Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Day 10: July 5, 2011

We cycled from Skogafoss Waterfall to Vik today, a 35km (22 mile) ride that included gorgeous views of the towering Myrdalsjokull Glacier on our left and the Atlantic Ocean's hazy horizon to our right. We were soaked in the first hour by a steady rain, but the ever-present head winds dried us off soon after the rain stopped. We've been averaging about 6 MPH thanks to the winds (I promise that's the last time I'll mention the wind in today's blog :-)). Our daily mileage is low, but I can feel my legs getting stronger from the work.

Sho and Saya remind me to stop at least once an hour to rest and play. One of our stops was at Vellir, a lush, sprawling farm enjoying the type of view remarkably common in Iceland: a monster glacier looming to the north, towering cliffs immediately to the west, and the glistening ocean to the south. The farm has a cafe that is open for breakfast and dinner, but when we arrived at lunch time, the owner took pity on us and fed us delicious broccoli soup and hot dogs. After I told her about our ride, she gave us a steep discount on the food. It was another in a growing list of examples of generosity and kindness we've experienced from the people in Iceland.

We chatted about the recent volanic eruptions in the area, and I pointed out nervously that the nearby volcano Katla is long overdue. Our host smiled confidently and said, "Oh, don't worry. She's fast asleep." Saya excitedly watched a group on horseback heading out of the farm for a ride along the ocean front. She's made up her mind to get a white horse when we return to NYC. I guess we'll need to set up a stable next to the bunk bed she shares with Sho...

We're spending the night in Vik, a charming oceanside town of about 300 inhabitants. The next town is 70km (43 miles) away, with not much more than lava fields in between. Given the weight of our gear, my 43-year old legs & back, the need to stop frequently to give Saya a break from her cramped trailer, and the annoying force of nature I promised not to mention again, we will most likely sleep in our tent tomorrow night out in the wild. We'll look for a boulder or cave to protect us from the winds. Don't expect a blog post tomorrow - I won't have a connection and will probably be too tired to write anyway.

Here are some pics from today:

Leaving Skogafoss Waterfall in the morning:

Our generous friend at Vellir farm:

On the road...

Sho at work:

Getting ready to climb a 12% grade. Just grin and bear it!

At the top of the climb!

The charming town of Vik:

Saya goofing off:

Sho taking flight in a playground next to the public pool in Vik:

- An Iceland Bike Adventure post

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