SO MANY MILES TO WANDER
Just doing Iceland roads, is already a pleasure for the eyes. The landscapes change often, you can be in a fjord or up in a mountain surrounded by snow, drive through a dark plateau with some sand storms (fortunately only saw far away and it wasn’t big of a deal) or you can be surrounded of what I called Broa (a Portuguese kind of bread, very crusty outside).
It’s not easy to find locals outside Reykjavík, there is not a big number of Icelanders living in the country side, and the ones that live, seem to be quite isolated. I wonder how often they go to the supermarket or how children go to school, they must learn in some way, since the literacy rate is 99%.
I and my friend drove a red Suzuki Jimny, an old model; it was perfect for the job. We drove the Golden Circle, most of the Road 1, some gravel roads and so many other roads. It wasn’t difficult for us to find a gas station, sometimes we just filled up to be sure we had enough gas.
Quite important is to have water and fill up the car with snacks 🙂 you never know when you will find a supermarket or a grocery store. For lunch, nothing like bread, dip, chips and a chocolate as dessert, what is essential is to find a good spot, and there are plenty.
To stretch the legs, there are plenty of choices. Most of them we’ve done it in the South part of Iceland. To reach some waterfalls, sometimes you need to walk a bit or maybe climb some stairs or get a little wet because you have to pass between some rocks that are dripping, but it’s worthwhile when you see a beautiful waterfall just in front of you and you feel its power (Seljalandsfoss). A glacier tour is always an option; there are easy ones, which was the one we did, at Falljökull, a glacier tongue flowing from the ice cap Vatnajökull. For me it was my third time that I put my feet on a glacier. It’s always an awesome experience, maybe except if you are looking at a beautiful hole with running water and then you drop your camera. It wasn’t me, I still have mine!
Why not climbing a volcano? Preferably one that is not active. We did two, Hverfjall – with one kilometer of diameter, dark gravel and very plain. We climbed through the easiest way, just a bit steep at the end. Take a look at the crater inside and enjoy the surroundings. The other one was Grábrók, which has three craters; this one was also dark with some reddish and with some green from the moss. There are some steps to climb, but nothing too difficult, except a tunnel of wind that we passed when we were strolling around the big crater. Close by there is a hidden waterfall called Glanni, which at the time had a very strong current, so it was quite nice to see it.
And for the big final of the trip: a relaxing moment at the Blue Lagoon. With maybe 10 degrees outside, I was not fond with the idea of wearing a bikini. With the towel around me, I stepped outside and it was damn cold, dropped the towel and found the stairs to enter the lagoon. Now it was damn hot. But after a few moments, the 38 degrees started to feel good and the relaxation moment started.
I could keep writing about the many places I have found in the 2 815 kilometers that I roamed in Iceland roads. The landscape of Mýrdalssandur, Vik and the surroundings (such as the road that took us to Þakgil), Goðafoss, Geysir, Kálfshamarsvík, Jökulsárlón (if you see cars parked in front of some small hills with no interest but then you have a glance of something white behind them, just stop the car), the landscape that made me think I was in Mars and much more. With endless sunset light, who wants to go to sleep?
If you go to Iceland, go with some ideas of places that you want to see and things you want to experience (just remembered the Lava Caves – Vatnshellir), but keep in mind that Iceland is a great country to explore, so if something calls your attention, if possible stop the car and go discover.
It’s quite amazing to step on fields where one day there was lava bubbling, looking around and imagining that. It must be beautiful (disregarding the bad events that a volcano eruption can bring).
Most people do a road trip in Iceland of 7 or 10 days. I must say that after being there, you can easily spend more time and discover more, do more trekking and experience more.