Saturday, December 29, 2018


Today I got off of Route 1, the ring road, and crossed the Skagi Peninsula over to Saudarkrokur on the Skagafjordur, which I think means Skaga Fjord. Don't ask me to pronounce any of it. It wasn't warm, but it didn't rain and winds were modest. There were two pretty good hills, the first getting over an elevation of 1,000 feet. This may not seem very high, but at this latitude, it's like getting way above the tree line, and there isn't a tree line.

It was a day for sheep and horse viewing, valleys and mountain vistas. The sheep are everywhere, look very fat and healthy and ewes are in abundance and very cute. They stick very close to their parents, especially mother. Some got a little irritated with me standing so long to get the perfect shot. I'm pretty sure one of the rams was thinking about charging me, but never did. I only saw one brown one, where most are some combination of black and white. Be sure and watch the two video clips in with my pictures. I may have to rethink my eating desires the next time lamb chops are on the menu.

Saudarkrokur is a nice little port city and I found a comfy hotel to stay ensconced for a couple of nights, waiting out more winds and predicted rain and of course to watch the World Cup. The orange building is the hotel and the views of town and the fjord are from just up a little hill.




After two nights in Hvammstangi, I am heading out. After following the weather forecast closely, I wasn't surprised when there was a headwind all day, although not as fierce and no rain. Temps barely hit 50 degrees. I had made a hostel connection in Blonduos and that is where I am heading, as I was two days ago when I got turned around by the gale force winds and rain.

The roads are in very good shape, although only two lanes with no shoulder. Most drivers are very carefull and the few who are not....well, I can't help but wonder if they are from the United States. There are people here from all over the world and the great majority rent a car. Defensive bicycling tactics are the order of the day.

The scenery was splendid with the usual assortment of horses, sheep, farms, rivers, volcanic cliffs and one goose, I think. The next morning as I was leaving I took a few pictures in town. The green building is the hostel where I stayed. Interesting architecture of the church. 



ICELAND - DAY 12 & 13 - JUNE 14 & 15

Reluctantly, I needed to leave this place, for the only fact that I was out of food. I donned my full rain gear and headed out into the nastiness. And then there were hills. My rain garb was performing well, but the headwinds were fierce, maybe 15 to 25 mph. My initial plan was to continue up route 1 to a town called Blonduos. I started that way, but after a certain point the side gusts were a bit much and there was some traffic and I had safety concerns. I turned around, backtracked slightly, and made a beeline for Hvammstangi, a town that has all services. I found a really nice new hostel and a market nearby. 

Today was an ordeal, I won't deny it. Short miles and check out my mph on the Garmin file. I can hardly believe 3.2 mph! I could have walked that fast, maybe faster. Life is hard, but after days like this, the little bumps in the road of life don't seem as great.


There are no pictures. It was raining and blowing!!

DAY 13

I decided to stay another day in Hvammstangi. It wasn't as cloudy and rainy today, but it continues to blow from the north. I may have come too far north for this time of year, maybe not. I have a whole new respect for the strength and resilience of Icelanders. They do have those Viking genes.

 Anyway, I had a nice relaxing day, did a little walk to the market, and watched Morocco blow their game against Iran in the last 2 minutes. I hope none of you missed the Portugal-Spain match. It was top drawer.

As it continues to blow from the north, I'm not sure where I am going tomorrow. It will be a surprise (to me as well).



Leaving Borgarnes was a little drizzly, but improved quickly. Not too hilly through nice open farm country. Later you can see a large blackish-brown dome which is a volcanic cone called Grabrok. You can see a few people if you look close walking around the crater at the top. I have read this was formed 2000 or 3000 years ago. The great lava field formed by it stretches for miles as I bicycle beside it. A thick layer of moss has grown on top of it causing an unusual sight. The conical shaped mountain that you see in the pictures is called Baula. 

The road begins to climb steadily, topping out at over 1300 feet, before dropping and flattening out. Now it is a lot colder and the beginnings of some strong headwinds and rain. Then there is a bit of civilization in the form of a gas station / restaurant rest stop right at the head of a fjord. I needed a break right now. After a respite, I had to make the final 12 mile or so push to a hostel I found in Saeberg. The temps are now in the low 40's, it's raining, and there is a headwind. This hostel is really in the boonies, no food stores or anything else around for miles. The hostel is an old farm house and comfortable enough with all the important amenities. Luckily I was carrying enough stores on the bike that I wasn't starving. I met a Dutch guy there, also traveling by bike, who wasn't the least bit phased by the rain, wind, and cold.