Monday, September 15, 2008

Finished Cycling!

15 days riding
6 rest days
3 days of hiking
Average speed ~17km\h
Average Distance\day ~73km

Pictures from Vik

A Statue dedicated to fishermen lost at sea.

It rains more in Vik than anywhere else in Iceland.

A beautiful farm nearby Kirkjabæjarklauster, there were a few farmhouses here and they were near the end of the fall sheep herding. There was a dance in town that night to celebrate.

View north over the flood plain to Vatnajokul.

The longest straight run in Iceland, its over a glacial flood plain. The plain is caused by glacial bursts (Jokulhlaup) that are the result of Volcanic eruptions underneath Vatnajokul. The floods are so violent that pieces of ice up to 1000 tonnes could be found several kilometers from the glacier. The last flood took place in 1996, it released 3.6 cubic km's of water with a flow rate of 55000 cubic metres\second. For more info see:

Sunday, September 14, 2008

The view from my tent at Skaftafell National Park .

Jokulsarlon, a lagoon where ice breaks off of Vatnajokul and floats to the sea during high tide.

Amphibious vehicle used at the Glacial lagoon Jokulsarlon.

Camping at Gerði, a famous Icelandic author named Þorbergur Þorðarson grew up here and there is a museum dedicated to him nearby.

Here is a video from the Sigur Ros concert I went to in June. The concert was free and was intended to raise awareness for the environment, in particular the impact of aluminum smelting which is big industry here. The concert included Björk and Olfur Arnalds. The translated title of this song is "Within me a lunatic sings" and its from Sigur Ros's new album, if you haven't heard it yet I highly recommend checking it out.

Taking a lunch break, a tongue of the glacier Vatnajökul in the background.

Attack of the killer sheep

An abondoned farmhouse near Höfn.

Taken in Djupivogur

Djupivogur is surrounded by marshes that are a haven for migratory birds, I was there at the wrong time of year but there were still several interesting things to see. In the ocean around Djupivogur there is a headland and several small islands, in the last century sediment deposited by the tide has connected the islands making the low-lands where the marshes are found.

The mountain in the background (Mt. Bdiandstindur) is a perfect pyramid shape and is said to be the home of a Troll.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

One of countless farmhouses near a beautiful waterfall.

One of the more challenging hills I encountered and, I think, the highest mountain road in Iceland. The grade was so steep that when I stopped for water I couldn't get going again and had to walk for few minutes until it was easier. The view from the top was breathtaking, one of the most beautiful I saw in Iceland.

I almost stepped on these eggs.

Someone took a long coffee break...

Friday, September 12, 2008

Dusk in Raufarhofn.

Weirdness on the side of the road near Raufarhofn, riding up from behind I thought someone was actually sitting there which was kind of creepy since there wasn't anything else in sight for miles.

At Hrauhafnartangi 3km south of the arctic circle, the northernmost part of mainland Iceland.

60km of gravel with nothing but a few sheep...

Camping on the beach near Kopasker

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Taking a break on the hike from Asgyrgi to Detifoss.

Basalt columns seen on the same hike.

Icelandic Phallological Museum

This is the penis of a Blue Whale I think it was about 5 feet.
It wasn't a particularly sophisticated display, just a bunch of penises in jars.

Whale watching in Husavik

This is a White-beaked Dolphin, there was about 15 of them playing in the water. Seeing them made 3 hours of cold and boredom worth it.
Another Whale watching boat.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

The first gravel I rode on, I was a bit nervous but everything turned out fine. I even worked up the confidence to take my rig to 52 km\h on a steep downhill, at the bottom of the hill I hit a huge pot-hole, after that I wasn't afraid of anything... Also on that day I attempted pumping up my rear tire only to find that my pump was broken in the process I snapped the valve off the tube letting all the air out. It took 1.5hrs to hitch a ride to Husavik (20km), the only portion of the trip I didn't cycle.

Evening sun over lake Myvatn

Cycling begins Frostastaðir to Vik ~1100km

At the Dalvik fish festival

This was actually taken in Hjalteyri.

Later on that day this big guy was butchered which was really interesting to watch. If you know what this is please let me know.

Gigantic Salt-fish pizza, I don't know why they cut it, that piece was the perfect size.

In Skagafjorður

Mmmm, sheeps head. The face was particularly delicious....

Monday, August 25, 2008

Its been awhile since my last post and a lot has happened. I started the cycle touring portion of my trip on Aug. 13 and it has been going fairly well. I haven't had any mechanical failures and only a few minor hiccups with my gear. As for myself, my training is doing me quite well. Who would have thought that 2 months of eating and drinking heavily would leave me feeling so...tired. But, I've managed to average about 60km\day and I've seen some really amazing things which I will share with you when I get a chance. Over the past week and a half I've determined that cycling is definetly the best way to see Iceland. I've been lucky enough to have traveled by boat, bus and small aircraft and I've found cycling to be the most satisfying so far. But, I have also been luck enough to have had superb weather my opinion could easily change after a few days with a strong headwind and a little rain...

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Friday, July 26 was the end of the Snorri program and the official halfway point for my trip. 6 more weeks to go now and I'm afraid they will go too fast. As all of you know I will be cycle-touring for a portion of this trip, but before I begin that I am going to a festival on the Westman Islands called Þjoðhatið. This festival is billed as a weekend of extreme excess in all forms of depravity you can think of, its also supposed to have the best bands Iceland has to offer. After this fest I go to the Fish Festival in Dalvik (Northern Iceland) and then to Skagafjorður to visit some family, its from here that I hope to start cycling. Should be a fun 2 weeks leading up to biking providing I make it out of Þjoðhatið alive. Wish me luck, from what I hear I'm going to need it......

Monday, July 28, 2008

A few pictures from the past week.

A lighthouse in Reykjanes.

The harbour at Hofsos.
Asta Sol Kristjansdottir.

Puffins on Drangey

Captain of the boat we took to Drangey.

This is a view of Drangey an Island in Skagafjörður, we took a trip there the next day.

A coffee shop with Snæfelsjokull in the background.

Countryside nearby Arnastappi, Snæfellsnes.