Iceland: Day 8 - It's a Wrap
Saturday, May 31
It wasn't a pleasant morning in more ways than one. Everything seemed disorganized as we drove in circles trying to fill the tank with diesel and find places to empty the grey water and sewer. Our motorhome banged and clanged around the traffic circles and over the speed bumps, and I recall muttering under my breath a lot as I shifted furiously. We found Touring Cars again and Erin packed meals for later while I tried to load the suitcases. The clock was ticking as we finished cleaning out the motorhome, but at the end of the day, they decided we didn't damage it at all and refunded our 600 E deposit. They were surprised to see we had put on more than 2000 km in just a week, but being from Western Canada it didn't seem like a lot to us. Back to the airport, just a little later than intended, but early enough. It had been an awesome trip but we were eager to get home.
Our trip went about as well as we could imagine; the weather was variable, and that is the way it is with Iceland. However, we certainly hadn't expected high temperatures of 15 degrees on a couple days, so that was a pleasant surprise. We had packed our sleeping bags and pillows with an extra blanket for use in the motorhome. It turned out to be warmer than expected at night, so we didn't need the blanket. In addition, we purchased a wool blanket as a souvenir in Vik (the best place we found to buy blankets). As far as kitchen supplies, Erin brought a collapsable colander, a couple paring knives and plastic cutting boards which saw a lot of use. We brought lots of Ziploc bags. We didn't find food exceedingly expensive in the grocery stores, and it was certainly cheaper than eating in restaurants. Their hotdogs were as good as advertised. Skyr, unfortunately, didn't live up to is reputation in my opinion.
Clothing: For bottoms, we packed synthetic base layers, quick-dry hiking pants, and rain pants. For tops, we wore regular shirts with a light thermal layer on top, a down jacket for a heavy thermal layer if necessary, and a Goretex waterproof shell. I always kept a thin pair of gloves and a buff in my pocket. We were perfectly comfortable in all weather.
Communication was quite easy. I bought a $20 Alterna nano-SIM card for my iPhone 5s at the duty-free shop upon arrival. A word of advice: bring a little safety pin with you to pop the SIM tray out. It was easy to replenish the card on the fly, simply by visiting the link sent by Alterna via SMS and adding money by credit card. Gas stations were always easy to find. I was unable to use my VISA chip card at the pump, while it worked inside at the till. I would purchase pre-paid 10,000 ISK cards that specifically are designed for the pumps, and can be used later if there is some left over. Late in the trip, I discovered that my Mastercard chip card worked fine at the pump. As far as our combined transportation and accommodation were concerned, our choice to use a motorhome turned out to be a great one, with the obvious restrictions of restricting the amount of gravel we could negotiate, and I would recommend this to anyone seeking to explore the country of fire and ice.
Here are some videos to wrap up the trip: