So yesterday we picked up the bike! Only after a long 1.5 mile walk, while dragging all of our gear throug Reykjavik. It was great fun trying to get a 2000 euro charge on a credit card from Iceland… Anyway Eythor, from Biking Viking was a huge help. We installed the heated vest plug and got on our way.
We headed north instead of south by accident and only noticed when we ended up down an unexpected 4 mile tunnel. We turned around after turning on my phone for GPS, and realizing where the arrow showed up on the map. We did about 100 clicks for a 30k ride.
I’m loving the F650GS twin. It’s so smooth and forgiving. It’s setup exactly the way I would setup the bike, so it didn’t take very long to feel at home riding it.
We pulled into Hveragerthi around noon, and saw a couple of hobos we recognized. (OK we planned to meet up with Kerra’s Sister Allison and her boyfriend Evan) And we setup camp. Allison and Evan have been backpacking around Iceland for a couple of weeks and they turned us on to their favorite grocery store: Bonus. There were a bunch of frozen lambs heads in the frozen foods section (right next to the pizza), Not gunna lie, kind of gross.
Allison lead us on a pretty intense hike to some hot springs. Lots of steam and sulfer belching from the mountain. Only a day in and we managed to end up at some of the most fantastic places. we swam in the hot springs and headed back. Actually, I got to swim twice, after I slipped on a rock into a deep portion of the stream. I’m pretty sure both my video camera and phone went in with me, but they both still work somehow. It was about an 8 mile hike. Some serious physical activity, and we made up for it by having spaghetti with peppers and corn at the campsite. We later played our version of the card game “SPOONS” which was redubbed “CRIMPS” because we used some 30A anderson power pole crimp terminals I found in my rain gear, instead of spoons.
We woke up this morning and went to the local bakery to get some fresh doughnuts and coffee. The only way to start the day! We packed up and headed out to Geysir. I’m still getting fully used to the GS, and there was some stretches of unpaved roads that were pretty slick. It’s tricky to get up on the footpegs the way you need to when riding off-road, when you have a passenger. Anyway Geysir is a very built-up tourist attraction of sorts, in stark contrast to the somewhat unspoiled springs we were at yesterday, but either way it was pretty fantastic. It really is unreal. It seems man-made, and yet it’s the farthest thing from it. I tried some smoked lamb-meat there. It was meh…very smokey.
We headed up the road to Golfoss, again a somewhat tourist-prone area, however it is a gorgeous waterfall, niagara falls may be bigger yeah, but this is cooler. Oh, and I finally decided to give Kerra the ring she’s been looking for…:) We headed off down some more intense off road riding through herds of sheep, down route 30. After I figured out the rubics cube of a gas-station we headed east on route 1.
We started into the glacial mountains, and the weather turned from gorgeous, to gray, to rediculously windy and rainy and cold.We were getting blown around in a serious way and when we stopped for gas we spotted some cabins across the road. It was (and still is as I write this) blowing very hard, maybe 40-50 mph with some rain and maybe 40 degrees F. We weren’t exactly in the mood to tent camp, but we were prepared to, since heading the 70k to the next town in this weather didn’t seem like a good idea. We asked about a cabin, which we thought were shed-style basic, small cabins. The price was 8000kr which is about $70 but since it’s so cold and windy I thought it was worth it to go for a real roof tonight. And as it turns out we got alot more than we bagained for. The cabin is a full loft, with a full bathroom, kitchen, electricity and HEAT! We could sleep like 40 backpackers in here :). It is right on the ocean in an absolutely quinessential icelandic location (check out the pictures 🙂 It is quite surreal, very Lord-Of-The-Rings 😉 I can see some tents blowing out of the front window, and even though they are well-staked down, they are basically blowing over completely…
It’s 11pm now, and it’s completely overcast outside, but also completely light out still. It’s very odd because not only are we not used to the long days, but since the sky has been mostly gray, it really looks the same pretty much all day long. It’s hard to tell what time of day it is. You can’t really see if the sun is setting or rising, it’s always just kind-of late afternoon. Hopefully it clears up a little bit, but the gray casts some really beautiful scenery here, and we have had a few brakes from the clouds, but not many.
We’ll try to really cover some ground tomorrow, but will be sure to take it nice and slow for gas mileage, considering the $7.85 / gallon gasoline (ouch).
More pictures here: http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.557768475557.2059321.21603136