The journey so far:
38 days on the road:
3345 miles by land, about 1000 miles by sea,
Days without any rain 9
Days with rain almost all day 3
Nights camping 32 Nights in hotels 3 Nights at sea 3
Countries visited 7
Days driven out of our tent by the weather 1
We decided to stay in the cute little port of Djupivogur for a couple of nights, which was just as well, as the rack sack had decided to leak and an awful lot of our stuff was very damp after the recent rains. The seam sealer stuff I bought to fix the mattress looks like it will work well, but only time will tell. (We came to the conclusion that the campsite is probably one of the nicest we stayed at and a good stopping point going to or from Seydifjordur, if you come in with the ferry).
Djupivogur is a lovely place with some quirky features. We went to see (I think) ‘Rock, Sticks and Bones’, a weird place with a huge range of collections- porcelain dogs to dolphin skeletons to exquisite rock samples to rock sculptures of the fairy folk (wait for it) that got caught in the sun and turned back to…..stone. (noticing a theme here?) The proprietor seemed highly eccentric, walking around with headset on, shouting loudly and ignoring us. His dog was, however, very friendly and only wanted people to throw a ball for him.
We also came across an extraordinary artwork by Sigurdur Gudmundsson which consisted of 34 perfectly formed, large, shiny granite eggs of all the native birds of Iceland. It looked as if they had used the concrete blocks that used to carry a pipeline, transforming a very drab port area into something special.
One of the local mountains looks as if it could be a setting for Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom
While stayed there it was, as always, a pleasure to chat with other travellers. We are pretty recognisable with the Tentipi/British Discovery combination, so we have had several people talk to us as if we know them well. This is not always easy for someone with a rubbish memory like mine, as I spend ages trying to remember conversations that never happened.
One really nice chat I had was with a youngish bloke from Japan. He is currently working as a chef in Paris and has been to SO many places. I realised as I was talking to him that, despite the fact that his grades had been top notch as a student, his face did not fit in some way, and he got bad reports for his ‘mental attitude’ and his parents really disapproved of him. All I can say is that a) I have seldom come across such an easy person to talk to and b) he is having a great time, despite his break from his family.
We travelled on through the East Fjords, which are lovely, despite not being so outstandingly gorgeous as the ones in the west.
We popped in on Petra’s Stone Collection in Stodvarfjordur, which has to be seen to be believed. Petra died a couple of years ago at a ripe old age, but her relatives have kept the place going. She collected a massive range of mineral samples, apparently hauling them home herself, or getting friends to help. How she ever found time to produce and rear so many children is probably the largest mystery of all. She also collected all sorts of other things like matchboxes and handkerchiefs. I am proud to say that a Lavant House School biro is now part of one of her collections.
We stopped for the night at Eskifjordur, which, apart from its lovely setting and the best shower in all Iceland, there was nothing I could find that made it noteworthy at all… Nobody even turned unto check our camping card.
And finally over the mountains for the last short hop to Seydifjordur. Nearly as good as when we drove out, but the sun was not out and the ice had melted on the lake.
The waterfalls we cooed over had seemed to have shrunk, the roads seemed much easier to drive along, the views not so special. We have been thoroughly spoilt. We need a break because we are suffering from a slight case of scenery overload. A couple of days at sea with hardly anything to see should sort that out.
So after 4 weeks and 2145 miles we have driven nearly all the way around the coast of Iceland, just missing the peninsulas that you can not drive right round at all with no roads or tracks and two little dull ones. We have met a load of lovely people and we are both sorry to go, but glad to move on and excited about the next part of the journey. Norway, here we come.
Now, here is a question for anyone who has been to Norway, Sweden and/or Finland. What would you say we must not miss and have you any favourite, quirky spots we might enjoy?