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Old 08-05-2014, 04:56 AM   #1
DeeGee OP
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Vikings, Volcanoes, Geysers And Glaciers. DG And Jacks' Iceland Adventure

We had a fantastic time with the family last year as we jetted off to the States and did the whole Disney thing, but we missed our two wheeled Adventure.



Jack and I are not "sun seekers", we have travelled into Europe a few times, and as most of you guys know our last two wheeled adventure took us to another continent as we rode to North Africa with fellow inmates and experienced Morocco.

We wanted to go somewhere different and somewhere that was fairly accessible, I had thought of Iceland in the past, but dismissed it for some reason.

I started looking into it again, I found a couple of ride reports from fellow inmates and read with interest, I pinged a few PM's, Louisdut and Wildman was the most helpful, even sending me maps and a couple of books. You've gotta love this community.




A bit more research was done regarding the logistics etc and we decided to pull the pin and go for it. Jack jumped for joy!



I got on with the research.



We decided logistically it would be better if we shipped the bike and we followed by plane. The reason being is that we would have two weeks to explore the island having more time. We could (and would've prefered to) have gone overland via ferries sailing from Hull to Zebrugge and then up to Denmark to Seydisfjorour. On the return leg from Iceland we could have stayed in the Faroe Islands for a couple of days, but this would mean that we would only have one week in Iceland and Jack and I would have to book three weeks holiday from our work. The former is better all round and the difference in costs is pretty minimal.

Over the last couple of weeks I have been prepping the bike and fitted an auxillary fuel tank to the bike to give us an extra 100 miles range. The reason being is that we would like to visit the Highlands in Iceland. The Highlands is an area which is pretty much uninhibited, raw and moonlike landscape with only a handful of gravel roads. The area is only open between July and August due to the flooding and snow the rest of the year, to run out of fuel here would be pretty dumb, hence the extra tank.

I had to remove the rear fairings and convert the twin exhausts to a single, fitting a 2-1 link pipe (again big thanks to the Adv Community as fellow inmate Unkgd helped me out with the pipe there! ) and the space where the removed exhaust left the extra tank fits there.







Plumbed in, stickers applied and ready for testing.



Happy to say all's good. Time to pack and load ready for the road to the docks.



Arriving at the shipping company.



All the paper work was filled in and faxed prior to the trip and all went fairly smooth.



The bikes home for the next week.



And parked up ready for loading.



I just hope she gets there in one piece. We fly next Thursday from Manchester and all being well we'll pick the bike up the same day we arrive.

Jack followed me down in the car and it felt strange leaving the bike and an expensive lot of gear strapped to her back. Just got to go with the flow and put your trust in the guys doing their job.

Back to Leeds for us now.



Once we got home it was time to do one of the best things...........



Jack and I (as always) have been working extra shifts at work and earning extra money working for a friend of mine and it was time to open our savings.



We always feel a bit apprehensive when we force our way into the can, will we have enough dollar or not?

Of course we have



Three more work days for me to do, Jack has a week, but we will be travelling down to Manchester next Wednesday after Jack finishes work where we'll kick back and enter holiday mode.

Adventure high on the agenda list.

Bye for now

DG
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Old 08-05-2014, 06:29 AM   #2
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Thanks for taking us along

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Old 08-05-2014, 10:30 AM   #3
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Looking forward to your next chapter!
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Old 08-14-2014, 09:42 PM   #4
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Have Fun!

Gav,
Hope the trip is a blast - and can't wait to see the ride report (and pictures of course)!
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Old 08-28-2014, 10:39 AM   #5
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Just arrived home and currently in the process of uploading the 1000 plus pictures.

All I can say is what an amazing country Iceland is, it has totally blown us away (and sometimes quite literally!), we didn't get to do all the things we'd have liked due to some of the roads being closed. This was a result of the ever increasing quakes around the Bardabunga Volcano in the Vatnajokull ice cap, which could lead to an eruption. Some of the roads we wanted to travel on were closed, but there were plenty of other suff to do to keep us busy.

Here's a couple to whet the appetite.






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Old 08-29-2014, 09:50 AM   #6
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So here we go, pics almost loaded, but I have enough to begin.

After we opened the tin we had to go and change some of it for the local currency and deposit the rest in the bank so we had enough cash to draw on while we were away.



And I had a birthday cake to finish and drop off on our way to the airport hotel, the cakes are a little sideline I do.



We then made sure we had all the documents, passports and riding kit. We filled the boot to the brim and off we set, Manchester bound.





The traffic was pretty light and we made good time over the Pennines.





We checked in and went down to get some food and wash it down with a couple of beers.





