Europe | Iceland | South | Vík í Mýrdal – Iceland: Day 4
I continue along the ring road toward Vík í Mýrdal (Vík for short) passing yet more green fields with horses and cows. There is a gap in the mountains on my left that lead into the glacial valley of ?órsmörk, the thinner clouds in the area casting an unearthly silver glow. As the grass by the road becomes thinner, it is now sheep that keep me company but soon even that small amount of vegetation disappears and replaced by mounds of gravel. The occasional patches of green/yellow moss adding a bit of colour, so bright it’s almost fluorescent. I pass over the delta of Markarfljot, the silt-laden river leaving deposits of grit and gravel on the wide bends. The hills in the background looking like large, smooth clay sculptures of mountains rather than the real thing; several ribbon like waterfalls plunging down from Eyjafjallajökull. I stop off to have my lunch and take a look at Selialandsfoss, one of the more impressive of the many falls.
After the waterfalls, the road shadows the cliffs for a while, I fancy I saw faces in the rocks – weird looking ones at that. I spy a couple of ruined turf roofed houses in the fields, some build backing on to small caves As I rounded a bend, Skgarfoss suddenly came in to view – now that’s what I call a waterfall, as wide as a house and thundering from a great height! But I must say after only a couple of days I’ve become a slightly blasé about waterfalls my appreciation of them is a bit dimmed it also tends to start raining by the time I’ve taken out my camera or started to eat my lunch.
I cross a river that flows down from Sólheimajökull, a finger of the glacier Mýrdalsjökull what a stench! Rotted eggs, fishy things and anything else you can think of rolled into one. It put me off going to take a closer look that and my laziness!
This is where I start to get a little weirded out here I am, cycling along in the rain, glacier not 5km away why has nothing frozen solid and dropped off?! I’m not even cold you can shout Gulf Stream all you want but it’s still bloody strange. Approaching Vík I finally get my first real hill only 12% but it’s a long one and once I reach the top, wow! I’m among pointy green peaks and surreal shaped mountains appearing out of the rain and gloom. On one section of the road the fog is so thick it looks like the road just disappears over a cliff. Finally I hit the mood! All is good, glad I’m here and all that jazz the target I set myself of reaching Vík is in sight, 80km, nothing grand but it is only day 4. I’m singing to myself and those of you who’ve heard my singing may cringe but there’s no one here but me and the sheep and they sound worse than I do.
Descending into Vík I realise I’ve hot upon a place that echoes my mood. There are big yellow smiley faces on some of the light posts and garbage bins and someone has built miniature turfed roof cottages on the footpath outside their house. I’ve heard Vík is statistically the wettest place in Iceland, it’s certainly living up to it’s reputation today am not too bothered, have decided to embrace rain and accept it as my friend – the weather could be worse – blizzard for example!
After pitching my tent I head out to the beach and am totally blown away I have never seen a black beach before, freaky! I had walked along for 10 minutes in my shoes before it occurred to me to take them off not quite the same as walking on a pristine, white beach. After taking the obligatory photos I sat down (yes! It’s still raining) and watch puffins bobbing on the small waves in front of me before diving down for a meal of little fishies. The cliffs rise high on my right, jutting out into the water where several sea stacks stand swarms of sea birds gliding above me. Too many s’s’s in that sentence! I hope to watch the sunset from the church that sits on a small hill above the town but after cycling up there the wind picks up and the sleeping bag wins out.