Wednesday 13.8.2014 138km Total:3888km
Last day on Iceland, we were definitely going to do one last ride, the only question was where to go?
We had two options, option 1 was heading to Viti geothermal lake which we skipped on the first pass on account of crap weather or option 2, Mjoifjördur which is the next fjord down from Seydisfjördur and listed in the lonely planet guide for its picturesque beauty.
We had previously heard back from Paul who claimed riding around the F-roads in the Askja area where Viti lake is located almost killed his bike which was pretty impossible not to take into consideration.
I do to some extent regret that we played it safe but I know for sure that with temperatures well below 10°C I would have regretted getting the bike drenched or killed on the very last day a lot more.
Well onto the 953 to Mjoifjördur it felt like we made the right choice, a fantastic gravel road and absolutely breathtaking scenery right up until the end of the road where Iceland's oldest lighthouse is located.
We snapped away with our cameras and turned the leeward side of the new lighthouse into our lunch restaurant for the day with a couple of readymeals.
As dinner entertainment we got to see the farmer on the sheep farm walking his sheepdogs on what almost looked like a vertical slope.
We take our time on the way back, do a bit of shopping in Egilsstadir and meet up with Joakim back in Seydis for supper at the hotel.
Thursday-Friday 14-15.8.2014 250km Total:4138km
The day has come to leave Iceland behind us and thank god we get a break with the weather since we need to check in at the port and wait down on the docks at least 3 hours before departure.
Why we need to be there so early is beyond me since we're getting dropped off at Torhavn we'll be the first ones off and therefore the last ones to board the ship at Seydis.
We spend the time enjoying the sunshine and trading some stories until we get on the boat and head of at 11 o'clock.
The fastening of the bikes are different this time around, instead of the four fastening points there are chains and straps across the deck which we're supposed to strap our bikes to.
Those who got to strap down to the chains had it pretty good but the poor sods who had to tie down to the straps had almost mission impossible since it gave way.
When the guy next to you fastened his bike yours would become loose and vice versa.
The stevedore rationed out two straps per bike with the motivation that we were expecting calm seas (it would later become apparent that his definition of calm seas is a lot different from mine).
We barely leave the fjord before my sea legs become somewhat wobbly so after lunch we head back to the cabin and watch TV for a couple of hours before it's time to get some sleep.
We have to leave the cabin two hours before arrival local time which means we need to be out at 1AM. Not even under the best of circumstances were we to get much sleep on this journey.
Now just as I was drifting into blissful sleep the god damned Karaoke started.
I don't know exactly where this karaokebar was located but judging by the sound level I would say it was in our cabin.
I press my earplugs all the way into my brain but we would only get a half an hour of blissful silence before we were to leave the cabin.
We find a quiet spot in an open area and slumber on until they let us down on car deck to our bikes.
It's apparent that they don't intend more than a lightning stop in Torshavn since the crew signals for us to unstrap the bikes even before we've docked and even before the bow visor is lowered all the bikes are lined up with engines running just waiting for start of the race.
We head off into the rainy Faroese night driving lap after lap through Torshavn looking for somewhere to get breakfast and/or a cup of coffee.
After we've met the same group of bikes for the third time we realize that we're out of luck so we pull up to a gas station to fill up the bikes.
As we do a young lady rides up and starts filling up her Beemer, call it racial profiling if you like but with platinum blonde hair and a skin tone so light it's almost transparent I just assumed she was a local.
So I ask her if there really isn't anything on the Island(s) that is open at night? She thinks about it for a couple of seconds before replying that sorry, absolutely nothing is open until 7AM (it's now 3.30).
Before heading out into the night a German biker pulls up and after seeing that indeed this place is closed too exclaims a loud Scheisse! before storming off again.
That word pretty much summed it up the experice for all of us.
We barely get out of Torshavn before our appointed road captain Joakim encounters a new danger, an enormous flock of Geese all across the surface of the road.
Now either they've had their wings clipped or the constant rain has made them suicidal because they are very reluctant to move.
As we ride through the night and the break of day we'll learn that this is a very common occurrence and a real danger.
Just as the day breaks we've found our way through rain, darkness, mist and suicidal geese to the westernmost part of Vagar island, Sorvagur fjord and an old church just by the foot of a waterfall.
It was absolutely breathtakingly beautiful.
We continue exploring Vagar island until 7AM when we stop at a gas station to get breakfast.
Earliest check-in at the hotel is 2PM so we had plenty more exploring to do.
We spend the day exploring Vagar island, the northern part of the main island Streymoy until we stop for lunch at a fish restaurant on the eastern island of Eysturoy.
We've now pretty much ridden half of all drivable roads in the country before lunch time on our first day.
After lunch we ride out to the southernmost point of Eysturoy before we part ways with Joakim, we head back to check in at the hotel in Torshavn and Joakim continue east to Bordoy to look for a good place to set up camp.
