It is almost 2 months after my last article that I continue the story of this trip, this time with the firm intention to close the chapter (to start a new soon I hope!). Then start the playlist of the best songs of Of monsters and men and drive!
DAY 7 REYKJAVIK – Hveragerði
After saying goodbye to almost all our companions, Dawn and I went on an excursion to Hveragerði. This city 30 minutes drive from Reykjavik is well known for its geothermal energy. I was wondering how the Icelanders were doing to have fresh fruits and vegetables on the island and I found the answer when arriving in town. Icelanders use geothermal volcanoes to heat greenhouses. The heat of the volcanoes warm everything in the area and especially the rivers! That’s what interested us in this city.
We walked a good hour to reach the river of hot water. The ocher-colored landscapes and the cyan blue water wells disperse between the water vapor along the path. It’s cold, but it did not stop us or other walkers, whether travelers or locals. Once there, we take a break with hot tea and peanut butter sandwiches. Then we take our courage with both hands to undress and dive into the warm water of the river. It’s so nice and strange to swim in the mountains that we do not want to come out.
After paddling for a moment, we take advantage of a ray of sunshine to get dressed and go down quietly to the car. The timing was perfect because when we arrive in town, the sky is covered and begins to spit a few drops of rain. We eat something at the only open restaurant and return to Reykjavik. I’m exhausted. I drop Dawn and drive a little to the west fjords, my next destination, before stopping at the edge of a small road to spend my first night in the van.
DAY 8 BORGANES – Stykkishólmur – BORGANES
When I wake up, it rains ropes and the wind blows terribly hard. I have breakfast in my wheeled house before heading back on the road. My destination is vague, I just want to see a little more fjords than I could see the first week. On the way I stop next to a field because the landscape makes me want to make a self-portrait. The wind is really strong. It puts the mess in my hair and my dress, it’s perfect! Except that after an hour of attempting to photograph what I want, my remote fails. I really want to take this picture, I am terribly frustrated. I decide to use the self-timer but I have to beat a speed record. Indeed the layout of the place that I have to go around the barbed wire to put me in the front of the device and therefore run 100m and jump over a kind of ditch. And I’m getting there! Alone, soaked, in the rain and a wind to decorate the oxen, I make the dance of joy.
Finally I continue my journey. I still have an hour of drive before arriving in Stykkishólmur to warm me up. I stop at a bakery to enjoy a hot tomato soup and a well-deserved cake! The rain and the wind have not weakened. Some young people are gardening in the city with their windbreakers as if nothing had happened. I enter a shop filled with trinkets, stationery, wool and toys. Outside a sign indicates that it was one of the filming locations of Walter Mitty (!).
I go down to the harbor and climb the hill where the lighthouse is. The view is sublime, but this wind! I have to pay attention to each of my steps in fear that it will make me fall. There is nothing else to do in this city. There would be a chapel abandoned not far but the idea of having to walk in this cold cut me all courage. I decided instead to return to the South by inland hoping to escape a little bit the elements.
The road is really bad. It is very narrow, covered with gravel, and the rain does not weaken, it falls almost horizontally. I put hours to reach my destination. I stop at almost all gas stations to take a break. It’s so stressful to drive alone in these conditions. I go through beautiful landscapes but this bad weather prevents me from taking pictures.
In Borgarnes I find a gas station with internet access and a comfortable room to rest. I spend my evening there, enjoying fries and connecting with the rest of the world. I wanted to find a place with a great view to wake up in the morning and I ended up on the parking lot of the tourist office, but I’m really exhausted. It’s also part of the road trip.