Early night as we had to be up at 4am for the early flight. We were both giddy, just like we were kids on Christmas Eve and we were both awake at around 3am, laughing at one an other for being awake so early. We decided to get up and get showered before we made the short drive to the airport.

We got changed into our riding kit in the airport car park and then hopped on a shuttle bus which dropped us off at the terminal.

We'd already checked in online and as we had no baggage to check in we immediately went to the check in, we drew sowe strange looks from fellow passengers as we trudged through with the heavy boots and riding kit.

Soon we were on the plane ready for take off.



Leaving a damp Manchester behind.



A couple of hours later and we got our first glimpse of Iceland, spotting one of the Glaciers down below.



A better view.



We're not fans of flying, but the flight was really smooth with no turbulence, we had a good landing and we were soon through the check in and we were straight onto one of the transfer buses to take us up to Reykjavik to check into our first B & B and then onto the port to see if the bike made it ok.





The journey gave us some indication of the terrain as we travelled through moss covered lava fields.



We got to the B & B OK and then ordered a cab down to the port and get the bike, a tad apprehensive I was as this is all a new experience to me.

I needn't have worried though, the company were excellent and couldn't do enough to help us. All the paperwork was present and correct and we were given a couple of hi-vis vests as we were led through the warehouse to where the bike was being stowed. She was there, no dramas, nothing missing, no damage. The guys left us to repack the bike and sort ourselves out and then we were on our way.







We made the short trip back to the digs, I double checked the bike over and then we got changed and went into Reykjavik.





We found some Vikings!





We'd worked up an appetite and we had also heard that the soup in Iceland was supposed to be top notch. We found a bar which served a good helping of soup in a freshly baked bread bowl, we decided to have a bit of that!





washed down with a nice cool one too!



Then it was back out into the streets for more of a wander around. We went to look at the concrete Cathedral, an impressive building.









Inside was as impressive and the organ has an amazing number of 5275 pipes!



While we were out and about I spotted a small supermarket with a peculiar name which bears some significance to us as our youngest son has a head full of ginger hair. I saw the sign and had to get a picture



This forum never fails to amaze me. Not only did fellow inmate Unkgd sort me out with the link pipe I needed, but after my first post on the Ride Report section with plans with our trip to Iceland I had a PM from another inmate G B who lives in Reykjavik who offered to come and show us some sights worth visiting once we were in the country, so we exchanged numbers and I said I'd text once we were sorted.

After a couple of hours down in the city we returned to the digs to meet up with Gudmundur.

I set the camera up to take a few snaps of the room as we chilled out with a brew.



I put the timer on and just as I got to the couch I went flying on the slippy floor!



Luckily I wasn't hurt, Jack was nursing bruised ribs though after all the laughing! Anyway I decided to try again, taking a bit more care.



Pretty soon G B had arrived and he set about marking some points on the map for us.





Gudmundur also supplied us with a garmin map of Iceland which had more details of the Highlands on it than our European version we had in our GPS. Once all the points had been made on the map he took us on a quick tour of the city.

We could see this building from the balcony of our room and I thought it was an observatory, but I was wrong. Basically it was four huge vats which held and heated water up for the city. On the top floor was a plush restaurant which slowly spun round 360 degrees.




Tomorrow we hit the road

DeeGee screwed with this post 08-29-2014 at 09:58 AM
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Old 08-29-2014, 02:48 PM   #7
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Excellent pics - will look forward to reading the rest of the report.
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Old 08-30-2014, 02:13 AM   #8
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Great reading so far ! Excellent pics too.
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Old 08-30-2014, 01:04 PM   #9
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Old 08-30-2014, 01:25 PM   #10
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In!!!

The wife and I watched a CBS news segemnt the other day on Iceland, and both commented it would be a great ride destination.

I am tuned in!!!
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Old 08-30-2014, 04:44 PM   #11
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IN!!!!
Was just talking about going here the other day.....
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Old 08-31-2014, 12:55 PM   #12
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So the following day we were excited to set off into the unknown, I was up early and decided to go for a run. I'm running the Yorkshire Marathon this year in October for charity, the Yorkshire Kidney Research Fund. I needed to keep up with the training as much as I could. I managed six miles and when I got back we ate breakfast then we packed our bags and loaded up the roll bag and hit the road.

First up though was to add our new sticker to the pannier.



I shot off to fuel up the bike first, then went back for Jack.

We decided to head south first, the only reason being was that according to the weather forecast, the better weather was south with only one day of rain forecast in the next week. North bound was due to be wet all week, so it was a no brainer.


We'd only been travelling around ten minutes and we found ourselves on a gravel road.









