Sunday, July 17, 2011

Day 21: July 16, 2011

We cycled around 55 km (34 miles) today, riding from the comfortable town of Egilstadir toward the beautiful lake resort Myvatn 165 km (102 miles) away. It's a lonely stretch of road in northeastern Iceland with almost no accommodations or food along the way, so we stocked up on groceries and made our way to the lone guest house we could reach in a day of cycling.

The weather god decided to teach us about the value of discomfort again, offering steady rain and a strong cross wind that made the 7 C degrees (45 F degrees) air temperature feel even colder. We cycled up a long, misty climb for the first two hours, steadily getting soaked through. Saya remained dry and warm in the bike trailer, but Sho and I went through two pairs of "waterproof" gloves and finally swapped out our drenched socks. I got Sho out of his soggy shoes and into his boots, just like yesterday, and used an old cycling trick, wrapping my feet in plastic bags (see pic) to keep from losing all feeling in my toes.

The rain stopped after we made it over the mountain, and we were treated to brief peaks of the sun through a small opening in the clouds. "Look Dad. It's the first time I've seen the sun in three days!" Sho declared. Despite the inhospitable weather, the scenery was inspiring. Mountains shrouded in mist, sheep grazing along the road, the peaceful gurgling of rivers and waterfalls, birds chirping and sometimes following us for a few hundred yards in what I think were attempts to tell us to get away from their nearby chicks. We arrived at the guest house around 5:30 pm. In addition to a hot dinner, it had a heated outdoor pool and hot tub. Sho, Saya and I ended the day warm and well-fed, appreciating the luxury.

Here are some pics:

Wet road as we left Egilstadir:

Sho, as we stopped to change his soaked shoes and socks:

The poor man's answer to cold wet feet:

Waterfall shots:

Pic by a German cyclist we met on the road (look for Saya in the second pic):

- An Iceland Bike Adventure post

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