Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Day 37: Aug 1, 2011

We rode around 65 km today from Reykjanes to the tip of a peninsula between Skotufjordur and Hestfjordur fjords. After yesterday's exhausting ride, we decided to have a leisurely morning before starting off. We swam in the heated pool next to the hostel, enjoying the gorgeous view of a deep blue ocean and broad sky full of massive white clouds. The wind god continued his temper tantrum from yesterday, whipping up white-tipped rippling waves across the water, and I knew it would be another challenging ride.

Once we got under way, the cross winds were too dangerous for cycling, and we walked our bikes for the first hour. When the road curved toward a mountain, the winds became our ally, and we finally started riding with strong gusts shoving us up the long climb from behind. After that, much of the route took us along the coast, and we enjoyed the sounds of waves crashing over empty rocky beaches. Ten kilometers across the sea we saw massive wild waterfalls pouring over the craggy cliffs of Snaefjallastrond. Beyond that lay the northern wilds of Hornstrandir Peninsula, a well-known destination for adventurer hikers. We were chilled by a cold north wind until we turned into the protected fjord, where jelly fish floated languidly beside groups of ducks, swans and an occasional curious seal.

At 9 pm, we decided to set up our tent on the tip of a peninsula marked Hvitanes on our map, about half way between Reykjanes and Isafjordur. As we searched for a suitable place to camp, we came across a man parked in his car in front of a lone farm house. I asked him if we could set up our tent nearby, but he could not speak English. He motioned for me to wait and fetched his almost 15-year old grandson, Elis, to translate. The family was wonderful, inviting us to set up our tents in their back yard and use their kitchen. Saya watched "Sleeping Beauty" with their 6-year old grand daughter and made herself completely at home, while Eiko, Sho, Arisa and I set up the tents. The grandfather Kristjan grew up a kilometer away, on a farm that is now the historic site of Litlibaer. He promised to take us there for a tour in the morning.

We fell asleep in our tent, gently jostled by the wind, and grateful for the kindness of strangers.

Here are some pics:
Pool at Reykjanes:

Hostel where we slept. It used to be a school, and Elis's grandmother was a student here:

Wind-ripped waves as we left Reykjanes:

Walking bikes along the water:

View from top of hill we climbed:

Fluffy white flowers prevalent in the hills of the west fjords:

Fjord view:

Our sleeping spot:

Arisa and Elis:

With Kristjan and Sigridur's wonderful family:

Sho and Saya reading in the tent before bed:

- An Iceland Bike Adventure post

No comments:

Post a Comment