After a few pics we pressed on and a few miles down the road we spotted this small hut.





I later found out that there are many of these huts dotted all over the place, especially in the remote places which are used for shelter when the weather turns bad, this can happen frequently in Iceland as we found out for ourselves later on in the trip.

Check out the terrain, moss covered lava fields.



We had been riding for sometime on the gravel road and if I'm honest I was a bit apprehensive and didn't really settle onto any kind of rhythm. We hadn't seen no other person, car, bike or other and it kind of hit me how remote and far away from any town (we were probably still close to Reykjavik) or aid if anything were to go wrong.

Also a nagging at the back of my mind was if anything were to happen (mechanically) to the bike. I was carrying some spares, tubes, pump, liquid metal and a decent tool kit. It had never bothered me in Europe as we had always had breakdown cover and in Morocco I felt secure as I had the back up of a few inmates who we made the trip with, safety in numbers and all that. Here though felt different, a little uncomfortable.

I checked the settings on the satnav and found the navigation settings were set to avoid motorways and highways, so I unchecked them and we pressed on as the weather decided to take a turn for the worst.

We found ourselves riding under grey leaden skies which unleashed bucket fulls after bucket fulls of water on us both, undeterred as we were now riding on Route 1 (the main ring road which circles the island) I turned up the heated grips and continued on. We were heading for a place called Vik on the south coast, the rain increased and the wind picked up, we couldn't even feast our eyes on the views as the clouds were menacingly low obscuring everything.

We pulled into roadside cafe for a warm drink and for some respite from the harsh weather. It turned out to be a good shout as we filled our bellies with a great all you can eat style buffet and copious amounts of hot coffee.





While we were in the warmth we decided to take advantage of the free wi-fi and see if we could find a local place to stay. We had planned on camping the first few nights, but if we were to camp that evening we wouldn't have been able to dry our kit.



Bingo! We found a place for decent money, but we had to travel back the way we'd just came.



Back out into the dismal weather.



We turned up at a farmhouse, both of us drenched. We were just about to knock on the door when the owner opened it looking a bit bewildered and asked what we were doing.

I said we'd booked a room for the night and he said no as they were already fully booked. My heart sank, then I realised I had taken a screenshot with my phone and protested saying we'd only just booked it.

His wife came to the door and said my name, yes that's me I replied as I fumbled for my phone. Then she says the booking was for the following night.

Here's the moral of the story...... When using a website for booking accommodation always check the dates!

Luckily for us the couple said there was another farm 3kms up the road which may have some vacancies and offered to call them for us. Turned out good as they did have a room and also somewhere where we could dry our kit.

Ten minutes later we were checked in and as we were already soaked we went and jumped in the hot tub!







The rain was still pouring, but it was great.



That evening we both had a first taste of horse meat, I thought it a bit strange as the farm had lots of horses for hire for riding trips, but we were stuck there with no food of our own, horse meat steak it was.





The next day we made the short trip back down the road to the place we had booked into previously (we had already paid for the accommodation and couldn't get a refund), we had arranged to drop off the roll bag and panniers the previous day to lighten the load on the bike and set off to take a look around the area.

Gullfoss



We left the masses then and headed up on one of the F roads hoping to get close to the glacier in the area. The landscape was pretty barren.







You can just make out the glacier in the distance.







We had caught up a couple of buses and 4X4 vehicles and I settled in to a good pace and started really enjoying the riding, we had been going for around an hour when the fuel light came on. I checked to see if there was any fuel stations on the way to the glacier, but to my dismay there wasn't any. I had to open the tap on the aux fuel tank and turn around and head back to where we'd came from.





We headed for another tourist trap on the Golden Circle to fuel up, we had a bite to eat and a drink and then we thought we may as well go with the masses and see what the fuss was all about.





Waiting for Geysir to blow.



Didn't have long to wait.







Hot steam leaking from the earth.



Once again we left the crowd behind and went to find a place called Stong where there was an old farmhouse which had been reconstructed. We found it, but there was a problem getting there.......



It didn't look that deep, but we waited around to see if any 4x4's came along, we didn't have long to wait and I decided that there would be many more to cross as the week went on and thought I'd give it a go.







Now I have crossed a few rivers/fords etc in the past, it is a bit nerve wracking the first time you have a go, but the secret is to keep up the momentum, keep the eyes fixed on the bank and keep a steady pace.

All this went out of the window and I ended up getting wet feet!





I squelched and Jack laughed! As a result of boots full of water I forgot to take any pictures of the old farmhouse. On the return crossing I did as explained above and made it clean across with no more dramas, typical!

