The Iceland Adventure

Ok sooo it’s getting to the End of my Iceland Trip, so it’s Blog Time while I’m waiting to Check In for my Flight โœˆ๏ธ

Hmmm where to start ๐Ÿค”

Let’s go right to the beginning of the Trip, pre flight, with Cycling around Iceland being the Major part of the Trip it meant getting the bike to the Airport and onto the Plane as a first step. Bikes need to be in a bike box (cardboard box) or bike bag, easy right!, put it into the bike box, chuck it into the car and drive to the airport, but there’s a problem the bike box doesn’t fit in the car ๐Ÿคฆ๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ Sooo Plan B fold the bike box shove it into the car, clamp the bike rack on the car and put the bike on that job done. Now apart from the bike lot’s of other supplies are needed for the bike packing adventure: tool including spanners, allen keys, puncher repair kits, inner tubes, bike pump etc etc -clothing, a few pairs of clothes, t-shirts for warm weather, waterproof pants, jackets, fleece if it gets cold, gloves to be safe it maybe summer but it’s still Iceland, waterproof hat , sunglasses, towel etc-Camping/Cooking Gear – Tent โ›บ, Sleeping bag, Fleece liner for colder nights, stove, utensils, pots, camping Gas is needed but that needs to be purchased in Iceland can’t be taken on the planeFood – A few dehydrated meals, some trek bars everything else can be purchased enroute Split all the supplies into panniers in as organized way as possible, chuck all the supplies into a hold all bag and we’re ready to hit the road, by the way this is Midnight on the Wednesday before a 5am Thursday flight ๐Ÿ’ค๐Ÿ’ค

