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Old 12-15-2011, 07:31 PM   #16
Katoom119
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Old 12-15-2011, 07:37 PM   #17
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Old 12-15-2011, 07:41 PM   #18
Davis53
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Looks like a good one!
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Old 12-15-2011, 10:10 PM   #19
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So stoked to follow this one.
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Old 12-16-2011, 05:10 AM   #20
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Old 12-17-2011, 08:31 AM   #21
pip_muenster OP
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Day 4

Blue sky, snow covered mountain tops, morning mist and a calm sea: Iceland's first impression was absolutely stunning. Everybody was on deck watching the cliffs pass by, while the ferry drove into the fjord towards Seydisfjordur.


The first view on Iceland

Despite the great weather, the snow on the mountains indicated that Iceland was in fact - icy. As soon as the ferry reached the quay, we were allowed onto the car deck. Bikes and gear was sorted and I took the change to put my thermo liner into pants and jacket.


Seydisfjordur

Once off the ferry, we had to pass customs, but we had found just the one queue which wasn't moving. There was an old Volkswagen Golf (a.k.a. Rabbit in the US) which was turned inside out. They even sent it for X-rays. Meanwhile we were baking in the sun ... When it was our turn, they barely asked whether we had to declare anything, but instead gave us road tips. Also, every bike got an big, ugly sticker at the front.

Our original plan was to make a group photo in front of the ferry, but when we finally got through everybody else was already gone. So we hit the road and went up the pass towards Egilstadir. Great scenery, sunny weather - and I already had second guesses regarding my thermo liner.


In line for customs

Everybody's first stop is the supermarket in Egilstadir, and thus most of the other bikers were here, too. As soon as I got of the bike, I ripped the liner off my gear. This was t-shirt weather!
Buying food was our first encounter with Icelandic prices ... The tourist information across the street then sold us some road maps. I went for the 'Kortabok' road atlas which turned out to be a great choice, offering 1:300,000 maps as also special maps, e.g. for gas stations and camp sites.

There was also a gas station / burger grill. While we enjoyed some bad-ass burgers, a lonely rider on a Transalp showed up. As if he hadn't seen civilization for months, he couldn't stop talking and told stories of broken equipment, repair weldings and drowned bikes. He prophesied our bikes would be too heavy, the panniers would break and my GS would be simply doomed, due to its immense weight. Cool, let's ride!

Oh, and we recruited Benni.


In Egilstadir (photo: maddin)

But before we left, Ernst did a last modification and installed a breather tube for the final drive vent on this GS.


(photo: Benni)

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Reports: Nordkapp - Mt. St. Helen - Black Sea - Iceland - Morocco - new: Balkan
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Old 12-17-2011, 08:39 AM   #22
PacificPT
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looking forward to more.....
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There's roads and there's roads and they call, can't you hear it? Roads of the earth and roads of the spirit. The best roads of all are the ones that aren't certain. One of those is where you'll find me till they drop the big curtain. Bruce Cockburn
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Old 12-17-2011, 08:41 AM   #23
Speeder54
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Great RR. I'm in.
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Old 12-17-2011, 10:17 AM   #24
pip_muenster OP
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Day 4 cont'd

Around 2pm we finally hit the road, following rout 931 along lake Lagarfljot. After a few kilometers the asphalt ended - we shouldn't see it again for a while. Then we turned away from the lake on F910.


Lake Lagarfljot

And here it was, our first water crossing. We stopped, and figured that we could just walk through it without even water coming into our boots. After a short discussion on whether we should keep our luggage on the bikes, we decided just to go.


Maddin's first water crossing

Soon enough there was another one. And it made clear that the one before was child's play. I had brought some waders and we spend a while searching for the best way across. Something else we noticed were the midges. Thousands of them. They didn't sting, but were annoying when they crawled into ears, eyes and nostrils.


This one's a bit deeper (photo: Benni)

Near this water crossing should be the Adalbol gas station. There was what seemed to be a small farm, and on closer inspection there was also a gas tank with a pump. We weren't really sure about the pay-system before we found the small room in the basement of a nearby house, where a lady was sitting behind a cash register.


Another break at the gas station in Adalbol

A bit later we left the F910, following the directions to the meeting point which jenzz hat given us before. This lead us onto a fun little track through the mountains. At one point a sign pointed towards a cave deep down in a canyon. We had to leave the bikes at the top and walked down a foot path. A bit later I decided that it was a bad idea to go hiking in full gear, and let the others continue alone.

After what seemed like an hour, they came back, totally exhausted. The cave had turned out to be a little hole, a few meters deep and full of sheep shit.


The canyon


Playing with the camera's timer

We rode on and soon saw fresh bike tracks on the ground. A wide valley opened in front of us, with a green spot at the bottom. There were some colored dots on it which turned out to be tents: our camp. Right in the middle of nowhere, with nothing but black and gray dessert around, this was an oasis with fresh water and green, soft grass.

We were also welcomed by a more disturbing sight, namely an excitedly waving guy running towards us, naked.
It turned out that a there was little hot stream nearby which turned into a waterfall, filling a small basin. All the others were already relaxing in the hot water. So we set up tents in record time, grabbed some cans of beer and jumped into the pool. How much better can it get, than to end a day of riding with a hot shower under a waterfall and relaxing in a pool with beer in hand?
(Maybe I should bring a hot blonde next time ...)


Hot pot with waterfall (photo: Ernst)

We may have never left that spot again, but it was time to dress for dinner. There were even more midges as at the river crossing, so we had to be creative.


Dressed for dinner (photo: Benni)



All the Gear ... (photo: Maddin)


Midget-covered soup for dinner, anyone?


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Old 12-17-2011, 11:22 AM   #25
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Wow!


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Old 12-17-2011, 01:07 PM   #26
Maddin
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Hey Pip,

here is the other inmate and i must confess you have a brilliant wrtiting style. Very entertaining and I am curious about the whole story of our trip in your report.

Keep it up!

Maddin
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Old 12-17-2011, 01:18 PM   #27
heffe
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NICE.
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Old 12-17-2011, 05:08 PM   #28
stormfield
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the landscape looks amazing already

How do Icelandic prices compare to, for example, Denmark or Norway?

We did norway this summer which is beautiful (and crazy expensive)
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Old 12-17-2011, 05:52 PM   #29
pip_muenster OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stormfield View Post
How do Icelandic prices compare to, for example, Denmark or Norway?

We did norway this summer which is beautiful (and crazy expensive)
Right now, 1 EUR is about 160 ISK.
  • A beer in a bar can set you back some 6-7 EUR. (Acc. to inmate McFurryMcNugget - I've never tried.) Food is at least twice the prices here in Germany, fresh meat maybe 3 times more.
  • Gas was about the same as here.
  • A hostel may be 70 EUR per person per night, hotels much more. Camping on the other hand can be <10 EUR for a tent, and stealth camping is free (and often allowed).
  • The cheapest whale watching tour we say was around 50EUR.
  • The ferry was around 700 to 1,000 EUR, depending on what you booked. I've met people who had shipped their bikes from Rotterdam for approx. 500 EUR each.
So if you think Norway is expensive, you're up for a surprise ... For me, Iceland is something special. It takes a week to get there and back, and it's well known to be expensive, so I had saved up accordingly. Once there, I never thought much about exchange rates, it's the same prices for the locals, so why bother?
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Old 12-17-2011, 08:06 PM   #30
jnorton1
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Your pics look amazing.
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