Iceland part 3
After a lovely chilly night, the morning arrived, pleasantly cool but sunny, a big change to what I'd ridden in the previous day. A good start to the day, I thought.
I packed up and set out on this my last full day on the island. I was heading for Seydisfjordur, where I would catch the ship at nine the next morning, exactly 7 days since I'd arrived. There is a campground there, mere metres from the dock area, so that was my target. And there is a pub about 50 metres away with wifi, so I would be a happy little camper that night!
Without thinking, I set off without checking my fuel. By the time I remembered I was far, far away - and almost totally out of fuel!! I was in the middle of nowhere, and no idea how far it was to the next fuel . Damn! Oh well, the only thing to do is carry on, carefully, and hope that I find a helpful farmer if I run out.
I came upon this guy in his excavator working hard to get all the rock and gravel off the road, after the cliff had collapsed, so I made my way carefully through where he was working, then stopped.
Looking up the cliff face. It's steep!
Below: you can see where the cliff has broken away and fallen into the sea far below.
Below: I had to ride right around this fjiord, miles and miles of it with a few short stretches of dirt, to come out approx opposite where I took this photo.
I snuck along very slowly, conserving fuel where I could, through stunning scenery. Towering cliffs above sandy beaches interspersed with rock strewn ledges teetering far above the sea, in glorious sunshine. It felt good to be alive and riding, even with the twin bothers of the persisting flu/cold and the lack of fuel hanging over me.
Just as things were getting really, REALLY desperate, almost to the stage of running out as I was way over the kms I normally did to a tank, with no service stations showing up close by on the GPS, I tootled round a corner and saw a sign, like a village sign. WooHoo! Now, do they have fuel, I wondered? I missed the first turn in, not realising that it was to the village, but took the second, another 2-3km down the road. As I crept along the road in towards the village, I was scanning the hoardings. Yes, there was fuel! Bewdy! My heart lifted at the sight of the fuel servo and little shop that appeared ahead. Thankfully, I had made it, just! So I stopped and had lunch there, in the sunshine, looking out over the little fishing village to the bay. Never have I been so glad to see a fuel station!
After lunch, I set off in a much better frame of mind, bowling along quite happily, enjoying the sunshine and the splendid scenery. So many gorgeous vistas, just too many to take photos of each and every one of them.
I was, of course, on the one and only ring road around the island, recently finished to much jubilation, apparently. However, I came up out of a valley to see this:
Dirt, as far as the eye could see! Silly me, I didn't realise that "finishing the road" meant just the formation of it, not the actual sealing of it all! Yaaaark! I had to climb the escarpment that you can see at the far left corner of the valley. Fortunately, the surface was pretty good, so I was able to move along at a decent pace - till I got to the zig-zag climb up the face of the escarpment, that is, where I took it easy and rode carefully, as it was quite steep.
So I just had to stop near the top and take a photo, looking back down the valley. It is barely possible to make out the road winding its way along the valley floor.
But that was not the last of the dirt, by any means. It continued on, mile after mile, winding its way along hilly ridges and down onto the valley floor on the other side of the mountains, to run along beside a fast flowing river. The condition of the road became a bit ordinary, with myriads of potholes chewing out the surface. But it was doable, with a bit of care.
But finally I arrived back in Egilsstadt, where I again utilised the internet at the cafe, and bought some goodies at the supermarket, before setting off for Seydisfjordur. I was some way out of town when the road turned to dirt again. Hmmm, I thought, I can't remember there being any dirt here on the way in originally. What's up, then? I thought. So eventually, after about 12km, I turned around and went back, and there was the signpost for all to see, but I'd been looking off to the left at something in a farm yard, and had missed it over on the right!
I climbed slowly up the mountains through the switchbacks, until I got to the plateau. Then we ran along a valley before climbing again towards the end.
I'd seen this lookout on the way in, but had decided to not stop, meaning to stop on the way back, so pulled into the tiny parking area and grabbed the camera. It looked so, so far down to the docks below! Drinking my fill of the glorious scenery, I slowly remounted and began the arduous trip down the mountain to Seydisfjordur.
I made camp, chatting with some young bikers from Estonia (I think it was!) then went off down to the pub for my internet "fix".
Up early to pack and get ready for loading when the ship came in. Because I was getting off at Torshavn in the Faroe Islands, I was amongst the last to board as we would be first off. It gets pretty boring just sitting there doing nothing while everyone else is boarding, so I wandered around taking a last few photos of the area.
We departed about 10am, I think, and were due to arrive in Torshavn at 4.30 the next morning. I got as much sleep as I could, whenever I could, given the cabin was full with 4 people.
Quite a few bikers got off in Torshavn, although I never saw anyone until we were about to embark for Denmark, two days later at 1.30am!
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