Apart from some violent sounds, which I think were due to crooked waves, it's a quiet night.
Someone has set his alarm to 6.30. Then I get up. Do not try to be quiet. It was not my alarm.
The weather is gray and it's raining a bit - not unexpected. At this time, it is possible to find a free plug and when I turn on the mobile, Iceland reports immediately. "You may use your phone like at home....." Ask at the reception if he knows what the maximum amount of withdrawal is in is.kr. He does not know, but 2000 d.kr. is equivalent to just under 32,000 is.kr. so that's where, I'll start.
There is another hour's time difference in relation to the time of the ship, so local time is only 8.30 when we arrive.
Judged by the languages you hear, the Germans are the majority. There are also a lot of Swedes and Englishmen. Frenchmen and Danes follow. One who sat writing next to me was Dutch. I just forgot the Icelanders, of course there are many of them. But apparently no Eastern Europeans.
The ship arrives and I roll out on Icelandic soil. The mountains rise on the sides of the fjord and disappear into the clouds up there. It's raining, but nothing can take the grandeur of this violent landscape. Waterfalls crash in different sizes down the mountain sides. The town is smaller than I expected, although the map said <1000 inhabitants.
|Many beautiful wooden....||...houses in Seyđisfjörđur|
I find an ATM, it is conveniently located at the supermarket. I'm not allowed to withdraw 32,000 is.kr., so I have to go down to 30.000. Exploring the supermarket. They have screw-topped cardboard cartons, but only with milk not with yogurt. I buy an Italian cheese bun, I can't remember the name, in the bakery department. I have a banana, a muffin and lots of different chocolates.
Then I follow the sign towards Egilsstađir - 28 km. The original plan has been changed during the trip. I understood Larus that the pass here is not just a piece of cake.... and I get confirmed by the two German cyclists. It is the 13th time they are in Iceland and they will take the bus to Egilsstađir - learned from experience. He calls me "Junger Mann", on which I say: I'm 68. Well, he's 86, so he's right - after all. However, the wife is 10 years younger.
The first climb is done on the middle chain ring with the wind in the back, but the climb is quickly getting worse. Soon I'm down at 8 km/h on the smallest ring and also soon at smallest gear. There is a long killing steep climb, and the wind that started to be a pleasant tailwind becomes an unpleasant sidewind, as I remember it from the Faroe Islands. You are thrown out either in the middle of the road or into the gravel. Trying to keep in the middle of the right lane. No matter the cars.
|My first waterfall - probably not the last|
The clouds wrap me up soon for later to be spread at times. In Japan there was something I called "The Green Hell." That was when you were climbing a pass and were wrapped in the lush vegetation to all sides. No overview, no indication of where you were or how far it was. Just up, up, up. It continued indefinitely.
Here it is the "white hell" that surround me. The visibility is less than 100 m. Have just done the worst climb so far, it could seem - for a short while the clouds are gone - that there are only 2 loops left..... Back in the white it turns out it was wrong. I take a few short breaks along the way and eventually the clouds spread up in the transition and the landscape turns almost flat. There are scattered snowdrops up here, the peaks are undoubtedly covered in snow.
|The worst is over - altitude: 825 m|
A dam and a lake turns up. Then you're sure it's horizontal. I check the height on my watch. 825 m. The lake ends. I had expected a hydropower station at Egilsstađir side - no, that's not the case. There is a last hill, and then it goes down. It does not really look like that, but I go fast, at first 42 then 46 km/h. After another small hill, I descent on a long straight stretch. I break the record from Chile: 72 km/h I go in the tailwind, then I'm on the slopes down towards Egilsstađir. I stop to put the raincoat back on. I had taken it off as it did not rain THAT much and it was too hot and wet inside.
The wind is now icy cold. With difficulty I get the raincoat on, and then I go down the next 12 km - and not fast. I have to lean against the wind to prevent blowing off the road - but down I get.
So, before lunch I've found the campsite and registered. I'm sitting inside writing and getting warm, before I put up the tenty and go to the bicycle repair man who should stay in a building just opposite the campsite.
I find the place. The door is open - he's reparing a bit of each - but he is not to be found. In the shop next door, they do not know where he is.
It is the handlebar that has just got a new headset that has now come loose. It's not like my repair man not to do it properly. I have tools for the handlebar at home, but it was not exactly what I expected to need. Must try a little later.
Next time I find him. I'm lucky, because he only comes once in a while. Living in Faskrudsfjörđur, often taking bicycles etc. back home to the workshop. He thinks it seems strange. I think that too. He can tighten it, but it gets tighter than it should, and then the headset might be destroyed. We find a middle way. There is a repairman in Akureyri if it's necessary, but I can live with it - also as it was - but it was nice to have a pro to make an assessment. And it's better than it was.
Have asked questions about the roads. I had already seen on a screen, that the road to Askja from the west is still winter closed. Now she tells that the road down to Snæfell also is closed and that F88 west of Jökulsć has the hardest fords in Iceland so she won't recommend them. So it looks like Askja is out of the question.
The new plan still has 4 days in the wilderness, but then I have also counted Dettifoss. In 4 days I would like to be at Myvatn. The town is called Reykjahliđ and is located on Road 1 and you can shop there.
It looks like we have 4G here. Lovely.