Iceland Star Grab

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by whereisgibson, Aug 15, 2014.

  1. davesupreme

    davesupreme grand poobah

    Joined:
    May 1, 2011
    Oddometer:
    5,235
    Location:
    palm harbor, fla
    great stuff!... the vids are cool!....
    #41
  2. whereisgibson

    whereisgibson Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2008
    Oddometer:
    194
    [​IMG]

    I left the hostel and took route 690 to join the southern road that winds west.
    [​IMG]

    Two stars were on my adenda today, the Dynjandi waterfall in the north east and the remote Latrabjarg Bird cliffs in the south west:
    [​IMG]

    By the time I got to the waterfall I had already put on my full waterproofs, as it was raining hard and blowing quite a gale. The road sign said the wind was 18m/s ie ~40mph.
    [​IMG]


    Star 13! The rain didn't help the camera, but you can get an idea of the scale if you look to the right at the size of the walkers!
    [​IMG]


    On a clearer day I think this area would be stunning. I made a navigation error and ended up doing 70km more than I needed to along the wrong spur, losing an hour at least.
    [​IMG]

    Star 14! Somewhere in the fog are the bird cliffs...
    [​IMG]

    I had intended to take a 6pm ferry from the West Fjords south, to miss out a 200 mile section of road, but the navigation error and slow progress in the wind and rain meant the time was getting very tight.


    Having missed the ferry by 15 minutes, I backtracked to dry out at the nearest hostel and plan the journey onwards.
    [​IMG]
    #42
  3. Blader54

    Blader54 Long timer

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2012
    Oddometer:
    1,795
    Really enjoying this report! The videos really bring home what the weather is like! Here's hoping you bag all the stars on your list! Thanks for letting us catch a ride with you!
    #43
  4. MeinMotorrad

    MeinMotorrad Long timer

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2012
    Oddometer:
    5,183
    Location:
    UK for now.
    Did you feel the Bardarbunga earthquake (5.7 on the scale)?
    #44
  5. Elkfeva

    Elkfeva Lurker, Not Noob

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2011
    Oddometer:
    3
    Location:
    NorthWest
    Wow, what a trip. Thanks for sharing, maybe one day i will do this ride. I really like your video updates.

    04 KTM 450EXC
    #45
  6. Saso

    Saso Happily sporting the DRD4 gene

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2005
    Oddometer:
    992
    Location:
    Base camp
    Martin, keep it coming! I fly to Reykjavik this Saturday - meet my bike the following Wednesday (arriving via ship from Portland Maine) and I'll begin what looks to be a wet and hopefully not too "shaky" ride. Thanks for posting your routes and the fantastic photos! Cheers :freaky
    #46
  7. Caymen8

    Caymen8 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2009
    Oddometer:
    135
    Location:
    Rocky Mountain High
    Really enjoying your report! I like your videos. They are long enough to get a great feel for what you are trying to show, but short enough not to overload my clinically short attention span. Great photos too!
    #47
  8. TM1(SS)

    TM1(SS) Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2013
    Oddometer:
    443
    Location:
    Tulsa, OK
    Hoping for another excellent RR !!!:clap
    #48
  9. Saso

    Saso Happily sporting the DRD4 gene

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2005
    Oddometer:
    992
    Location:
    Base camp
    Oh man, this is gonna be a tough act to follow... :hmmmmm
    #49
  10. live2ridetahoe

    live2ridetahoe RN

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2004
    Oddometer:
    1,640
    Location:
    Concord, CA
    Sounds like an awesome trip. Do you have a RR in the works?

    JG
    #50
  11. whereisgibson

    whereisgibson Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2008
    Oddometer:
    194
    [​IMG]
    I left the North West hoping for a break in the weather. Nonetheless I still put on my full waterproofs, just in case.

    Riding back along the same route I came in on was pretty dull, and with the same head-on wind and rain as the day before it was going to be another unpleasant day on the bike. Again, 16m/s is about 35mph ie blowy.
    [​IMG]

    My destination in the West fjords called Arnarstapi.
    [​IMG]

    The western peninsula was clearly experiencing the same weather I was hoping to leave in the north west.
    [​IMG]


    The bad weather was at least broken up by a change in scenery; the west was evidently shaped by lots of volcanic activity.
    [​IMG]

    The mountain at the peninsula is called Snæfellsjökull and serves as the entrance to the subterranean journey in Jules Verne's Journey to the Center of the Earth. Riding up and over it towards star 15, I was in a cloud one side...
    [​IMG]

    And clear on the other!
    [​IMG]

    Without any guidance from the map about what exactly I was looking for, I eventually found Star 15!
    [​IMG]