We went on then to find a small waterfall near which Gudmundur had recommended.

On the way.





We soon found it.







Time to kit up and get back to the guesthouse.



Stopped off for a fill up for the bike and an ice cream for us.



Once we got back I decided to put the panniers on the bike to save a bit of time in the following morning.



Then I had to was my dirty socks out!





Checked the map deciding where to head to the next day.



Stay tuned...................
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Old 09-03-2014, 10:10 PM   #13
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Old 09-05-2014, 12:01 PM   #14
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So the following day we woke up to blue skies.



The mountain you see on the left is in fact a Volcano, called Hekla. This usually erupts every 10 years, but to date it's been dormant for the last 14, you can actually hike to the top of this volcano if you wanted to

So we loaded up the bike and we had decided to head to a place in the mountains called Landmannalaugar. the route was pretty stunning as we passed through drastic lava fields and crossed many bridges, some long, some short, but the lava fields were just vast.







Here in the background you can see the volcano Hekla.





We then turned off the tarmac and hit one of the F roads and started riding on gravel, big chunky lose gravel, crossed another bridge near the power station then we turned and climbed up, luckily the gravel here had become more compact and the riding was good. Once again the landscape had changed from lava fields to a scorched like dark sand terrain.







We had only been travelling a few kilometres when we came round a corner and over a slight hill and were rewarded with another stunning vista.



I love this pic, Jack didn't know I had the camera and it just says it all with her hand on the bike and her smiling inside her helmet with a wow on her breath.









You gotta just get the bike in too!



We carried on and I was feeling excited, my worrying about the bike had totally gone now and I was really enjoying the riding, up on the pegs dodging the major potholes and trying to stay away from the washboard stuff. It was fantastic!

We passed a large lake on our right which was an amazing colour blue.





Climbed another hill with a bit of a bend and then we saw this!



We had to stop for a few pics here and I knew we were almost at our destination.







An Italian family asked me to take a couple of pics of them, which I obliged and then they returned the favour.





Time to get back on the steed and make the final few kilometres to the campsite.

We pulled up as there were two rivers to ford before we could get right into the site and after yesterdays efforts.............
And this time the bike was fully loaded............



Jack jumped off and said that there was a bridge if we wanted to take the gear off the bike and carry it to the site. I didn't fancy carrying all the gear and leaving the bike over the river to where we were camping.

Just then I spotted an Italian couple who we'd seen the day before on the same bike, he said it was too deep. I waited to see if any 4x4's came along which they did and it did look a tad a deep I must admit, but thought fuck it, do the same as yesterday on the return crossing and I'll be fine.

I cleaned them both, all be it with a wobble at the far side, but I made it, just gutted I didn't wait until Jack had got over the bridge so she could've got some pics of my galant effort. The Italian couple applauded me though, so that was cool.

We went to pay for the pitch for the night and then set up our home for the night.





I've never been to Everest, but from what I've seen on the TV the campsite reminded me of some kind of basecamp.





Now why Landmannalaugar you ask?

When researching for the trip I had seen many pictures of this area and it looked totally mind blowing, it is a hot spot for hikers as there are many routes available to hike. There is one particular route which takes you from Landmannalaugar southwards to a place called Porsmork, you can pre book mountain huts on the route and the hike takes (usually) three days and it is in the top three places to hike in the world!!

We just wanted to hike for the day and we weren't disappointed. We soon got changed into our hiking gear and set off in between an opening in the lava field.

Looking back at the campsite.





On we went through a jagged lave field terrain.





We didn't really know where we wanted to go, but once we saw this off in the distance we decided that's where we would go. The paths were well marked for the many people who were hiking.





As we continued we eventually came to what I had seen only in pictures on the net and in books.



I was totally blown away, I was lost for words as I just soaked up the views. I just stood there in awe.







The tripod was despatched!





On we went.



The earth was smoking.









Looking back to the campsite.



Climbing a bit higher.









Stunning eh??









You can just make out the campsite in the background.



At the top!



Yeah!!!!





A couple of people up top.



Back in the vast lava field





Almost there.



Back at the site we stopped off at the makeshift shop which was housed in two old buses. They didn't have much in store, but we bought some bread, pasta, a couple of tins of tuna and some tomatoes.

Time to break out the Trianga and put my old cheffing hat on.







A happy customer and camper!



Washed down with a couple of beers!



This beast rocked up as we were eating. There's some serious off road motors up here.



This is another one of them



Time to hit the sack and then we were away the next day, but where??
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Old 09-05-2014, 12:36 PM   #15
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Great Stuff

Its on the list

Cheers

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