Saturday, September 03, 2016

Beauty at the End

The campground at Varmahilð is a greasy field in an elderly couple's yard. All the campers are older adults in campers and Rvs. I have to say Icelanders are clean and neat people. Every bathroom has been immaculate!

Today we leave the north and make our way down the northwest section of Iceland, skipping the large western fjord area. Though supposedly very beautiful, it has the worst roads in the country, and circumnavigating that area requires a 4WD and another weeks time. 

The lower section of the Skagi peninsula divides the Hunafloi and Skagafjörður fjords. At the west side of the peninsula is Blönduos where we take a walk to the the Svarta River, a great salmon stream. The water is turquoise and rushes over boulders before reaching the ocean at a narrow isthmus. 

Heading south through Hvanmmstangi and to Borgarnes, the land is vast between the coast and the mountains and we pass several lagoons and channels, and Ray explores several of the rivers looking for fish. Hop is a very large saltwater lagoon cut in half by a long black sand dune spit. 

We pass a lot of flat grassland divided into farms and sheep grazing pastures. In the distance is Langjökull glacier, a much more touristy area given its close proximity to Reykjavik. We find the landscape to be much less dramatic than the eastern side of Iceland. 

At Borgarnes, we head northwest to the Snæfellsnes Peninsula. If you look at the palm of your left hand, this is your thumb and the western fjords your index finger. At the tip of your thumb is a small glacier, Snæfellsjökull. Our destination is Stykkisholmur, a small fishing village on the north side, about midway on the upper edge of your thumb. The guidebook says the southern coast is very wet but the chain of mountains blocks bad weather from reaching this town- sounds good to us!

As we drive in toward town, in front of us is a large archipelago tinted pink and blue from the evening light. We gasp and stop to enjoy the scene until the light fades. This alone was worth the drive here. 

It is Saturday evening and our journey is almost complete. We will stay here until Monday and drive the 2 hours in the afternoon to Reykjavik to return the campervan. We plan out our last few meals, tonight cooking, and very much enjoying our fresh cod and haddock. 
Eating our cod reminds us of McDonalds; this is a far cry from a filet o fish! Did you know Iceland has no McDonalds? The only one in the country was sold during the 2009 economic downturn. Matter of fact, we have seen no fast food joints, no billboards, no roadside food-so refreshing. 

As this town's harbor has car ferries to the western fjords, the campground has several camper vans. There are a few restaurants and a large hospital, the only one we have seen thus far. It is cloudy tonight and so there is no reason to stay up to watch the night sky. 
Rounding up the horses by car

4wd campervan - the right way to travel in Iceland!


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