Friday, July 15, 2011

Day 19: July 14, 2011

Some days are perfect for cycling. Others, like today, not so much... It rained throughout. Low hanging clouds and a heavy fog obscured what I'm sure were beautiful vistas. A chilly, willful headwind slowed our progress and numbed our wet feet, as we cycled along the coast in Iceland's Eastfjords. After a while, Sho said he couldn't feel his toes and asked if he could join Saya in the warm, protected bike trailer. He knew that wasn't an option though. Sometimes an adventurer just suffers for a while.

We rode around 65km (40 miles) from Breiddalsvik to Reydarfjordur, stopping on the way to check out the quirky stone collection Steinasafn Petru in Stodvarfjordur. The owner, Ljosbjorg Petra Maria Sveinsdottir, began collecting local stones in 1946 and, in 1974, opened her home for visitors to see her artistically-rendered collection. Sho and Saya romped around the outdoor garden, excitedly calling out cool discoveries.

Near the end of today's ride, we passed through a 6 km (3.7 mile) long tunnel that served as a welcome respite from the cold spitting rain. As we emerged from the tunnel, we looked out over the small trading port of Reydarfjordur, which lay shrouded in mist on the other side of the broad fjord. Just to the north of the town, a giant Alcoa aluminum smelter marred the view. While I'm sure it helped the local economy, the ugly industrial site was a jarring counterpoint to the Eastfjords' gorgeous natural beauty I had taken for granted over the past few days.

We opted for a comfortable, dry, warm room in Fjardahotel and happily devoured a pizza for dinner in the hotel restaurant. We decided to make tomorrow's ride a short 20-miler to Egilstadir, the last town before a 2-day ride through the wild, unpopulated northeast.

Here are some pics:

Sho and Saya at Petru rock museum:

Our final view of the ocean from eastern Iceland. From here, we head inland.

Entrance to the tunnel, shrouded in a heavy fog.

The tunnel exit:

- An Iceland Bike Adventure post

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