We woke up in Thingvallavatn (I hope that you clicked on the photo of our ride around the lake in the Day 2 blog to see how that is actually written)and we were super excited to continue our adventure. Click HERE if you want to learn how to pronounce it. We spent a few hours wandering around the craggy chasms of the area, jumping between North America and Europe willy nilly. I could imagine a troll wandering out of a hole or Grendel emerging from his rock den looking for Beowulf to behead.
We drove north toward Geysir. This is the natural phenomenon that is the root of our word “geyser” when it entered the Old Norse language around the 18th century. The height of the eruption fluctuates due to local earthquake activity. We stayed around to watch it erupt, along with hundreds of other people, all holding their iPhones for at least 20 minutes. Waiting…. for….the…. moment…. And then Boosh! It’s done. They all put away their phones and walk back to the tour bus.
Past the “town” of Geysir, the population plummets immediately. We were now headed to the interior of Iceland, near the Langjokull glacier and absolutely nobody lives up there. The roads go from politely two lane paved, to ambiguously laned dirt, to wildly bumpy rock track as you drive further into the country.
When I climbed Aconcagua I remember being totally amazed at newness of the geology in Argentina. The land seems to be emerging upwards so quickly that no vegetation can grow, it is a moonscape. I felt that the interior of Iceland was exactly the same. It is scoured by water, wind and glaciers so recently that few things grow and there is a vastness of rock that makes you feel very small. Apparently, something edible does grow because sheep are around eating whatever they can find. Not many sheep, but those that were there, we called “burrowing sheep” because they carved holes in the hillsides to hide from the relentless wind and rain.
Our bike ride for the day was inspired by the paper map we held. There was a little Hotel/Tourist Hut/Lodge symbol waaaaaay up on the toe of the Langjokull glacier. This seemed unimaginable, you would need to be a goat to get up there. Mark, Clint and I set off on a snipe hunt to find it. We rode on what is called an “F”
road, which is code for “Flat Tire”. Mark won the award on that day and lured all the bad luck from the rest of us by getting 6 flats. You can assume either that he has bad tubes or that he made bad decisions… which one, is your pick. The road was so horribly rough and bumpy that after about 2 hours, I decided that while it was rough to climb up the road, it was going to be totally miserable to go down. In hopes of not destroying either my body or my bike, I turned around. I gave the boys my remaining gummi bears and they continued to the glacier.
Back at camp, Megan had her own awesome ride and I found her doing Yoga amongst the sheep. Thankfully, she had really good judgement for her already vulnerable back muscles and stayed away from the F road. She kept communion with the sheep and enjoyed the sun.
An entry from my journal for that day:
THINGS I FORGOT TO PACK
Meika ‘the hydrated’ : Camp gloves, really fuzzy pants for camp, 2 pairs biking shoes, better bathroom kit and lotion
Clint ‘movie director’: underwear, Blue Swix hat, solar USB charger
Megan ‘cook meister’: headlamp, tongs for cooking
Mark ‘flat Meister’: thicker warm hat, thicker sleeping bags, coffee cup!!!!!!!!
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