The mountain Bulandstindur rose above us, its distinctive pyramidal ridge line framed against billowing clouds that obscured the sun. A variety of birds called out around us, some flocking to nests in cliffs high above that were shrouded in low hanging clouds. Arctic terns swooped alongside our bikes, showing off their distinctive black and white plumage and arcing gracefully through the wind. Pairs of mallards lazily moved away from shore whenever we approached, the brown female and much more striking green-headed male staying protectively close to one another. We marveled at the long red beaks of oyster catchers nesting on the shore and tending to their chicks. And we rode by large groups of common eiders that paddled near the shore, eyeing us suspiciously.
Sho practiced his ninja skills in attempts to capture pictures of some of the elusive birds, and Saya contributed her expertise at spotting exciting animals. I felt privileged to spend my time in such a stunningly beautiful place, and to share it with my children.
Sho and Saya have been keeping journals. Saya, age 4 ("and a half," she always adds), drew simple pictures of the mountains and birds we saw today. Sho, age 10, had this description of today's ride: "We rode 65km today. We rode for 2 hours with a tail wind and then we turned, and it made a head wind. We went 2X slower. Saya was whining the whole time. We had to stop every 30 minutes. That also made us slower. We were climbing and going 3 miles per hour. It took us 7 hours today. We saw a lot of different types of birds." He drew a picture of us cycling against a monster head wind with him saying "My God!"
I never said this trip was going to be easy. :-).
Here are some pics:
Momma oyster catcher:
Oyster catcher chick:
- An Iceland Bike Adventure post