Garmin has no GPS-coverage for the Faroe Islands so we had to go oldschool to find the hotel in traffic that was pretty hysterical for such a small town.
We finally found it and find ourselves having to park our bikes in slope, more or less all of Torshavn is built in a slope towards the harbor and when you take murphys law into account it will always lean opposite to the side stand of the bike.
With next to no sleep for the last 30 hours this was a disaster just waiting to happen so of course I drop the bike.
No real damage done except to my pride, I manage two weeks on Iceland without incident but I can't f**king park on the Faroe Islands. My mood has now gone from bad to nuclear.
Properly parked, checked in, a hot shower and two beers later I'm back down to Defcon 5.
A quick google for restaurants gives 5 valid alternatives, after getting 4 no:s and at the fifth the waitress almost laughs out loud asking What? Do you mean tonight? we realize we should either have booked a table before we left Sweden or we need to lower our standards.
We actually end up at the café next to the hotel where we would only have to wait 40 minutes to get something to eat.
The food was ready in half the time and by then that club sandwich was heaven on earth, especially if you throw in a Faroese beer in the mix, nectar of the gods.
That was pretty much all she wrote, I had now been awake for 36+ hours so it's lucky the hotel and the bed I now desire with a passion is next door because that beer hit me like a shovel in the face.
Wating to board the ferry in Seyðisfjörður
Strapping down the bikes
Waiting for the start of the race, ferry disembark in Torshavn. (Warning! Loud sirén in the video)
Sørvágur fjord, Vágar
Saturday 16.8.2014 260km Total:4398km
After breakfast I go to work on my soaked boots (it rained the whole day yesterday) with the hotel blow dryer and after a very long time I finally get them dry.
We head out for the northeast part of Eysturoy and the weather is if anything even worse than yesterday
It's pouring down and my formerly known as dry boots are soaked completely through before the first stop of the day.
For the second half of Iceland it had rained for at least some part of every day and the constant raining just got to me and gradually ground me down.
Every trip has a low point and here I hit mine with an earthshaking bang.
I'm wet, I'm cold and it's so foggy I'm completely oblivious to any kind scenery, I just feel like we're riding just for the sake of adding mileage which does absolutely nothing for me.
Thank god Bear is a patient man because I went on an absolutely pitiful whining rampage and all but called him a complete idiot for wanting to continue riding under these conditions.
But that's the great thing about riding with a friend, we never hit our lows at the same time so the other will always be there to provide a kick in the ass when one is needed.
He convinces me that we at least should ride to the northeast part of Vidoy which is as far east as you can get without taking a ferry. We ride out and on the way back we stop for lunch at a restaurant in Klaksvik.
I immediately take refuge in the bathroom trying my best to save my poor feet from trench foot and with the help of massive amounts of paper towels, a pair of dry socks and a couple of plastic bags my feet are at last happy and dry.
On the way back to Torshavn, the completely unexpected happens.
The rain suddenly stops, the fog and the clouds let up and joy of joys: sunshine!
This completely flips my mood, riding is fun and enjoyable agin.
We had talked about the banana road to Selatrad on Eysturoy so I asked Bear if we shouldnt give that a shot, we could always turn back if it started to rain again.
That was a stroke of luck because I really thought that roads was one of, if not the best road on the Islands.
A light drizzle started when we got to Selastrad so that definitely settled it and we headed back to Torshavn to dry up and meet up with Joakim to grab a bite to eat.
Third time's the charm where we on our third try just have to wait ten minutes to get a table.
This was after all the final day of the trip so I suggest we head out to a bar.
With the completely relentless raining at least I was content with the riding we'd already done so I didn't plan to get on the bike until the ride to the docks.
I had researched that the place to be is a bar called Mimir so that's where we're headed.
Now, I don't really know if the review I read was based solely on the price of tap beer which at 35DKK is dirt cheap compared to Icelandic prices and to be honest I don't really care either, they had cheap beer, they had a pool table and they played rock music so who cares if the place looks like something out of a 70's porn movie?
And I now know my Nemisis has a name and that name is Slupp Beer.
The locals seemed a bit suspicious of us the whole evening and when the beer started flowing they finally confronted us, the reason for their suspicion was that they thought that we somehow were affiliated with the whale wars circus.
Now I have a very vague recollection of this but rumor has it that someone made some new best friends that night with a comment about a bunch of hippies meddling in age-old traditions.
And what do best friends do on an Island of Vikings? They drink beer. Insane, copious amounts of wonderful Faroese beer.
Luckily my two biking compadres have stronger characters than me because I have no idea how the hell I got back to the hotel and the next thing I remember is Bear screaming: What the hell are you doing in there?!
I mean what have the world come to if a man can't lock himself in the bathroom for just a few hours with a serving of noodles and Danish frikadeller without having his motives questioned?
If I can't recall it then it never happened