Friday, July 22, 2011

Day 27: July 22, 2011

We rode 91 km (56 miles) today from Husavik to Akureyri. As we checked out of the comfortable Husavik Guest House, the owner Orlygur Hnefill reduced the cost of our stay by over half as a gesture of support for our charity ride. It was another of many examples of kindness and generosity we have encountered throughout Iceland.

Before leaving town, we stopped by Husavik's beautiful port (check out the pics below) to chat with Arni Sigurbjarnarson about the Gardarsholm Project, an environmental research and education effort based in Husavik. Arni only had a few minutes to chat before meeting his duties as captain of a sailboat. We watched him maneuver the impressive boat effortlessly out to sea before pedaling away.

The ride was hilly to start, but soon turned flat, as we made our way steadily past churned up lava fields that eventually turned into farmland. We took a lunch break at the Museum of Transportation at Ystafell, meeting the curator, Mr. Sverrir Ingolfson. We learned that his cousin is Jon Erlingur Jonasson, our friend at the Iceland Mission to the UN in NYC.

Sverrir treated Sho and Saya to free ice cream and hot chocolate and told us about his father's work repairing cars and farm equipment starting in 1946. His father often said, "Never throw anything away. You'll need it the very next day." The result, over time, was a collection of automobiles, equipment and auto paraphernalia worthy of a museum! Sho and Saya loved exploring the place, and I had fun telling them about the eight track tapes and old timey radios on display. I felt like an old man when I told them, "I remember when people still had eight track tapes in their cars." And when I showed them how to put an LP on a record player, Sho thought it was cool and wanted to get one. Hmm, I wonder if he'd like my album collection of Air Supply, Styx, Yes, Rod Stewart, etc.

While much of today's ride was flat, we persevered through a long climb over a mountain about 15 miles outside of Akureyri. Sho and I have become much stronger at cycling up long, steep climbs and didn't mind the physical exertion nearly as much as the traffic. We were spoiled by the empty roads in eastern Iceland, but approaching Iceland's second largest city meant a notable increase in the number of cars and trucks zooming by us, some with alarmingly poor judgment of when it's safe to pass.

We'll spend tomorrow exploring Akureyri, starting of course with the swimming pool. Sho and Saya already researched it and informed me that it's supposed to be amazing. :-)

Here are some pics from today:

Sho and Saya with Arni in Husavik:

Boats in Husavik Harbor:

One of many stunningly beautiful views from Husavik:

Sho with an eight track tape:

Sho and Saya confirmed that the legs are fake...

Sho and Saya with Sverrir Ingolfson, museum curator:

View during ride to Akureyri:

Bales of hay on the outskirts of Akureyri:

- An Iceland Bike Adventure post

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