Sunday 17.8.2014 Dag:1km Totalt:4399km
Oh my god, what have I done?
I'm so hung over my head feels like it's going to explode and how I'm supposed to be able to leave the room by noon seems like it's going to be completely impossible.
I stay in bed as long as possible feeling pitifully sorry for myself for having been so deceitfully betrayed by the mistress known as Faroya Björ.
Well, no one to blame but myself so I bite the bullet and start packing up the gear, we're allowed to store it in the luggage room at the hotel until it's time to load up the bikes to get down to the docks.
I really don't recall much of what we did that afternoon except the unfortunately very vivid recollection of adding some acid rain to someone's flower bed down in the old town quarters.
We spend the afternoon walking around Torshavn with frequent stops for coffee and grab a bite to eat before it's time to load up the bikes and head down to the docks.
We had real luck with the weather on this day and only had a light drizzle throughout the day and remained dry for the 90 minute wait until we rolled on to the ferry.
When we've ridden on to the ferry and have started fastening the bikes the stevedore walks around telling everyone to take your time because we're expecting perhaps a bit of rough sea.
Remembering his definition of calm seas when we left Seydisfjördur I for one strapped that bike down like I was expecting the ferry to do summersaults.
I'm still feeling pretty rough from last nights escapades and with the time rapidly approaching midnight I head straight for the cabin and hit the sack.
Monday 18.8.2014 0km
The stevedore wasn't kidding about the rough sea, I wake up at around 5AM by seas high enough that I actually feel I have to cling to the bunk to keep myself from falling out.
The sea was angry that day my friends.
I slumber on for a few more hours before we get breakfast.
We're both feeling pretty queasy at this point so we took some advice from one of the waitresses in the restaurant about eating plenty of salt and got ourselves some chips and headed back to the cabin and watched some movies on the laptop.
Thank god we had prepaid most of the meals on the ferrycrossing because otherwise it would have been pretty tempting to just skip them the way we were feeling most of the time but we did manage to get down some lunch.
The chips-remedy didn't really cut it so we decided to go for some harder drugs to try and calm our queasiness and at 35DKK for a bottle of sea-sickness pills it was the bargain of a lifetime, they could have charged a fortune for these and I still would have got them.
Bouncing through the corridors to the cabin with the kind of seas we were having I felt like a pinball going for a new highscore.
Even though the pills take the edge off we feel pretty much like crap all through the crossing so completely asocial we spent the entire crossing in the cabin except for a trip to the tax-free.
In the early hours of the morning we get to the coast of Norway and the seas calm considerably.
Tuesday 19.8.2014 417km Total:4816km
We leave the cabin at 6.30AM and find our corner in the corridor to just chill and try to pass the time. Now there would be plenty of time to kill because another ferry had taken our slot so we were delayed 90 minutes until we docked.
We hook up with Joakim since we're going on the same ferry from Fredrikshavn to Gotherburg and we actually get to the port 20 minutes before last check-in, new trip record!
Now how they thought when they made a dedicated spot for bikes that leans away from the side stand is beyond me but we finally get all three bikes secured.
There are some sea on this voyage as well but compared to the open seas on the Norröna we don't let that get in the way of a sturdy lunch.
In Gothenburg we say our goodbyes to Joakim and head for home, after about 100kms the rain stops and the rest of the ride home is uneventful.
If there seems to be a somewhat sombre tone to this story it's because I wrote it all as we went along.
Even though I thought I had read up on what we were getting ourselves into I was initially pretty shocked by the cold weather and even after I had gotten over that the constant raining really got to me.
Out of the 16 days I think we had 3 with no rain.
So it might not sound like it but looking back this was one of the greatest riding experiences of my life and I would definitely recommend it to anyone.
My only real regret is that I didn't bring proper camera gear.
This was the most spectacular scenery I've seen in my whole life and even though photos can never do it justice, I took most of the pictures with my phone.
Just make sure that whatever camera gear you bring can withstand both rain (which is inevitable) and a real beating if you intend to do any F-roads.
