The rain continued to fall all night, and this morning, although the rain had abated temporarily, it was decidedly dreich. Last night, we checked out the Iceland meteorology website to see what the next few days of weather holds. The forecast was pretty dire in the south west and south, with a yellow weather warning of flooding for the Reykjavik area and it’s environs. We have four days to occupy before my eldest son Thomas and his fiancee fly out to meet us in Reykjavik for a few days. So we made the strategical decision to bypass Reykjavik and it’s atrocious weather, and head further east. This morning, we had a last wander along the bird cliffs at Arnarstapi, and had a look at the strange basalt sculpture of a mythical troll-like creature that dominates the headland at this point.
Then we headed off the beautiful Snaefellsnes Peninsula, which yesterday had looked so appealing in the bright skies. Today, it had taken on a much more foreboding mood, with dark volcanic mountains and moss ridden lava fields. Rain poured off the mountain-sides, forming waterfalls in the gullies. The green moss on the scree seemed to stand out against an otherwise monochromatic landscape. Within minutes of setting off, the rain had returned, and the cloud so low that it was like driving in mist. We confirmed with ourselves that we had made the right decision last night to ‘cut and run’ with this part of Iceland.
On reaching Borgarnes, a junction where the peninsula road meets back up with Route 1, we stopped for coffee and provisions. The shop here was exceedingly well stocked for campers, and we idled several minutes looking to see if there was anything we might need. We opted for another bungee for the bike cover, and a strange tennis racket like implement, that apparently zaps flies and electrocutes them! I’ve never been partial to flies, and by all accounts, Scandinavia in the summer months is ridden with the buggers. On our visit to ‘Midge Lake’ in the North East of Iceland, we were fortunate (or not!) that the winds were so strong that they couldn’t fly. However, on one occasion the next day, we did open the van doors to find a swarm outside. With this ‘fly electrocution’ instrument, and our midge cagoules – we’ll be prepared!
The other thing that I have increasingly noticed in Iceland, is the Icelanders love of liquorice. It is everywhere. I first noticed it on the ferry boat here. In the Duty Free shop, they were selling bags of ‘Lakkris’ – sweets consisting of a liquorice centre, surrounded by caramel then chocolate. On arrival in Iceland, we then noticed all variation of ‘Lakkris’ – some with cocoa powder dusting, some with white chocolate. I bought a packet, and have become strangely addicted to the things, much to Howard’s disgust. Then there are all the other liquorice products – liquorice salt, liquorice tea bags – in fact, all things liquorice. I am beginning to think that the Icelanders have a problem with chronic constipation maybe?!
The drive was quite long, and tedious in the rain. We alternated driving, me doing the quiet country roads, and Howard doing the ones with traffic. We eventually arrived in Vik, having booked into a cheap farmhouse guesthouse (Howard is disputing this comment!), not having the stamina for camping in these conditions. We were met by a gum chewing youth at reception. After directing us to the room in the low grey farm building, he asked us if we would like supper. Our eyes lit up. ‘Yes, that would be lovely’, we replied. ‘It’s just that our chef’s on holiday this week’, he retorted. ‘Aarrgh! Why offer then, you gormless gum chewing excuse for a receptionist’, I quietly thought to myself. No worries. The place is warm and dry, and we have just cooked omelette from our supplies in Oscar. The other bonus is hopefully the WiFi will work, and I can post the blog. Tomorrow, we’re hoping for less rain – Howard’s certainly trying hard with his ‘sun dance’! In the meantime – I’ll leave you with some more photos from Snaefellsnes, mostly taken yesterday.