Hvolsvollur to Kirkjubaejarklaustur
Trip Start Jun 08, 2005
68Trip End Ongoing
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After finding my way back to the base of the valley, having crossed over a massive river bed (about 2km) and found an old condemned bridge to cross (suitable for bikes and animals, but not cars) I spent a couple of nights at the base of the valley at a little place called Seljalands. The camp site was set in amongst a variety of beautiful waterfalls, but other than the camp site their was nothing else in Seljalands and it proved to be the most windy place on earth! In all honesty, my first night there was perfect and the following morning I took the southern route, with an unladen bike, up into the Porsmork valley. This second ride into turned out to be somewhat of a disaster with many fords to cross, heavy traffic, badly corrugated roads and nervous tourists tackling roads that were perhaps beyond them (this route into Porsmork is for 4WD vehicles only). The only thing that really made me attempt this ride was the lure of seeing the glaciers at close range, but after wading across my second ford with my bike lifted over my head I decided that it wasnīt all that much fun and that there would be other glaciers to see - I turned and headed back to camp!
That night the wind blew like never before in Seljalands and I thought with every gust that the end was about to come. I spent most of the night with my little torch in my tent plotting my escape from Iceland - I was scared and very unhappy. I was on the road by 7am, keen to get out of there - I had to at least get to a town to catch a bus if I wanted to escape. I was blown off my bike at a place called īFitī, after which I cried for a while, that was until I realised that there was nobody to listen to me crying so I got back on the bike and carried onward.
Things started to improve though when an Icelandic man stopped me and filled my hands with chocolate buttons! With that the wind also died down for long enough for me to think that I could stay in Iceland. The road south took me past Skogar, which has an amazing waterfall and a camp site which I had planned to stay at. The wind looked as bad in Skogar as it was in Seljalands, so I soldiered on to Vik. I wasnīt really feeling up to it, but anything to escape the wind. The scenery was outstanding on the way down, the icecaps sitting like little caps with glaciers dribbling from the sides are pretty amazing.
Vik (population 300) - this place is the biggest place for miles around. Itīs a really lovely little place set next to the ocean. I was pretty exhausted on arrival - Iīd riden 70km on no sleep, been blown off my bike and all I wanted to do was put my feet up. Luckily for me the sun shined and I stayed in Vik for a couple of nights - doing nothing!
Yesterday I soldiered onwards to Kirkjubaejarklaustur (what a name!) across the sandur. Kirkjubaiejarklaustur has a population of 170..... there arenīt too many people in this part of the world! Anyway, it was another long hard ride, it wasnīt windy but it rained for a lot of the journey which made it exceptionally cold - the icecaps are close enough to make sure things arenīt too tropical!
The sandur is particularly inhospitable, about 50km of the journey (about 70km from Vik to Kirkjubaejarklaustur) is lava fields that go on for ever with dust storms that kick up out of no where and no shelter to hide behind. In the rain it makes for tough riding, if Iīd stopped I think that I would have frozen on the spot. Once again the scenery is amazing though - lava fields as far as the eye can see that are covered in beautiful green moss and little mountain flowers. Physically itīs tough work though and today Iīm very tired but the weather is good today, itīs another 70km on to Skaftafell national park - 70km of more sandur. Even though the weather is good today Iīm considering taking the bus, will see how the day takes me.