Europe | Iceland – Iceland: Day 6
Leaving the campsite in the cool mist of morning, I only travel a short distance along the dirt road before a great clanging from my front wheel announces that yes, my rack is broken. Its praises were sung by a very reputable bike mechanic but I guess no one ever tested it in Iceland! Never mind, a bit of gaffer tape and a crossing of fingers should see me through the rest of the trip.
Back on the ring road I run in to a German woman cycling in the opposite direction and we stop for a bit of a chat us solo pedal-powered women are a bit of a rare breed, she knew I was coming and had been told to keep an eye out for the Australian woman.
The road is very flat as it curves in towards Lomagnupur, a 767m high table mountain made mainly of hyaloclastite and one of the highest cliffs in the country. At the foot of Lomagnupur sits the small, turf roofed village of Nupsstadur with its church built in the 17th Century. As the road continues on I enter a field of spongy mounds of pale green marshmallows I kid you not! I have never seen any plant like this, my curiosity getting the better of me, I step tentatively out onto this spongy bed of moss and take a couple of pictures. This stuff is hraungambi or woolly fringe moss at about 30-50cm thick, it covers mounds of jagged lava and I could lie here forever its so comfy.
I pass the front of the table mountain and this is where the scenery gets really impressive. To my right is the great expanse of Akeidararsandur a grey/black sand and gravel desert, almost undisguisable in colour from the road and only an occasional spattering of sparse grass to break up the monotony. In front of me the mountains are getting closer , on the left they are low with many peaks, a brown/gold colour as the sun fleetingly shines on them trough the clouds. A gap in the rock where a small(ish!) finger of the glacier reaches through, speckled white and brown and occasionally shining a pale aqua when the sun comes out. More snowy peaks to the left that disappear into the mist looks like thats where Im heading! I cross several many channelled fast flowing rivers full of churned, murky water gushing down from the glacier. Looking back the sun shines silver and gold through the clouds on the table mountain that gently slopes back to become level with the rest of the land. More vegetation seems to grow on the left side of the road, purple wild flowers and mounds of lime green leaves.
It begins to drizzle as I pull into the campsite nestled below the glacier.