    I would have stayed in the west, as I found star 15 around 6:30pm. However the nearest hostel was full, the campsite at Arnarstapi was closed, and the weather was such that wild camping did not appeal. Instead I used a bit of mobile data to find myself a bed for the night in Borgannes, 90 minutes' riding away - again through the same wind and rain. Happily, due to a mix-up at the hostel I ended up being shunted into a local hotel instead - result.
    [​IMG]
    #51
  12. whereisgibson

    whereisgibson Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2008
    Oddometer:
    194
    Nope, though I'm not sure I'd notice it form the vibes riding on a 640 Adventure! :bash
    #52
  13. BRUTSQD

    BRUTSQD 2 scoops of stupid

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2011
    Oddometer:
    374
    Location:
    Sacramento, CA
    Good god!!!! Great ride report, looks like a fantastic adventure!
    #53
  14. LudemJo

    LudemJo Iron Butt Dreamer

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2014
    Oddometer:
    791
    Location:
    Leesburg, VA, USA
    Definitely on my short list of future destinations. Looking forward to future reports. Subscribed.

    John
    #54
  15. live2ridetahoe

    live2ridetahoe RN

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2004
    Oddometer:
    1,640
    Location:
    Concord, CA
    I have really enjoyed reading your ride report. Iceland is very near the top of my moto hit list...

    Safe travels.

    Jeff G.
    #55
  16. GoingNowhere

    GoingNowhere Dreamer

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2013
    Oddometer:
    8
    Location:
    UK
    Alright?

    Get a job! (and a razor)

    I'll buy you as much old rosie as you can drink when you get back (that's three pints if I recall)

    Crack on
    #56
  17. whereisgibson

    whereisgibson Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2008
    Oddometer:
    194
    [​IMG]

    After a relaxed evening in the hotel I aimed at my next star - number 16 Hraunfossar.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Literally back on track to the next area where 17 and 18 were nestled, down the 550.
    [​IMG]

    The Almannagja Rift cresting the mid-Atlantic range on the left side and historical settlement Thingvallir on the right, two stars in one!
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]


    Next the hunt was on for Kerid, taking me along route 360 and the beautiful Thingvallavatn lake.
    [​IMG]

    Star 19 - Kerid, a volcanic crater lake!
    [​IMG]


    I pitched at a scout camp on lake Thingvallavatn that claimed to have fish in their lake. The only thing that came out this lake was me, retrieving a snapped line! Brr!
    [​IMG]
    #57
  18. whereisgibson

    whereisgibson Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2008
    Oddometer:
    194
    [​IMG]

    Packing up camp last night I noticed I was missing an essential item! This photo should include a picture of a bicycle pump.
    [​IMG]

    Luckily a large town, Selfoss, was on my route and so I stopped off to source a replacement - after all there's not much point carrying tyre levers and a spare tube if I can't pump up the tube.
    [​IMG]


    A nice easy ride down Highway 1 to star 20 - Skogafoss!
    [​IMG]


    My plan was to camp nearby, but the campsite was closed. Instead I pushed on to another I had read about just past Vik, along the 214. High up in the mountains lies Thakgil.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    #58
  19. whereisgibson

    whereisgibson Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2008
    Oddometer:
    194
    [​IMG]

    Overnight the weather had become severely wet and windy.


    My tent was packed away soaking wet, and my gear didn't stay dry long either.

    After the ride back down the 214, I headed to a hostel at Vik to sit out the storm - but they were full :( Instead I pushed on, heading up the rough track to Axlarfoss - star 21!
    [​IMG]


    The weather was now truly dreadful, with my helmet leaking from the rain, hands soaked and cold, and high winds. I rode on to the next petrol station at Kirkjubaejarklaustur to get some food and explore my options.


    I pitched at a campsite in town, rolling out a sodden tent and mattress to call home for the third night in a row. Firing up the stove for an hour did an acceptable job of drying my things out.
    [​IMG]
    #59
  20. whereisgibson

    whereisgibson Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2008
    Oddometer:
    194
    [​IMG]

    An early start at 7am, I left my tent and gear at the campsite and backtracked to reach stars 22 and 23. With two river crossings marked on my map, and with much rain having fallen overnight I was concerned that I'd have problems in the deep water.

    Riding straight up the F206 I managed to cross both rivers without issue, though I did walk them both first.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    After about an hour's riding I arrived at the furthest star - Laki.
    [​IMG]


    Laki is meant to be an area of outstanding beauty, having been shaped by volcanic activity and giving the intrepid hiker a panoramic view from the top of the volcano that is responsible for more deaths than any other in recorded human history - in 1783. But no such views today!
    [​IMG]


    Afterwards I headed back the way I came, this time stopping at Fagrifoss to collect star 23!
    [​IMG]



    Proceeding back and along highway 1 east, through yet more wind and rain, I arrived at a point where glacial ice flows out to sea - star 24!
    [​IMG]
    #60