After a beautiful day yesterday, it was inevitable that the weather would catch up with us and sure enough, when we hit the road this morning it was grey and overcast.
It stayed that way most of the day although the sun was really trying to peek out every once in awhile.
Today was our first experience with the wind too and, boy, does it make a difference as the already cold temperature of -4C/28F easily dropped another 10 degrees with it.
We started out heading from Grundarfjorour to the North West part of Iceland. Our final destination of Sauðárkrókur was 3 1/2 hours away but we took twice as long to get there.
You see, for this trip, the journey is so much more important than the destination. Each destination is actually kind of ho-hum. You end up in a small town as the sun is setting with nothing to see and nothing to do.
The adventure is really in what you see and do on your way there…
Today we got to finally try out our 4 wheel drive for the first time. Our shortcut route turned from route 586 to F586 complete with a little warning sign that only 4x4s should proceed. Shortly after we started on the road we realized why.
The road is icy and narrow and travels precariously close to the river. In fact, about a half hour down the road we came upon a river crossing with no bridge. I guess they just figured the water was shallow enough that people could just drive over the rock bed.
Unfortunately for us, sheets of ice had partially formed at the crossing and when we tried to cross we actually rammed into a thick piece of ice and were stopped in our tracks.
As our car sat in the middle of the river Dorianne started to reverse back to the shore only to encounter another piece of ice.
For a moment there it looked like I’d have to get out of the car and somehow move the sheet of ice out of the way.
Luckily eventually the car broke the ice into a few smaller pieces and we were able to return to the shore. Our 4 wheel drive adventure had come to a sudden halt and we returned back to the main road and took the other way across the river.
After a quick gas fill up and a couple of hot dogs we were ready to hit the road again.
Mission: Find Hvitserkur
Hvitserkur is a mass of igneous rock stuck in the water just off the shoreline.
It stands about 50 feet high and legend has it that it’s a petrified troll that intended to stone the Þingeyrarklaustur cloister but dawn arrived before he could succeed and he turned to stone.
Others say it’s a dragon drinking from the water.
Or maybe it’s just a piece of rock that had once been lodged in a volcano and was blown to the water when it erupted.
It’s probably the latter but I like to believe it’s a petrified troll…
By now it was 5pm and the sun was setting. We arrived at our hostel in Sauðárkrókur just over an hour later.
After a quick checkin and the devastating discovery that I had lost my gloves along the way, we headed down the street for a nice dinner at Ólafshús.
When I saw Arctic Char on the menu I just couldn’t resist. The restaurant I work at has been featuring Arctic Char from Iceland on their menu for the last couple of months and I just knew I had to have it.
Gotta say – tasted alot better here!
It was seasoned perfectly and was so tender. Topped with baby shrimp and leeks, it came with a side salad and new potatoes. The meal also started with a bowl of broccoli and bacon soup and a visit to the salad bar.
I was a good boy though and had no wine with my meal. Although I was tempted I had just taken a swig of cough medicine before heading out and was thinking alcohol probably wouldn’t be the best thing.
Tomorrow we’re still in the northern part of Iceland but we’re heading further east close to the center of the island to Akureyri. Oh yeah, and I’m gonna ride a horse for the very first time!