Iceland, part 2
It had been quite warm and pleasant riding coming around and down from the north at Myvatn to Reyjkavik, and almost hot in the capital while I was camped there. This all changed once I set out across the southern section of the island.
I hadn't gone all that far when I saw evidence of recent volcanic action, with the remains of huge lava beds washing out to the sea beside which I rode
Below: I saw this waterfall from miles away, so just had to ride in to take some photos.
Below: Just how much would you need to pay to get a home in a setting like this, in Australia???? It was absolutely stunning!
Interestingly, all around the northern and western parts of the island, I'd thought that horses were the main stock carried by farmers, as there were squillions of them, all shapes and sizes. However, down here in the south, sheep and cattle were making their presence felt, pushing horses back to third most popular animals.
Below: Everywhere, farmers were hard at working harvesting their hay for the coming winter. How nice to be working in such a beautiful setting. Would definitely make the day pass more quickly, I'd guess.
Below: It was a strange feeling coming across whole paddocks covered in this mossy algae. The rocks are coated with a slimy looking furry moss. Acres upon acres of it.
Below: Woody-Bear just had to get himself into at least one photo in Iceland!
Glorious scenery, no matter which way one looked.
It became quite cold, so cold even that I decided to pull into a roadhouse for lunch, and while there, put on my new, you-beaut electric gear from Warm'N'Safe.com in the US. I'd tried them on at the owner's home in San Diego the previous year, to check sizings, but didn't buy them until I got to UK this time. Oh boy! Are these things wonderful or what??? I only had heat going into the jacket, as the pants were super warm without being connected up to the jacket to get heat into them. Although I'd also bought the socks and gloveliners, it wasn't really cold enough to wear them this day.
Not far past the roadhouse, I found out just why it was so cold. I rounded a corner to be confronted by a glacier! The first of many to come. Glaciers, glaciers everywhere! I originally thought it was snow and was wondering why it was only falling in such straight lines. D'Oh! Dummy!
As you can see, the weather had turned dark and dreary, that bonechilling drab grey that just seeps into your bones. However, the lekky gear fixed that problem OK!!! It's strange that the north of the island was wonderfully warm to hot, yet the south, closer to the equator, was cold.
It was round about here that I passed by Eyjafjallajokul, the erupting volcano, the ash from which spread across Europe, closing airports and disrupting the start of my trip by a couple of weeks.
Below: Then I rounded another corner and noticed that a number of cars had pulled off the road and parked. No bodies were in sight. Oh well, I'll just have to stop and go see what everyone is looking at, I suppose. The area in which the cars were parked was of deep loose stones, as I found out once I'd left the bitumen roadway! Gulp! Oh well, I was committed, but made it down safely.
I staggered upwards and crested the hill that seemed to be the main path to the interesting place - Wow! It almost felt as if I was back in Antarctica!
An inland lake chock full of icebergs, right there beside the road! I didn't venture all the way down the hill to the lake's edge, though, preferring to stay up top and take photos from there.
Some of the bergs had strange dark swirls through them, probably mud or sediment. Others were pristine blue, as in Antarctica.
Below: the glaciers from which the bergs break off on reaching the lake.
Another bike, two-up, pulled in just as I was about to leave. Uh, Oh! I'll have to try to not drop it in the stones on the way up the bank to the road, won't I? <G> Fortunately, with great care and attention to where I was going and what I was doing, I made it up the bank and jumped the bitumen layered, sharply rising ledge, back onto the road. Phew! I'd really hate to drop it in front of other bikers!!
So off I went, having seen the icebergs - so I thought! A mere half kilometre up the road, having crossed a bridge, and there was the official parking lot, all nicely paved, where one could ride almost up to the bergs! It hadn't been noticeable from where I'd taken the photos, it being behind a peninsular. Oh well, these things are sent to test us! So of course I had to get closer to the bergs, standing on the bank of the channel down which they float to get to the Atlantic Ocean, under the bridge I'd just crossed.
Below: This is a pretty nifty vehicle which goes on both land and water, used for taking tourists out for a closer looksee, at great expense, too.
Below: The channel leading to the bridge and the Atlantic Ocean.
Daylight was beginning to wane, so I had to leave, in an endeavour to find a camping ground before dark. I finally ended up in this one near Hofn. Lovely area, surrounded by glaciers out the back.
The bike below was already there when I arrived, although no people were around it, so I felt free to take photos. These Beemers sure are workhorses, aren't they? It's owners, from Germany, turned up later and we had big chats.
Below: the glaciers out the back of the campground.
At the end of the day, almost all the way around the island:
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