I turned my bike in to be serviced shortly after we got home from this trip.
I got a call from my mechanic saying that there's a crack in the upper steering yoke and that it snapped while tightening the bolts, he needs to keep the bike until a new one arrives from the UK.
He also asks me what exactly I've done to the motorcycle?
He says there's red dust absolutely in every nook and cranny of the entire bike and that the air filter which I had specially told him needed changing was so dirty it almost had entertainment value.
A couple of weeks go by until he calls again.
He had done the service and changed the yoke but when he was going to start it up one last time it was completely dead.
He located the fault to the starter relay located under the battery, the most likely explanation is that the drainage hole had been clogged by dirt which had left the relay more or less submerged in saltwater until it almost disintegrated.
That was the second time he said in a somewhat accusatory tone: what exactly have you done to this motorcycle?
So what should have been a normal service actually ended up costing me €800 with the damage done to the bike plus an extra €50 for one of the fog lights which vibrated loose and died.
The fog light was my own fault for not using thread locker and I think the crack in the yoke was there even before the trip so I put these damages mostly down to just bad luck.
But bike damage might be something you'll want to take into account when you compare the costs of shipping your own bike over vs renting one in place.
If it's not raining and your riding gravel the dust and dirt will get everywhere and with all the salt from the sea in the air, saltwater will get everywhere too on the rainy days.
We had researched it beforehand and come to the conclusion that renting bikes for a two week trip would not be economically viable with prices varying between €150-€300/day depending on the capacity of the bike.
And that was without spills resulting in damages to the bikes which we pretty much thought where bound to happen.
Had we ridden more of the F-roads I think it would have been inevitable.
Sharing a cabin and prepaying breakfast and lunch the ferry crossing came to €835 which only would have gotten us about 5 days riding on rented bikes not even taking the cost of the flight into account.
If you're wondering if you can do this trip on bike xxx the answer is undoubtedly, yes you can.
Sticking to the ring road you can ride around Iceland on any bike but I would suggest getting tyres with a deeper thread than just road tires if you want to be able to get to all the major tourist attractions and the Westfjords.
How long should you go? If you're not going to explore the fjellroads and ride inland you can probably do the ringroad and the touristy stuff in a week, if you don't want to rush ten days.
Two weeks was definitely more than we needed but then again we didn't start to pace ourselves until halfway into the trip.
Gear up. Get yourself some waterproofs or gear with Gore-Tex or equivalent, your going to get cold and wet no matter what season you go and the weather changes constantly throughout the day.
There's an Icelandic saying that goes something like If you don't like the weather just wait fifteen minutes and there'll be another season.
I went for a Keis heated jacket and swear by it, I had that thing somewhere between medium and max setting the whole trip.
Bear on the other hand just put on an extra sweater and didn't complain about being cold once during the entire trip.
Even if you don't intend to camp, bring food. We didn't want to make room for a camping stove so we bought readymeals with heaters which I never regretted even though it was an extra 6kg to lug around.
Prepay meals on the ferry, you'll just save 10% of the cost compared to paying for it on board but you'll feel less compelled to skip a meal even if you're feeling seasick.
Even if you don't want to camp you can stay in homestays and hotels without being completely ruined, the total cost for hotels on the entire trip (Iceland only) was €1370 including breakfast.
That comes down to €685 per person or €49 per person per night.
The price of petrol was about the same as here in Sweden which is about €1.5/litre.
If you can be flexible about the dates you're going there's a lot of money to be saved by the MC free of charge offer that Smyril Line has providing certain criteria are met.
Read up before you go and make an itinerary, calculate distances beforehand so you can take your time once you get there.
In retrospect we should and could have spent a lot more time in the cheaper and not nearly as tourist swamped north of the island but we didn't really start to pace ourselves until we arrived in Reykjavik.
I personally love the lonely planet guides but no matter what you get and if it's hot of the press the prices will most lightly be higher once you get there.
Eventually the prices will probably hit the pain threshold and level out but as it is now they increase by about 15% every year.
So what that means is that the sooner you go, the more money you'll save.
Go! Go now!