Full Stop

Current location: Rejikiavic, Iceland

I’ve thrown in the towel on riding the remainder of the country. I arrived into Eglisstadir and was talking to the hostel owner about my plan. He gave me a direful warning that the next 160km should not be taken lightly. This was about the fifth warning about riding the north that I had received and put some thought into it. I knew the road would have no services for the entire stretch which I wasn’t very keen on. In the end I decided to catch a bus to Akueyri and after riding the bus through it i’m confident it was the right choice to make. The whole route was a tundra in a very literal sense of the word. I couldn’t see myself enjoying any part of that ride.

It’s almost comical how nice it is 2 weeks after I started. I lost heart on the ride after catching that bus, I’m not entirely sure why. In any case I figure I cycled about half the country which leaves me a reason to come back someday.

I’ve thought a lot about the idea of man vs. nature here and I think it is safe to say that nature is a hairs breath away from reclaiming the whole thing for herself. I have to give a lot of credit to the first settelers here. They must have been extremely stout of character to keep going on here.

On a more lighthearted note as more than a few friends have told me the hot dog here is something worth trying. I found them in every gas station on the island and I would commonly see locals partaking in them which I gauge as a positive sign. On ordering my first one I was asked if I wanted fried onions or raw onions on it to which the answer is always both. He then went on to ask if I wanted something in Icelandic and as I looked puzzled at him he thought for a second and translated it as potato salad sauce to which my answer was yes, I’ll have all the potato said sauce. Divine. I think I had at least one a day, sometimes more if I ran into other gas stations.

My favorite place has to have been Breidalsvic. The locals there were really nice and let me camp behind the hotel and gave me some licorice vodka to keep me warm.

I’ll post pictures when I get a chance. It will take a while to process them all.

Solitary, Poor, Nasty, Brutish, and Short

Current Location: Selfoss, Iceland

Hobbes came to me as I started cycling of the first day. It appropriately summed up the day as I ended. Upon setting off it immediately started to snow and that combined with a headwind was a lot to take in on the first day. The weather continued to be an issue for the remainder of the day as I went through snow, hail, and yes rain. It was ceaseless in it´s downfall all day. The only saving grace to my soul that day was ending at the Blue Lagoon, a very touristy hot spring.

My first impressions of Iceland is that it is extreme in it´s starkness. Stark in it´s ever changing weather and stark in it´s bare landscapes. The taxi driver that took me from the airport told me that the weather can change ten times a day and after cycling for 2 days now I´m apt to believe him. It´s pretty plain to see why there are so few trees in the country. The wind has been whipping me at 60km/hr, which I´m sure is enough to ruin any burgeoning tree.

I have yet to run into another cycling tourer which is what I expected seeing as I’m 6 weeks early on the season and the weather has been far from ideal.

The people here have been friendly and helpful whenever I´ve asked for help.  Most everyone that I have met has had a strong command of the english language, which is benificial to me as the chances of me uttering even the plainest Icelandic phrase would be nigh impossible.

Tomorrow the goal is 75 klicks against a strong cross wind on the main highway.  I´ve managed to avoid this road by taking side roads but from here on it´s the only feasible route available.

FYI: I´m trying to post on instagram once a day https://instagram.com/romperdug