Europe | Iceland | South | Vík í Mýrdal – Iceland: Day 5
Ahhh the satisfaction that comes with owning a good tent! The howling, gusting, secure all lightweight items wind woke me up at around 5am. After chatting to the poor souls who have to sit in the toilets because their tents had been all but destroyed, I figure I might as well pack up as there is no way I’d get back to sleep. An hour later I wish I had! I am talking dead, straight on head wind that will occasionally gust from a slightly different direction I ended up off the road twice before I opted for the middle of the lane. The cars see me wobbling and thankfully give me a wide berth.
After 3 hours and 10 km I pass a couple coming the other way, they’ve managed 60km already today bastards! I am approaching the sandur and they warn me to expect a bit of a sandstorm thanking them I think, wow! Things couldn’t be better! Ha!
Pulling into a picnic area, I plop down on the ground behind a big rock and gain a little relief from the gale. An elderly German couple in a van invite me in for a cup of tea and some cake – just what I needed! We had a bit of a chat, he’s just finished cycling in Switzerland now that would be cool! Again braving the gale I wobble off. I’ve got my sunnies on and my scarf wrapped around my head in the hope I can keep this sand and grit out luckily it’s not a huge sandstorm. There have been replanting projects in place along the sandur for a few years now, granted the plants are small – lyme grass, lupines, bering hair grass and red fescue – but they seem to be helping with keeping the ground on the ground! The sandur is a barren, flat and featureless area on the south coast of Iceland made up of deposits of gravel, sand and silt that have been swept down from the mountains by glaciers and jökulhlaups. This is impossible!
As soon as I describe one thing (the sandur) the resulting explanation means I have to describe another! Now, jökulhlaups occur when the volcanoes under the glaciers cause the ice above to melt, the glacier lifts and water comes rushing down. It’s not a trickle people! This is a mean and nasty flood that washes away everything in its path
bridges, roads, great big rocks, that sort of thing. This makes me wonder though just how effective this whole replanting
thing really is.
The road makes a gradual turn towards the north, now the wind is coming from the side and I’m able to get out of my lowest gear. I try to design a device whereby I could hitch a sail to my bike and take proper advantage of a side wind. A good experiment to see how quickly I could fall on my ass I think! Now if I had a three wheel recumbent bike . hmmm!
The wind has finally taken it’s toll have seriously lost the plot. Not only am I singing but I am shouting at the top of my lungs absolutely belting out the whole early repertoire of U2 songs ISOLATION! DESOLATION! A few Aussie tunes are getting a bit of a butchering also if you wait, I’ll give all my eggs to you
Finally make it to a campsite over looking an estuary about 6km off the ring road. Unluckily the owner is there and charges me 500Ikr for the privilege he didn’t even unlock the shower! I was too tired to care only 40km in 10 hours though I do feel damn proud of myself.
End of Part 1