Iceland: Day 6 - Searching for Snafflehounds
Thursday, May 29
We woke up mid-morning, cooked some oatmeal, and walked to the centre of town. Not much was open, as it turned out to be the holiday “Ascension.” In search of wifi and a licorice frappe, we ended up in the Icelandic equivalent of a Chapters/Starbucks. The upload speed was too slow to get photos up on my website, so we just sat around for a bit, watching the street. A few stores opened up around noon, so we did some looking around before heading back to the vehicle. We really enjoyed the feel of Akureyri. After looking at the forecast, we realized the high mountains were holding the bad weather in the west at bay, and reluctantly bid farewell to the sunny city in the north.
Here are some photos taken with my iPhone.
Another high pass separated us from the west. At the summit, there were multiple snowmobile trailers and the terrain looked great for ski touring. Another long descent to Varmahlid reminded me of my fear of “the careen.” I don't know why I have the overwhelming fear of twitching and causing the tippy RV to sail through a turn, crashing and tumbling into a burning pile of steel and bone, but this feeling is certainly not helped by Iceland's apparent reluctance to put up guardrails.
We had a nap and lunch at a pull-out where a bunch of Norweigans killed each other back in the 12th century. I don't remember all the details, but we strolled around the battlefield imagining a bunch of Vikings bludgeoning each other to death.
We made two stops outside Blönduós; the first was to catch the storm clouds over the distant mountains as we entered the city, and the other was to photograph some Icelandic horses on the way out. They were very friendly, which makes me think they were accustomed to getting treats.
As I was driving and Erin was navigating, we developed a goofy habit of re-naming cities and towns so the other person would understand, rather than attempting to pronounce them properly. Hence our foray into the Snafflehound peninsula.
The rest of the drive was really rather boring after we'd seen such amazing sights over the last several days. A look at the forecast said that, while cloudy, very little rain or wind was expected overnight on the Snaefellsnes peninsula. The beauty of smartphones; I highly recommend getting a SIM card upon arrival in Iceland. Telus unlocked my iPhone 5 over the phone for only $35, and a $20 Alterna nano-SIM purchased at the duty-free shop lasted almost the whole week for checking emails, directions, references, and using Skype occasionally. Anyhow, we decided to drive out to the peninsula as the evening progressed, remembering what a fun experience it had been to drive through the night. We were surprised that no one else was taking advantage of the near-24 hour daylight and found the roads almost eerily deserted. All this made for a great feeling of adventure.
We pulled into Grundarfjörður sometime around midnight. The weather was really starting to blow in, so I darted up to a small waterfall Kirkjufell for the final photos of the night. We parked at a viewpoint over the bay for the night, as the pitter patter of rain eventually drowned out the chatter of the shorebirds.
Keywords: Europe, Iceland, international, travel
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