, and an early-ish night.
The next days ride to Höfn was much the same as the last with the addition of wind. The views were spectacualar, the sun was out and the lack of hills helped awefully. It wasn't a hard cycle to get down to Höfn. The wind wasn't that bad for once, and we were all in good fetle. Stafafell was beautiful. It was a marking point that we weren't that far from Höfn. This picked up the moral of the group and pushed us on to complete this leg of our journey. we couldn't wait to hit some form of bigger civilisation for a few days or a day atleast. We hadn't muched our way through all of our provisions but we were needy of more pasta, rice and beans at this point. Our staple diet, oh the joys of cycling food. Baked beans and rice for dinner again tonight haha, why not throw in some chilli flakes to change it up a little bit. However, the views of the mountains around here were impecable, and would essentially make any food worth eatting. At this point I did feel really lucky to be here and just spend some time doing nothing! It was ace.
On arrival in Höfn, we realsied that we were a few days too late for the July Lobster Festival (Humarhátíð). Apparently it is amazing. We heard that the locals stand out on the streets, just cooking up lobster and giving it away to passing people. The streets were still lined with banners and cartoons of giant lobsters. It looked like a town with a hangover from one hell of a party. It was annoying that we had missed it but you can't do everything now can you?! On first apearance, ignoring banners and giant 'man eatting' lobsters, the town seemed nice. Nothing special but a pretty little coastal town with a nice harbour area and relaxed atmospher about it. This was to be home for the next few days, a place to rest the legs and relax. Lovley.

Icelandic lesson......... Nature (Náttúra).....

Forest - skógur
Sea - sjó
Mountain - fjall
Pond - Tjörnin
Glacier - jökull
Beach - fjara
Volcano - eldfjall
Lake - vatn
River - fljót
Waterfall - foss
Fjord - fjörður

http://www.justgiving.com/cyclingaroundiceland
http://www.justgiving.com/cycling-around-Iceland-shelter

Posted by tchgate 11:47 Archived in Iceland Tagged ecotourism Comments (0)

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