More rain and bogs!

Trip Start Aug 28, 2006
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62
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Trip End Aug 31, 2007


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Flag of Iceland  ,
Monday, July 30, 2007

I have wanted to  come here for such a long time, ever since my friend Chris Finch was an exchange student here after high school.  It has always been on my mind, what a relief to finally get here!  I am telling you, this trip is relieving alot of stress that I have.  I don't know if other people have this, but by never having been to a place, I build up this burning curiosity about it and it becomes this nagging part of my brain that just lingers and stews.  So to finally go and see everything is a huge release.  So this whole entire year trip has been a big relief in a way, no kidding, I sleep way better.  I need the map to become real.  I need to be able to look at a map and have a visual of the place, what the supermarkets look like, the topography, the houses.
Anyway....Iceland!  A very relaxed place of farmers and fisherman.  People are Danish looking and have a similar style, clean lines and simplicity, and funky too, Bjork isn't the only one.  Alot of the houses are of corrugated metal with a little flourish here and there, and lots of white houses with red roofs.  There are only 300,000 people in the whole country, think about that...that is not very many icelanders.  So a third live in Reykjavik, and the rest of the country is very open and empty. The middle is all rocks and glaciers, this place is basically all lava with a cushiony boggy heather growing over it.  They say, "if you get lost in iceland, stand up".  there are no forests, you can see for miles.
I decided to do a tour of the western half of the country by bus.  First went through the interior up to Akureyri and stayed a couple nights.  Then headed west and stayed at sort of a truck stop because the bus I needed left on friday and it was thursday.  So I ate hot dogs (very popular here, with fried onions) and went for a boggy walk and found a sheep in a hole....that freaked me out, I reported it and hopefully it has been saved.
Took another bus up to Isafjurther, (that is where Chris lived), it is waaaaaay up in the north west, total boonies, and you have to drive in and out of fjords to get there, there was no straight road.  I tried to meet up with Chris's family, but too bad, they were out of town. It was still great being there, I took a great hike and went to a replica fishing hut where a guy dressed in the original sheep leather clothes shows you around.  I thought it would be hokey, but the guy is the real deal.  He grew up fishing on the Strandir coast, I don't think there are many left like him.  The fishing season is winter here, harsh, they farm in the summer.
From the west fjords I headed south liesurely, saw cute puffins very close up!!  like two feet away!
The weather was pretty bad everyday except for one up north, sort of got to me.  I mean, it was 4 degrees celsius one day, that is cold!  For the first time one day I really felt like a homeless person hauling my bags around and trying to figure out where to stay for the night.  I think the weather made me feel like that.  But I still had a great time and loved the place.  Oh yeah, this place is crazy expensive, the most expensive of this whole trip!!!  I am not sure why...
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