Wedneday 6.8.2014 305km Total:2949km
So we decided to cross the fjell on the F35, this is however according to Garmin not possible. No matter where I point on that blasted road the helpful but very persistent lady that lives on my handlebars inform me that there are no roads leading to your destination.
Apart from the standard Garmin City Navigator map I had also downloaded a free Topo-map from ourfootprints.de, this was not routable in the unit but I knew it was in Garmins Basecamp.
I do realize that bringing a laptop along to book hotels and do route navigation isn't exactly the gnarliest of all adventurous things but to quote the late Roald Amundsen: Adventure is just bad planning.
So with a (hopefully) rideable route in the unit away we went and almost immediately we almost bit of more than we could chew, the road surface was just an abundance of fist sized rocks which the Heidenau Scouts couldn't really dig into so it felt more like surfing than riding really. It was by no means unrideable but I did think that at the pace we were coasting along we were never going to get anywhere near Reykjavik in a day.
The road does improve significally though and when we road on to the real 35 about 20kms later I realized that I routed a shortcut straight through some kind of sheep pasture.
I guess that comes with the territory when you're stubborn (stupid) enough to do the routing with a hiking map.
After another couple of dozen kms the road gets worse again, a lot worse.
I find myself acting like a human sonar trying to scan the road for the best track to take with the best buoyancy through the loose material while avoiding the biggest and the sharpest of the big rocks, even though we had brought spare inner tubes along we werent in a hurry to use them.
On top of the fjell the wind had picked up to the point that it was almost getting ridiculous.
We stopped at an emergency hut and prepared our lunch, the wind was by that time howling so bad I actually felt compelled to look out the window from time to time just to check if the bikes had toppled over.
We had expected some water crossings on top of the fjell, it was an F-road after all, but due to the last couple of days of sunshine (e.g. not rain) the worst we ever came across barely got the Tigers paws wet.
After riding through the biggest of the puddles and round a corner we almost ran into a giant herd of Icelandic horses herded by some local cowboys.
They took up all available road surface as far as the eye could see and it was one of the most majestic sights I have seen in my entire life.
The cowboys signaled that we should hang back and wait until told to pass and that was definitely a privilege and not a sacrifice.
They eventually get the horses of the road and let us pass and we ride the rest of the 35 without any major trouble, we stopped at the scene of an accident where a female bicyclist had taken a fall but it seemed all taken care of and to my untrained eye I think it was more psychological than physical damage since the lady was obviously in shock.
Like the secret agent kind of dry martini we spill out on to the normal road 35 and from there on it was all smooth sailing all the way to Gullfoss waterfall.
The wind and the dry roads meant that we had ridden most of the day in a biblical dust cloud so by that time I think both we and the bikes really looked the part.
At least a group of Japanese tourists thought so when they bowed respectfully and asked if they could take pictures of themselves posing with the bike.
Here we are by one of the great wonders of the world and they want to take pictures of my bike.
I don't care if they were just being stereotypically Japanese, I still get the bragging rights dammit!
I later also learned later that the vibrations had corrupted the memory cards of both GoPros, a real bummer since I would have loved to have had the heard of horses on film but then again it's not a sight I'm ever likely to forget for as long as I live.
After scoping out Gulfoss which due to its closeness to Reykjavik was really swamped with tourist we ride on to mother of all Geysers, the one that gave name to the whole phenomenon.
However Geysir is the laid back type of natural phenomenon and very seldom feels the need to show its power, the neighboring old faithful on the other hand is more of the easily agitated type and during our visit spat out a cascade of boiling water about every four minutes so even the most impatient got to take a picture.
Last stop of the day before the hotel is a ride through Tingvellir national park.
We had intended to visit the site of the first Icelandic Althing, the oldest parliament in the world but the heavens had opened up to a horizontal rain shower so we cut that visit a bit short.
A pity since it was a fantastic place, everything green and lush and it is also one of the few places in the world where you can see (the North American and Eurasian) continental plates drifting apart.
It was a powerful sight and I'm really glad we didn't skip it altogether.
As we ride all the way through Reykjavik to get to the hotel it is made abundantly clear that I've screwed up again.
No wonder the hotel was so cheap (~ €70 a night), the distance of 2kms to the city center was to Kopavogur city center, statistically it's Icelands second biggest town but practically it's a pretty sad suburb with f**k all to either see or do.
Turns out Lily Guesthouse is great though, free parking right outside the window, breakfast included and both proprietor and staff was helpful and friendly and Reykjavik center is just ten minutes by bus.
One of the best mistakes I've ever made.