The journey continues counter clockwise around the incredible country of Iceland. During PART 1 we flew to Reykjavik, picked up our two motorcycles that were shipped a month prior, and rode through the barren center of Iceland via the F-26 and F-831. We finished day 6 at a mountain hut in the remote regions of the Western Fjords.
Iceland 🇮🇸 Day 7 of 18
🗓: 26 Aug | 🌍: Western Fjords Hut to Bíldudalur
Map of Day 7 – 220 km from the mountain hut to Bíldudalur.
It was a blessing to have the A-frame shelter last night. In the sleeping loft were some old mattresses that when combined with our air mattress pads and sleeping bags made for a great night of sleep. I really didn’t want to get up in the morning but we still had some places to explore so off we went.
Our first stop was to a roadside restaurant and museum. The service was nice and the hot chocolate and waffles were exactly what we needed to fuel our day of adventure riding.
This bright orange lighthouse definitely stood out from the surrounding mossy green scenery.
The rain was already starting with the forecast calling for heavy rain all day. Ugh.
Ósvör Maritime Museum
A bit past town we arrived at the Mariners Museum but it was closed. Since much of the displays were outdoors we still got to explore and take some pictures.
South to Bíldudalur
Another tunnel making access between the small villages easier, especially in the winter seasons.
We returned to Ísafjarðarbær where we gassed up the mules and we tried our first SS Icelandic hotdog – apparently world famous. Bacon wrapped hotdog inside a toasted bun. How was it?
Taste: Mostly anything wrapped in bacon is delicious – so yea, it was good.
Presentation: The bun looked like it was stomped on by a hiking boot and then slapped together – not so good.
I though alien cultures just existed in Area 51 in Nevada. Not so. They exist in Iceland as well apparently.
We continued south and the weather also got worse. It began to rain steadily and made the dirt section of the Vestfjarðavegur (Road 60) from Þingeyri really muddy.
Cars and SUVs would pass by and spray us in showers of muddy water. The mules and riders were soon covered in a thin layer of mud. Ugh!
I would have been miserable however the scenery around us was absolutely incredible with the two mountain passes being some of my favorites of the trip.
In the evening we made our way to Dynjandi Falls. This is a massive falls than can be seen for miles away. The hike up to the base of the falls was beautiful and offered tons of picture opportunities. An incredible place without many tourists.
We decided that we could make it into the town of Bíldudalur but it would be well past dark before we arrived. We were really looking forward to a great night of sleep and the chance to wash and dry all of our clothes.
It was 10:30 PM when we made it to the Harbour Inn Guesthouse. The problem is I couldn’t figure out where to park and find the hotel attendant. As we were riding around the block a guy pulled up in his Nissan truck and asked if we were looking for a place to stay. Sure enough, he is the hotel owner and saw us riding around and thought we might need a room. He showed us a nice place with a double bed and said that we could use the laundry downstairs. Sold. We ended up doing laundry until after midnight but is was well worth having dry clothes.
Little did we know how short those clothes would stay dry. Tomorrow promises to be another wet day…
Iceland 🇮🇸 Day 8 of 18
🗓: 27 Aug | 🌍: Bíldudalur to Stykkishólmur
Map of Day 8: 106 km from Bíldudalur to Stykkishólmur via the road and ferry.
Today’s forecast shows more rain and winds. At least the temperature is not too bad – above 50°F.
We got up late and enjoyed a breakfast provided by the hotel. The hotel did a great job of making us feel at home and had a lot of food options for a continental breakfast.
Skrímslasetur Sea-monster Museum
After breakfast we walked over to the Sea-monster Museum. It was small and the front desk lady was not very welcoming but the displays were professionally designed including the great lighting.
It was interesting to learn about the stories of sea-monsters that had been recorded by those who witnessed them.
Illustrations, maps, and an extensive library dedicated to the the monsters of the northern Atlantic.
After leaving the museum we realized that all hopes of enjoying a sunny afternoon without rain were dashed. It was going to be a long, wet, and rainy day. No sense fighting it as we boarded the mules for the next 12 miles of muddy road towards Samúel Jónsson’s Art Farm.
Samúel Jónsson’s Art Farm
The ride out there was beautiful although wet and dirty. I was concerned that the rain would not let up preventing me from capturing some memories of this unique place. Just as we arrived and parked the mules, the rains let up!
Samúel Jónsson loved to travel and wanted to recreate his own version of various places around the world. He created a church, Indian temple, and a replica of the The Patio de los Leones (Court of the Lions) located in Granada, Spain. Many sculptures decorated the yard including this grey walrus and blue seahorse.
The surrounding views were stunning, very peaceful, and quite.
Even if your not into the child-like art of Samúel Jónsson’s, the road out to his farm is worth the diversion.
We returned to Bíldudalur to wash off the bikes enough that we wouldn’t be getting muddier every time we needed to get something from the packs.
Leaving the Fjords behind we climbed the high mountain passes where we felt the worst of the rain and wind. It was blowing us around the road and the visibility was reduced to about 100 ft. We made slow progress through the mountains.
Our goal was to make it to Látrabjarg where the cliffs rise from the sea and hopefully catch a sight of a puffin, but with the poor weather we decided we’d had enough – time to head towards the ferry terminal to catch a ride to Stykkishólmur.
Garðar BA 64
Garðar BA 64 was used for fishing herring in the waters off of Iceland until is was intentionally ran aground in 1981.
Birkimelur Swimming Pool
While riding towards the ferry I noticed a hot pool on my GPS so we took a quick detour to enjoy it. It turns out that the bathroom at the hot pools were all locked. Was is closed? The pool and hot tub were open but there was nobody around. We decided we were already wet and cold, why not at least be wet and warm?
It seems that if you want a hot tub to yourself in Iceland you just have to wait until the weather turns terrible.
Although the hot pool was an enjoyable experience – getting out and changing back into our wet gear was not. Once on the bikes, each mile felt like a challenge and I was starting to curse the weather. Perhaps, we should re-evaluate our rain liners that snap inside the jacket and pants. Maybe rain gear that we wear outside our riding gear would be better?
We found this postcard a few days later and made some digital alterations. This is about right and was my exactly feelings during this particular day.
Ferry to Stykkishólmur
We managed to ride another 15 miles to the ferry terminal and payed the very expensive rate of about $170 USD to ferry us and our two bikes to Stykkishólmu. It was either that our continue another three or more hours riding in the rain. Gotta wonder if some $50 USD raingear would have saved us the misery and cost?
We were grateful that the ferry terminal was warm inside and that they had hot food. We enjoyed a couple grilled ham and cheese sandwiches while we waited to the ferry to arrive and dock.
The ferry crew gave us one strap per bike and showed where the screwdrivers were to pull up the rusted pad-eyes. Not much help. Fortunately we carry a bag of straps for each bike and managed to get them secure before the ferry got underway.
The three-hour ferry ride gave us a chance to dry off most of our riding and camping gear with towels and a heater from the bathrooms.
Just before 10PM we arrived in Stykkishólmur and rode over to the camp site. Great news; they had a clothes dryer that we could use! We ended up drying clothes well until after midnight.
Tomorrow morning looks like more rain… Not looking forward to that.
More of Iceland on PAGE 2…
Your link to page 2 is broken … or is this a cliffhanger? I hate them. Love the hotdog story, not trying one though, thanks.
The email version of my posts have some formatting issues that I’m trying to fix. The pictures that are grouped together look terrible and the link seems to be a problem. Try going directly to the site via this link: https://viajarmoto.com/2017/08/26/iceland-2of3/