The journey so far:
15 days on the road:
1400 miles by land, about 1000 miles by sea,
Days without any rain 5
Nights camping 8 Nights in hotels 2 Nights at sea 3
Friday nights in Seydisfjordur are a little rowdy. It started gently enough with a group of ageing hippy types turning up in the afternoon in their converted lorry and then playing some pretty good rock music quite loudly, using electric guitars and an amplifier. The campsite was soon heaving with Icelanders and their trailer tents. It seems the weather has been appalling in Reykjavik for weeks and they are heading east for some sun. We went to bed at about eleven, still light, of course. There was still loud talk and music going on at about 4 in the morning. Icelanders do seem to be party people.
We left Seydisfjordur Saturday morning in bright sunshine and drove north along the only road to Egisstadir. Along the way we passed some wonderful waterfalls and cascades, a perfectly still, mirror-like lake, on which lots of ice was still floating, despite the fact this is high summer in Iceland. Why there were no stopping places available to admire such perfection, is beyond me. We just have to go back there and take photos, even if means stopping the traffic. I suspect that after a few weeks here, we will achieve a more Icelandic point of view and just stop in the middle of the road as they seem to.
We followed to coast road over a very beautiful and challenging peninsula from Egilsstadir along route 917 to Vopnafjordur, with gradients of 15%, hairpin bends and an unmetalled surface. I was very thankful that Camel is a 4 x 4 and that Tim could handle the terrain (OK, I shut my eyes a bit and whimpered a little). Going up was one thing, but coming down was much more challenging as the loose gravel made it very difficult to brake. The smile on Tim’s face at the end said it all. He was totally in his element.
On Sunday, having camped in a very basic site in Porshofn
we drove up the peninsula to the north of the town, which is definitely ONLY for 4 x 4’s and probably not worth the wear and tear on the tyres. We then drove around the north eastern peninsula (lots of peninsulas here) via Raufarhofn (the most northerly village in Iceland) and Kopasker.
The route went from high peaks to a very flat plane with a large sky to rival Norfolk, strewn with lumps of volcanic rock, hummocks of grass and swathes of wildflowers.
We did actually pass the most northerly part of Iceland that you can reach by road but the only noteworthy thing about it was the number of cars parked there.
Sunday evening we camped in the neck of a canyon called Asbyrgi. Surrounding us were towering walls of volcanic rock (and a whole lot of Icelanders with trailer tents).
We cycled the Bromptons to the far end of the canyon, where you got a real sense of just how high the walls of the canyon are. A high spot was listening to a pair of Icelandic tenors testing the echo with a chorus from the Pearl Fishers (we think).
One nice thing at the moment is that we keep on bumping into a lovely family of Germans, who we met in the Faroe Islands.