June 24th 23:00
MEDIUM HARD EASY
I set my alarm for the first time on the trip. Despite last minute attempts by my new found friends to stay an additional night for the big closing party at the festival, there was more road ahead (not to mention would have to sell my bike to afford the beer🙂)
6:00 came quickly. The weather forecast still called for strong winds but nothing in the scale of yesterday (so I thought). I was about 130km behind schedule + about 75 more that was planned for today. There was no way 205 was happening so I needed a little bump forward. There were a couple of things I did not want to miss on this stretch so decided to grab bus to Jökulsárlón which was the glacier/iceberg lake and the bike from there. It would leave me about 130km for the day including the detour into the national park to see the waterfall.
Packed and off to the bus stop the first problem of the day came up. My front wheel would not come off. I was lucky that the bus was empty and the driver was kind enough to let me bring it in the bus or would have some serious troubles. So for now the trouble is deferred but will be an issue before the trip is over for sure.
In about 45 min we arrived to my starting point so out I went and packed everything back on the bike and headed to my first need to see. Was very cool in many ways 🙂
Stage 1 – THE MEDIUM
As expected the winds were tough but manageable. Mostly head and cross winds so the times were not great but I peddled on. My legs actually were more sore with the rest day than normal (I guess they thought it was all over🙂). It took me about 3 hours to cover the 40km but there were so pics that needed to be taken along the way. As you will see later the ride was all running across the south of the massive glacier so had views on it all day.
I arrived to the national park and started the bike and bike to get to Svartifoss Waterfall. When it first came into view it did not look so special.
As you approached closer it took a completely different perspective. The rock walls around it were incredible. I took a ton of pics and off I went.
I decided to take a quick meal since with the early start I did not have really breakfast and did not have much ummfff in me 🙂
Stage 2 – THE HARD
Back on bike a quickly came across one of the road signs they have here that warns people of wind speeds and directions and I could not believe it. Gusts up to 90km/hr!!! I had just put on sun cream!!! After a few km I could start to feel them more and more. I was getting nasty. Keeping control of the bike was more than hard… I peddled down about a 10km stretch with the winds blowing from my right to left into the road, I could lean the bike and have it keep me upright.
After the stretch I was worn out and needed a break. There was a small parking for people to pull in to take pictures of an impressive mountain so I rolled in. The wind was so bad that I sat on the ground behind a truck as there was no shelter anywhere in sight. I did manage to get a pic of the mountain though.
After a 30 min break and the winds not slowing down I decided to give it a try. I managed about 2km and had to get off my bike. The winds were tough but the gusts were dangerous. What by my calculations should have been tail wind instead was blowing across my face. Was no way to keep it under control so walking it was going to be.
I started making calculations as I marched on. I had it worked out to about 10-12 hrs of walking if this continued to get to my destination. If I had known this my butt never would have left the bus. After about 5km of walking life took a turn for the better.
Stage 3 – THE EASY
The winds on the same stretch of road went from blowing in my face to blowing in some direction from behind me. Since it is hard to sometimes know the exact angle I decided was time to try again. Also the gust frequency seemed to be less often.
Rocket boy was off!!!! I went from averaging 12km/hr to 30km/hr…. I can tell you 30 is much more fun!!!! I did not want to stop for fear that the good times would end but I had to when came across this waterfall. And what is more incredible is it seems to be a private person who has the rights to it.
I finally pulled into the camping site I had planned which came highly recommended. Has a quite impressive backdrop. The day of the glacier views complete and still alive to write about it.
I had a shower and treated myself with gourmet dinner 🙂
Also praying the clothes I washed will dry for morning.
Well banked a wild 130km on a day full of twists and turns and wind. A ride of sun and calm would really be appreciated at the moment:)