Day 15 Vik to Seyðisfjörður

Monday  Dateicon  11.8.2014  Tigericon  477km Total:3750km

It is perhaps for the best that we only have a few touristy stops planned for today since we have a pretty long ride ahead of us but we weren't finished with the Island quite yet.

First stop was Svartifoss (Black falls) Waterfall.
We park at the foot of a 1.5km hiking trail that lead up to the fall, it had been a pretty cold ride so we head out on our trek without shedding any gear except helmet and gloves.
What a huge mistake that was.

The sweat beads start flowing just a hundred meters into the climb and halfway I'm gasping for air and seeing stars.
Bear decides to dump his gear in the woods until the descent but I'm just to paranoid so I just shed what I can carry and stumble on.
We were pretty beat when we reached the top so we just snapped some photos and made our way back to the bikes.
I definitely can't blame the falls for our lack of enthusiasm, had we been better prepared I'm sure we would have enjoyed it a lot more than we did.

We make our way down, get back on the bikes and ride on to Jökulsarlon glacial lake a lake where the glacier ice breaking off the Vatnajökul glacier collects before washing out to sea.

The bluish tinted ice floating in the calm lake with the mountain backdrop truly was breathtakingly beautiful and it's almost like as a living thing with the crackling of the ice as it breaks apart into smaller and smaller bits.
We stood there a long time just taking in the spectacular scenery.
The wonders of nature are all around you on this island and you’re never far from something postcard-worthy but for me this was probably the highlight of the trip.

That concluded the sights we had planned for today so now we just have to press on towards Seydisfjordor, what worries us a bit though is that as we get closer to the eastcoast the wind is picking up at an alarming rate.

As I've previously written there are digital signs on the side of the road that shows ground temperature and wind speed, I didn't remember any figures but Bear says that he at one point saw a sign stating windspeed at 24m/s.
Even though the numbers did'nt mean anything to us at the time the fact that the numbers that are usually orange now had turned bright red should have made us think twice about what we were doing.

I now know that those kinds of windspeeds are classified as strong gale, bordering towards storm wind.
The fact that we are riding the ring road with next to no traffic should also have told us something, the wind is now at the point that it feels like it's trying to rip you apart and it's tugging at the helmet like a drunk desperately trying to get the cork of a champagne bottle.

We manage to find a wedge in the mountain where we could find at least a bit of refuge from the crazy wind and while we are parked an American on a rented BMW comes up a long side and we start trading a few stories, of course the inevitable topic of conversation was the wind.
He claimed to have seen a 1200GS literally being blown of the road erlier.
I politely never said so but I thought this to be a wild exaggeration at the time but with what I've experienced since I hold it to be the gods given truth.

Because what we ride in to after we've said our goodbyes and get back on the bikes is by far the stupidest and most dangerous riding I've ever done on a motorcycle. A couple of laps on the Nürburgring with speedfreaks in Porches whizzing by at lightspeed was like naptime in kindergarten compared to this madness.

You could really feel the wind tugging at the front wheel, doing its best to lift it off the road and the side gusts actually moved the bike half a meter towards the cliff. I had to shift down a gear so I could compensate immediately with the throttle every time that happened because a couple of those in a row would put you in the drink.
There were no places to get away from the wind so stopping was not an option, the forward momentum was the only thing keeping the bikes upright at this point so we soldier on for what was one of the longest hours of my life until we get to Berufjordur.

There the road forks and we turn left onto road 939 to cut across the fjell to Egilsstadir.
It was a choice between plague and cholera really since continuing along the cost on the ring road in the current wind was completely suicidal. But upon seeing the sign Malbik Endar (Asphalt road ends) I did think to myself that if the winds doesn’t die down soon and we get onto loose gravel it's going to hurt, the only consolation was that if and when the wind put us off the road at least it would be onto solid ground and not into the ocean.

The wind does die down some and the gravel road is pretty compact so we do manage to get across the fjell without incident.
Riding into Egilsstadir the wind felt just like a stiff breeze but that's probably just relative to what we had just experienced, I'm pretty sure it still would have generated some kind of national weather warning back home.
We gas up the bikes and celebrate the gift of life at Subway in Egilsstadir before riding the rest of the way to Seydisfjordur.

Arriving at the Nord Marina Guesthouse we first think we taken a wrong turn since we seem to have come to a fish processing plant but alas the old storage units now seem to have been converted into a "hotel". What a huge bummer this was, we're greeted by a lady who is obviously not fluent in the English language and who seem genuinely surprised when I ask for a key to our room.

As soon as we got to our room I realized why because the door is a flimsy cardboard filled piece of shit that wouldn't even survive a dedicated huff and puff and the key is of the universal kind that I don't even need to try to know will open every door in the building.

The room is completely bare apart from the two beds. There is nothing in the room except for a naked light bulb in the ceiling and leaned against the wall was another mattress that looked like it had been pissed on more than once.
At €84 a night this is pretty much daytime robbery but as always the booking was non-refundable.
But with an outside temperature of +5°C and the wind and rain howling, if I would have been crawling inside a tent for the night I would have been crying myself to sleep so it's never so bad it couldn't be worse.

I do hope they don't have geothermal heating because I steamcooked myself in the shower so long that meter would have been spinning like the rotors of a helicopter.

 

These are the signs with temperature and windspeed that we stupidly disregarded.

Riding to Seydisfjordur





Hiking up to Svartifoss Waterfall

Svartifoss

Jokulsarlon