Step 1 – Getting Through Manchester Airport Dismantle the bike, rebuild the bike box and get it into the Box, get everything onto a trolley everything should be easy now right ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚ , first problem bumping into overhead signs because it’s too big, can’t see where I’m going because it’s too big, slowly weave through everyone and get to some automatic doors , too big to get through so get the bike off flip it over on its side get through the doors and back onto the trolley, next hurdle is it can’t fit into the lift but don’t worry same solution, off the trolley into the lift get the trolley in and into the main check-in area, should be easy from here right ๐Ÿ˜‚ the bag gets checked in no problem, the bike is obviously too big so I’m told to take it to the large item drop-off point as expected, but it’s still too big, so now it needs to be manually transported to the Cargo area and for some reason it needed to be checked ๐Ÿ˜ฒ๐Ÿคฆ๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ so back out to the Box, someone fills in some paperwork and another person swabs the bike ๐Ÿค” now gotta get it back into the bike box and then it’s taken to Cargo and we’re off Iceland here we Come ๐Ÿ˜€So after landing at the International Airport in Iceland the first step is to get a bus to a hostel in the capital Reykjavik, asseble the bike, get the panniers on, organise to leave the bike box and hold all bag in the hostel, after landing at 08:30 it’s already 12:30 ๐Ÿ•œDamm I’m already behind schedule time to hit the road ๐Ÿšดโ€โ™‚๏ธ So the plan for Day one was to cycle 116km to a Campsite in Borgarnes a little ambitions given the late start , and after a very Scenic ride out of Reykjavik stopping and taking too many pictures as well as underestimating the distance around Hvalfjรถrรฐur Fjord, I didn’t make the distance to ended up Wild Camping ๐Ÿ•๏ธ on the end of Hvalfjรถrรฐur Ford which is an Amazing spot overlooking the Fjord, after having a few hours kip I could here a woman shouting hello Helllllloooo HELLLLLLOOOO which woke me up about 23:00 so I got out to see what was happening and she said you do know the sea is coming in, whoops๐Ÿ˜ฒ and it wasn’t far off the tent โ›บ, another hour would have been a disaster everything would have been soaked , so I ended up climbing our of the Fjord and pitching further up the hill, much more sensible ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚Rather than run through each and every day of the cycling adventure, I’ll run through the different sections of the island and the associated challenges and highlights , but first what is it ๐Ÿค” it’s a 1542km Ring Road loop around the Island, there are a few places where the ringroad goes through busy tunnels that isn’t allowed on bike so you have to go around hence the cycle route is longer than driving around the ringroad, the aim was to complete the loop in 12 days and I had 4 buffer days for emergencies, was able to complete in 12.5 days which I’m happy with ๐Ÿ˜€ meant I got to use the buffer Day’s for stuff, will come back to stuff later ๐Ÿ˜‚ I cycled the island clockwise because the South is supposedly the most scenic and flattest, which it is, so left it till lastThe Journey began Cycling up the West Coast, which starts off on beautiful off road cycling out of Reykjavik, as you head North out of the City there is a lot of traffic but getting off the ringroad and cycling around the Fjords a little further north is very scenic with hardly any traffic, before getting into the Borgarnes which is a great place to get organized with supplies etc before venturing further North up the West side of the island as things start to get a little more peaceful with only small towns that are few and far between, lot’s of scenic rolling hills, and waterfalls, a few Fjords nice scenic start to the journeyNext we’re onto the Northern part of the Ringroad which is interesting, challenging, and highly rewarding in its own unique way, The Challenges there are some big climbs literally up mountains (some of which you look at think , surely not ๐Ÿ˜‚) & and with the bike heavily loaded with supplies it’s a workout ๐Ÿ˜…๐Ÿ˜… while the Climbs are an intense workout you see amazing mountain backdrops with water gushing out from waterfalls, one climb could be in cloud the next through rain, and the one after a sunny blue sky backdrop, which is another challenge the microclimates, which mostly keeps things interesting, The Reward ๐Ÿ˜€๐Ÿ˜€ Getting to the top of these Climbs โ›ฐ๏ธ๐Ÿž๏ธ firstly the sense of achievement, knowing there is a huge downhill on the other side and the views from the top are priceless, it’s these moments that I truly love, The most awesome and rewarding think which cannot be captured and has to be experienced to really appreciate it is Flying down the other side of these big climbs, so you burning hot after the big climb some can take an hour or so, from there on the other side you take a second to enjoy the view from the top theres a steep drops on wide roads, that bend around the mountains, you can’t see the bottom it’s behind the mountains , now all the weight on the bike is going to assist in flying down, to fly even faster, bend your back, head over the front of the handlebar like the cyclists do in races, and shoot down the wind in your face cooling you down, flying around mountain bends that are nice and wide to be comfortable to get around at them speeds, every turn presents a different pararama which looks better than the last, more mountains, waterfalls, bridges running over places where the waterfalls flow down into the Valleys, as you get further down the Valleys generally tend to open up but not always, the problem is that feeling is highly addictive, you just want to go again ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ wild camping ๐Ÿ•๏ธ is allowed in Iceland so most of the time in the North especially was spent camping in amazing places not far from the ringroad, oh yes plus I bearly so anyone maybe a couple of people in some of the little town’s, there were days I didn’t see a shop or person, felt like I had the place to myself ๐Ÿ˜€The North also has one of the Countries biggest waterfalls Godafloss, which I didn’t know at the time and almost cycled past, but fortunately I was intrigued by some steam coming out of a field surrounded by mountains, and some cars parked up and decided to have a quick look but ended up spending 3 hrs there ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ๐Ÿ˜€There is a tunnel that cuts through some Mountains in the North near Akureyri too , there is a dirt road that bypasses it but upon getting to it it seemed very bumpy and could have damaged my tires so I decided to check the tunnel out ๐Ÿค” upon getting to the tunnel there was a big No Cycling / No Horses Sign but there was a path which I decided to take, the tunnel is an interesting place to cycle through it’s about 7km long the path widens and shortens at various intervals , it’s pretty well lit , upon reaching the other end there was a police car wait, I knew it was for me as soon as I so it , whoops ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ ๐Ÿš“ and as I got closer they got out and notified me that the tunnel isn’t permitted for bikes and let me continue on my way ๐Ÿ˜ŒOnto the Eastern side of the route, this is where things start to get interesting, after cycling through the town of Eglisstadir which is along the river Lagarfljรณt in the heart of reindeer territory, unfortunately the reindeer are up in the mountains in the summer where it’s cooler it would be nice to visit this area again in the winter, after topping up on supplies, the heads South through some interesting Mountains and Waterfalls, the route starts weaving in and out of these Huge Fjords and along the east coast, there are truly magnificent views around each bend there are still some nice climbs and descents along this section, there’s huge contrast between the very rugged mountains on the left, and very calm Seas along Blackstone beaches on the right, the odd little village along some of the Fjords , the riding along this section is simply a pleasure it looks quite short on the map but the weaving in and out of fjords the miles add upThe South is the most touristy part of the Country for a reason and it was saved till the end as it’s got the most to see, it starts with a backdrop of snow topped mountains and Glaciers in the background, and the days are spent riding to them, lakes with blocks of snow and ice floating around that’s dropped off the glacier, many have the option to hike around the like and up close to the glacier, one of days in the South after planning on going for a 10min stroll , 3 hrs were spent hiking up a mountain right up to Glacier, thankfully with the midnight sun ๐ŸŒž in the summer I could ride into the night 23:00 to make up time on a nice sunny day, after coming out of the glacial areas there are more waterfalls, mountains, beaches, lava fields, lots of different species of birds that often follow you as you ride, large groups of Icelandic Horses, further along towns become more frequent as you start to get closer to Reykjavik, Towards the end of the Southern section the traffic does become more frequent for small sections until you reach Reykjavik which has off-road cycling paths ๐Ÿ˜€ConclusionEveryone should Cycle the Ring Road, potentially take things slower and take more time to take everything in but just go and Ride the Wave ๐ŸŒŠ you won’t regret it!!!Why cycle it though? ๐Ÿค” Why not rent a car or caravan? You may askWell by cycling it’s not too fast or slow, a nice pace to take everything in while not too slow that it would need a vast amount of time to complete, also gives you the opertunity to stop where and when you like and get amazing places all to yourself all not full of tourists ๐Ÿ˜€ to feel the elements, take on a challenge, take yourself out of your comfort zone and find true Freedom! So what are you waiting for, book it and go! Interesting fact about Iceland there are around 300,000 people there the majority of them live in the capital city, the rest of the country is fairly empty and full untouched natural beauty , the country also has lot’s of active volcanoes ๐ŸŒ‹, hot Springs, Geysers , Lava Fields