June 17th 23:23
Woke up earlier than I hoped but decided to do some advanced planning to avoid events like last night. What I knew was with the wind and rain throughout the route I was never going to arrive at tonight’s target even without adding the extra 20km because of last nights detours.
With my internal battery also low I decided the best was to do a mini fast forward by taking a bus to Akureyri and then biking to Godafoss after. (still was not keen on the biking part but the distance was more manageable I hoped)
The consequences would be that I would miss the stop in VARMAHLÍÐ (to be honest was not on top of the need to sees) but also I would get to add and take a quick look at Akureyri, which is the northern capital of Iceland.
It would also bring me level with “the plan” timeline which I thought was important since rain and wind seemed to be here to stay for this week and if so I would most likely need the buffer day to split the upcoming 165km ride.
Another thing I was hoping was that I would not have to bike in as much highway traffic. I had been told that the busiest part of Route 1 was between Reykjavik and Akureyri and if I avoided this link hopefully I would avoid getting blown off the road by a transport truck 🙂
So the plan was set all that remained was the execution.
I packed up my stuff in warmth and comfort and paid 36 Euro for the night. A Bargain for what the alternative would have been. Was a really nice spot that would easily recommend. I took the chance to take few pics of the place.
I biked again the same 10k to get me to the gas station/bus stop where I met my motorcycle friend again. He now was with a female motorcyclist (I guess you need an engine to get the ladies 🙂) We all had coffee until the bus arrived and was time for me to go.
I managed to get the bus driver to let me put the bike under the bus since I was worried my carbon frame would be in pieces if mounted on the bike rack and off we went. Was about a 3 hour ride and was very happy to have done it since I sat at the front and talked with the driver much of the way. Since much of my time is spent on the bike and in camping I don’t get so many opportunities to have conversations with locals. Another benefit of the ride is a hid from this 🙂
I got to see a few towns along the way and more incredible landscapes… The only bump along the way was when the Swiss driver ( CH. plates) slammed on the brakes to make a turn in front of us:)
I arrived in Akureyri and can say was instantly amazed. I could instantly feel that I could live there. Mountains and ocean surrounded the town was a definite WOW.
I really would have liked to stay the night and looked around but already 16:00 I had time for a quick coffee and get on the road.
As I left the town heading for the mountains I grabbed one last picture…
My legs were feeling fine and I felt no urgency as was confident all was under control. I even took the time to check in with family as I began my accent… and then!!!!
I had already seen what so called roads could look like when they’re open. Visions of one of those roads that eat cars that you can see on the internet came to mind. The problem was that I had no alternative. I was already 25% up the mountain and no viable other route so up up I went.
The positives were I got my wish about not having to deal with traffic:) Other than 100000 sheep I was alone. I could plug in the Green Day and sing along and not 1 sheep complaint the whole time.
The negatives were it was a mud swamp! I alternated between biking and walking since it was sometimes impossible to keep traction. The incline was fine and little wind to deal with but just a mess. I still was in a great mood since was thinking to myself that these are once in lifetime issues that always will have fun looking back on.
The decent was equally swampish but I decided to give it I good go. Hard breaking the whole way and still almost had the backend of the bike get away from me twice. At about half way down the mountain I looked up and could not believe the view… every green possible was in the valley bellow… another picture was needed…
Back on the bike a few minutes later I looked up and a rainbow had formed over the valley… was incredible… I hope the GoPro captured it since was not a good moment to get of the bike.
I got to the bottom of the mountain and joined the main road…. only 20k left… no troubles…. I raced down a steep slope and was about 4km down the road when I looked at the river. It just felt wrong.. my destination was a waterfall and the flow of the river did not match my expectations… I took out the navigator…. CHIT!!!!! I got to revisit that steep slope but this time going in the other direction. After trying it both ways I am very clear on my preference🙂 but despite adding 10 more needless km I was still in good spirits.
I finally arrived to today’s goal (Godafoss Falls) and this was what was waiting for me. Amazing…
The camping is very close so I can hear the sounds of the waterfall from my tent.. is so much nicer than listening to cars on a street 🙂
With all my wandering in the wrong direction I managed to miss all hot food options. The store had just closed but gave them my best baby sheep eyes and they let me in to buy a couple of sandwiches…. bbbbaaahhhh 🙂
Tomorrow will be wet but there should be another great stop worth playing in the rain for but for now 70km more in bank and 835 for the trip.