Friday  Dateicon  1.8.2014  Tigericon  212km Total:1003km

Consuela keeps up the style and right at breakfast asks, You don't eat pie yesterday! Sorry for cream! You want pie now?! You eat pie now! I get pie. There wasn't even a microseconds pause after the question, I mean who want's apple-pie for breakfast? Seriously?!

First stop of the day is at a petrol station, but on that short ride the heavens give birth to a torrential rain and I'm soaked right through to my underwear. Not the best start to the day. Filled up with petrol and suited up in raingear we make our way to the Kafla geothermic power plant. We had set our sights on some kind of guided tour but had to settle for pictures and video but the coffee was fresh and free so that totally made up for it.

After our mini-tour of Krafla the rain stopped and next stop is just across the road on Namafjall geothermal field, I could fell the smell seeping in to my full-face helmet already from the ringroad. As soon as I got my helmet of the smell hit me like a punch, the air was so thick with sulfur you could almost taste it in your mouth. We make our way round but at the end of it I really had to pick up the pace to get away from the place before adding to the already acidic content.

We head off for the Grjotagja-cave, as a Game of thrones fan this was right at the top of my to-do list since this had been featured in the series. Apparently a lot of the footage from beyond the wall was filmed in the Myvatn area. It was time for lunch so we had our premiere of the field rations we had brought with us, you just put the bag of food in a heater bag, add some water to start the process and wait twelve minutes and voila, no matter where you are you've got a warm meal. We had brought enough of these with us to have them for lunch every day of the trip and it wasn't only practical seeming how prices in Iceland seems to rise exponentially it was a pretty cheap meal too.

Off we go to Dimmuborgir, as a metalhead this was extra cool there being a well-known black metal band of the same name. The place Dimmuborgir (which translates to the dark castles) is according to Icelandic folklore the entrance to hell. The weather had taken a turn for the worse again so with the dark skies above it really set the tone, it really was a dark and mystical place and a truly spectacular experience.

We continue our lap around the Myvatn (midgewater) lake before trailing off to Godafoss waterfall. Godafoss translates to waterfall of the gods gets its name because one of the founding fathers in the Icelandic Allthing threw his remaining relics of the Norse gods into the waterfall after converting to Christianity. Truly a magnificent sight, worthy of gods. It wasn't far from here to where we where going to stay for the next couple of days, Hotel Edda Stornutjarnir (about €135 per night including breakfast). We had opted to stay there for two days since we where going to spend the next day in Husavik, riding Icelandic horses and whalewatching.

 

Krafla geothermic power plant
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On the way to Namafjall geothermic field (photo by Bear, Gopro helmet cam)
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Namafjall
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Grjotagja cave
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The Swedish chef, cooking up dinner
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Ready to head off to Dimmuborgir
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Road to Dimmuborgir
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Dimmuborgir
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Riding from Dimmuborgir to Godafoss waterfall
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Godafoss waterfall
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Saturday  Dateicon  2.8.2014  Tigericon  196km Total:1199km

The destination of the day is Husavik, self proclaimed “whale watching capitol of Iceland”.
We get on the bikes who feel light as feathers and fast as lightning seeing we had left almost all our gear at the hotel.
Since it seemed like two of the must-do things on Iceland we had booked a combined horseback and whale watching tour with the company Gentle Giants in Husavik.
We payed for the tour at GG head office and got directions for Saltvik stable since we were to start with the horseback riding.

Let me just point out that this was on Bears to-do list, not mine and that I have a fear and suspicion of everything with equal or less than 1hp.
The fear was probably pretty evident when were assigned horses because of all the 150 horses on the ranch I was assigned the most docile animal available and was assured that this is what small children usually get to ride.
I don’t doubt it, it seemed like a glue-factory rescue and had it been any more docile instead of the clicking sound we were supposed to make to get the horses move I would have needed a defibrillator. Me and old faithful where obviously made for each other!

We had luck with the weather and rode down to the ocean beach, once I realized my trusty stead wasn’t just luring me into a false sense of security while in fact contemplating a good ole stomping I must admit that it was a truly enjoyable experience.
However I had heard that the special trot that the Icelandic horses have called the tölt would be a smooth and almost levitating experience. In my opinion it’s levitating in kind of the same way two scoops of frozen ice-cream and a banana levitates in a mixer... the second before they face ultimate destruction.

From one gentle giant to the other, we headed back to Husavik and boarded the Faldur, a converted whaling ship now servicing tourists which actually is what’s happened to most of the whaling ships in Iceland, I guess that’'s called progress!
After about 45 minutes we see the first spray from a whale and it isn’t long before we see our first quick glimpse of a humpback whale.
They are truly awesome and magnificent animals, all in all we saw four whales on our 2.5 hour tour, all of them humpbacks.

Back in port we (I) got coffee, I felt like I must have drunk a gallon of it before I thawed, the rain had started on the way back so I felt like I had frozen solid.
We did a tour of Husavik (which took all of 10 minutes) before heading back to the hotel.

 

Saltvik Ranch
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Gentle Giants whale watching
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Sunday  Dateicon  3.8.2014  Tigericon  Dag:574km Total:1773km

A classical saying among bikers (famous last words) is "it didn't look that far on the map" and that is exactly the mistake I do today.
I had looked on the map and booked our next stay at the Fishermans Hotel, Sudureyri in the Westfjords.
I knew I had f**cked up when it took the GPSs what felt like forever to crunch the numbers, I had done a precalculation which came to 180kms which I naively thought might come to twice the distance after route calculation. It didn't. It came back as about 600kms, which would be done mostly on gravel.
To put this in a bit of a perspective the width of the landmass from easternmost to westernmost of the whole island is about 500kms. I'll admit I'm no Einstein when it comes to math but I must have been pretty damn tired to do that mistake.

Now we had a hotel to check in to and had no idea if or when the reception closed so no mucking about today we had some mileage to do!
Not only where the roads magnificent scenically, the surface was pure bliss. They were also a total blast to ride so maintaining a speed of 100-110kms/h weren't are problem I thought.
All throughout the day my trusty travelling companion did not share this info but I have since learned that my less gravel experienced compadre felt that maintaining this speed on gravel was something between continuous crisis management and near death experience. Kudos to him for keeping still keeping up the pace.

Regardless of experience it was a very long day and we were more or less totally beat when we finally got to the hotel.
Hardly had my side stand hit the ground when the manager of the hotel walks up, gives us a warm welcome, compliments the bikes and asks if we're hungry.
Starvation was more like it so when asked if he should tell the restaurant to hold a bit before closing the buffé we readily accepted.
When he then by the reasoning that I'm not going to rent out any more rooms tonight anyway upgrades us free of charge to the largest room he had available he thus upgraded himself from all round good guy to legend.
After stuffing our faces with the buffe and swallowing it all down with the local brew were almost ready to hit the sack.

Now comes the really embarrassing part: after spending god know how long in the bathroom Bear comes back and asks me if I know how to get the frikking water running in the space shuttle they call a shower.
I of course found this absolutely hilarious. Until I stepped up to the launchpad.
I must give a debt of gratitude to the night receptionist that didn't laugh her ass off when a Swedish engineer and an electrician got bested by an Icelandic shower.
I mean we weren't even that drunk.

And I almost forgot: when we arrived at the hotel my right fog light had shook loose during the day and was just hanging by the cable. Lucky I didn't loose it and lesson learned: use threadlocker on things that are going to vibrate consciously for two weeks straight.

 

Riding in the Westfjords
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Houston we have a problem
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