Iceland, day 10

October 7, 2009 at 8:26 pm
Snaefellsness

Snaefellsness

Snaefellsness

Snaefellsness

Snaefellsness

Snaefellsness

Today we have to start making the long trip from Akureyri to Reykjavik; actually the trip is a little longer as we have to get to Keflavik airport – anyone on a time crunch should be aware that the airport is 50 km’s from the city so if you’re driving the Ring Road you’ll want to budget this extra driving time.) We’ve decided we’ll head south via the Snaefellsness peninsula but it’s a long drive and for some reason longer than it looks on the map.

Somewhere deserted I decide to make up time and go a bit quicker. I know I’m driving too fast but there’s nobody in sight. Until I’m pulled over by a cop, the first we’ve seen in Iceland, and on our penultimate day. I’m timed at 114 km’s per hour, and apparently I’m lucky as the fine is larger at 115. However with the dollar plummeting daily, each minute I wait for the ticket makes it more expensive. It turns out to be a big OUCH ! at about $180, and I’m in a lousy mood for a while.

We get to Blonduos, which is nondescript, but find a nice bakery where we stock up on pastries. We’re making very slow progress though. Eventually at about 3pm we get to Stykkisholmur which is very pretty and has some good vantage points. My friend David in Seattle has told us to look for the beautifully smooth volcanic stones he found years ago on a beach on the peninsula and just as I’m explaining to my son that we won’t get that far on this trip, we find those exact stones – in the parking lot. That’s traveller’s karma, or just being in Iceland. We follow our guidebook’s advice and head to the bakery to buy some ‘astarpungar’ – fried balls of dough and raisins- but they’re out so we head on.

The peninsula is indeed gorgeous with magnificent clear blue ocean vistas. Along the road, really to nowhere, we stop a few times, first at the irresistably named Berserkers lava field, and then more dramatically we turn up an unsignposted dirt road which leads to small mountains and craters. Our son is bounding off as soon as we stop. I’ve run for 20 years precisely for these moments – to keep up with him as he scurries up a crater, but he’s almost 14 now and I just can’t keep up. He catches me on the way down as I make very slow steps on the scree.

He's up there somewhere but I can't keep up.

He's up there somewhere but I can't keep up.

It's those stones !

It's those stones !

Stykkisholmur

Stykkisholmur

We meander a bit more and eventually start heading south out of the peninsula. We’re staying on a farm called Hraunsnef, about half an hour from Bogarnes. We have a little cabin with the accent on ‘little’. It’s got a kitchenette and bathroom but everything’s really on top of everything else. But there are some good craters down the road so we go climbing around before having our obligatory soup and bread for dinner. This being our last night in Iceland, my son and I go into the hot tub for a while to bond – this trip has had a lot of that which is worth a fortune. Afterwards, the 3 of us stumble all over one another as we try work out how 3 normal sized humans can stand up at the same time in our cabin. We fail, but it’s been another good day, albeit a very expensive one.

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