Iceland 🇮🇸 Day 11 of 18
🗓: 30 Aug | 🌍: Sandgerði to Skógafoss
Map of Day 11: 271 km from Sandgerði to Skógafoss
I no longer have that wet and clammy feeling after sliding my socks into my boots! They are finally dry after three days!
It was a fairly late start because we had to wait for the camp attendant to show up so we could pay for camping. Iceland has a much more relaxed vibe that the USA – even if money is involved.
Brightly colored hostels look like converted military barracks and a sculpture by Steinunn Þórarinsdóttir titled Álög.
We left Sandgerði and headed south to Miðlína. This is a bridge that is laid over two continental plates – the America plate and the Europe plate. The distance expands about a few centimeters every year.
It was interesting to learn more about the tectonic plates that form the surface of our earth and stand on a bridge between the two continental plates. There were also a lot of custom engraved locks hanging from the railings of the bridge. I didn’t know putting your lock on a place you’ve been was a thing. Guess it is.
We also stopped at Gunnuhver Hot Springs. It’s quite impressive seeing Earth’s hot water boil and froth above the surface. The steam rising from the springs can be seen for miles.
Waving to other motorcyclists. Little did I know, this African Twin would be parked right next to me a week later on the ferry.
The mules parked near the beach while we enjoy a short walk and drone flight. It was here that I almost had a bird strike while flying our drone to capture some shots of the beach.
Who takes pictures of candy bars? Folks from the USA who don’t see this kind of candy bar – that’s who. Anyhow, it’s kinda like a 100 grand with a wafer.
The drone captured some pretty incredible views of the Krisuvikurberg Cliffs showing a deep red layer of mineral within the cliff.
Chantil’s mule ‘Chocolate’ – ‘White Chocolate’.
By the time we reached the town of Hveragerði the sun was shining so we enjoyed lunch at the small, but fun, city park. The sculptures were fun to interact with. After lunch we enjoyed some ice-cream from the restaurant next to the park.
The sculptures included some interesting and precisely placed 4×4. Myri (Swamp) by Steinunni Porarinsnottur was a this sculpture that seemed to shows how we litter our lives with possession and junk instead of letting them go and floating above them. There was also some bird house sculptures. Fun stuff.
Kerið Crater Lake
Kerið Crater Lake was a bit of a tourist trap but offered a nice hike around the crater rim. I considered launching the drone to capture the view from above but the winds were too high to safely fly it.
Highway 1 towards Seljalandsfoss and Skógafoss.
Seljalandsfoss and Skógafoss falls are just off the 1 and can be seen for miles as they cascade off the end of a large cliff. Iceland is FULL OF waterfalls. There are so many that we just pass by the lesser known ones with nothing more than a quick diversionary glance.
Seljalandsfoss captured from the Mavic drone.
Stunning! A beautiful day for photography.
We decided to make it to the Skógafoss falls and camp there for the night. As we rolled into the rocky parking area I heard a “pop” and the clutch lever went slack. I knew almost immediately what had happened – the clutch cable from the clutch lever to the actuator broke. Fortunately it‘s a fairly easy fix. Unfortunately, I didn’t have a spare cable.
It was late so we made plans to have Chantil ride in the morning to Reykjavik where the BMW dealer will most likely have a solution. They open at 10AM and she’ll plan on being there once the door opens. I’ll see I can talk to bicyclists and off-roaders in camp with the hopes that they may have a spare cable that I may be able to make work.
Let’s hope that all works out… Like all well laid-out plans…
Iceland 🇮🇸 Day 12 of 18
🗓: 31 Aug | 🌍: Stuck at Skógafoss
Map of Day 12 – No progress.
We woke up early so that I could help Chantil get ready to ride the two hours to Reykjavik Motor Center – the BMW Motorrad dealer in Iceland.
Insult to injury… After crawling outside the tent I noticed that both of our mules were on their sides knocked over. You’ve got to be kidding me! What happened?
This is what I think happened – The rain last night caused the soft dirt under my center stand to shift and then my bike fell over to the right. Unfortunately, right into Chantil mule, knocking hers over to the right as well. My throttle and GPS cable were wrapped around her left foot peg. After unwrapping the cables and getting the bikes lifted we did an evaluation of the damage:
• Throttle cable housing was mangled including the aluminum channel that threads into the throttle.
• GPS cable was torn from behind the fairing but suffered no damage
• Multiple scratches on fairings (add these to a long list of scratches)
• Bent foot-peg (easily fixed)
I decided that it would be best to add a throttle cable to the list of things that we should pick up. With the words “ride safe!”, a kiss, and a wave, Chantil was on her way…
At least Apache (my motorcyle) picked a pretty spot to break down.
I went to the task of searching for a way to ‘jurry-rig’ a bicycle cable – if I could find the needed parts. I carry just a small assortment of screws, bolts, nuts, and washers. Miraculously I found what would be the perfect parts to lock down the cable free end. I just hoped that the bicycle cable, once found, would be thick enough to get us through the rest of the week and then to the BMW dealer in Denmark.
There were two groups of bicyclists at camp but since it was raining they seemed to stay inside all morning. I decided to ask them once they got up and started packing…
At 10 AM, I called Reykjavik Motor Center. I explained my problem but was met with no solution, just resistance. It turns out that Biking Viking and the associated repair center had finished the tourist season and were preparing for a week-long excursion vacation. I was told, “We can not order that until Wednesday (6 days away) because everyone is about to start their holiday vacation. There are no mechanics here and I’m not a mechanic.” I tried to explain my predicament but she was not budging – she would not even start the order process until Wednesday. I’m actually surprised they even answered their phone!
Chantil also received the same discouraging words from BMW. She found a KTM dealer that was very generous with his time and assistance; even calling the BMW dealership and talking in Icelandic (even he was surprised by their lack of customer service). He offered some suggestions and provided a used KTM cable that might work.
Ultimately, everything we needed to fix the bike was located right here in camp. A little while later I talked to a bicycle couple from Poland. Without hesitation they pulled out a spare cable and offered it to me with a smile. I tried to offer some money as compensation but they graciously did not accept. I just hoped that they would not need it for their own journey. I thanked them and returned to my mule with a new sense of hope.
This bicyclist from Poland is a better Boy Scout that I am – he was prepared and had a spare cable.
Once Chantil returned with the clutch cable housing we had the clutch working within a short period of time. The larger problem was the throttle issues that were directly related to the throttle cable housing damage. This took us another hour of straightening out and ensuring the cable alignment was correct.
Adventure motorcycle touring is fixing your motorcycle in exotic places.
Close-up of the bolt, nylon nut, and washers used to hold the cable in place. Almost a perfect fit!!
All fixed!!! Would it last for the rest of the trip?…
Hindsight: Having a spare cable would have saved A LOT of wasted time and energy. A bike cable, bolt, nut, and washer doesn’t hardy take any space. Besides, Murphy’s Law says the part won’t break if you have a spare, right?
Add Iceland to the list of countries that I’ve needed to do some type of repairs to our mules: USA, Mexico, Canada, and now Iceland. Is it our destiny to break down in every country we visit?
We enjoyed a dinner at the nearby restaurant and then retired to our cozy sleeping bags and tent. Tomorrow will be a better day…
Next Blog Post
Iceland – Part 3 or 3 continues our journey! There are still some incredible places to discover and some unanswered questions – Would we actually find some ice in Iceland? What exactly is a Skyr Volcano? Would we have any more breakdowns? More adventure to come…
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