A single star shone brightly over the never-ending sea's dark waters. It was the first star I had seen since coming to Iceland on June 21, the summer solstice. Clouds and a sun that almost never set had obscured the constellations throughout our travels, and I wondered how different my experience of Iceland's big skies would be if I came back during the winter's nearly perpetual nights.
As I stared out over the waters, absorbed into the peaceful early morning, I felt the movement of time. Time is both friend and foe, the life-giving epitome of nature's cruel insouciance, and I wondered how much of it I have left. Spending 46 days on a charity ride through Iceland with my family was not a bad use of it, I decided. And I felt a twinge of excitement at the thought of dreaming up more adventures to explore and cherish and share with my children this remarkable planet we live on.
Once everyone was up, we ate breakfast and cycled 60 km (40 miles) from Hellnar to Vegamot on the southern coast of the Snaefellsnes peninsula. Snaefellsjokull glacier receded behind us, as we cruised through rough lava fields and farm land on another gorgeous summer day. We paused for lunch at a cabin by a beautiful mountain lake. By mid-afternoon, we reached the N1 gas station in Vegamot, where we would take a bus the rest of the way to Reykjavik. Originally, I had planned to cycle back to Iceland's capitol, but we ran out of time before our scheduled return to NYC, and chose to ride around Snaefellsnes peninsula instead of fighting traffic on the Ring Road.
Enjoying another of many examples of Icelandic generosity, we spent the night in Reykjavik in the home of Gerda Sigmarsdottir and Hinrik Sigurdur Johannesson. They heard about our ride and offered us a place to stay before we fly back home. Sho and Saya loved the opportunity to play with kids their own age and disappeared into rooms filled with toys, while Eiko and I chatted late into the night with our wonderful hosts.
Here are some pics:
Sunrise in Hellnar at 4:30 am:
Pic from the road:
You can see the edge of the lava flow:
Our lunch spot:
The end of the ride:
- An Iceland Bike Adventure post