Planless on Iceland - revisited

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by pip_muenster, Dec 15, 2011.

  1. pip_muenster

    pip_muenster curious

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    Got you. So let's see if we can round this up without anymore water crossings ...
    :lol3
    Maddin likes this.
  2. pip_muenster

    pip_muenster curious

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    One of the huts here contains a little scenic gas station, know from many Iceland photos. We asked at the reception and were told that the station was technically there, but the pump was broken. The next station was 42km away, luckily we still had enough gas. By the way, the screenshot illustrates one of the features I liked about Osmand on an 8" tablet: You could zoom out quite far without loosing too much details. That allowed me to see small tracks like the one we did yesterday even 50km ahead without panning or zooming in.

    [​IMG]

    Here's a view on the camp site facilities, with the restaurant in the background.

    [​IMG]

    The 901 brought us quickly to the ring road and the gas station. With the tanks filled up, we headed down the 907 back in the highlands, which connected us with the F910, maybe 2 miles before Bru. From here, we followed a track west of the Anavatn. I can't give it's number because it is unnamed on my 2011 map - and more importantly, because it seemed that the F910 now followed different tracks, than in 2011. There were 2 easy water crossings along the way (don't tell NSFW).
    Maybe 5 miles before we reached the Kharanjukhar Dam, a side road led us to the Laugavellir hot pool with its hot waterfall. In 2011, this had been an insider tip, but now they had improved the access road, including a small parking lot with a foot bridge, so you didn't need to go through the water anymore. If you come from the east across the dam, there are no water crossings and even a Yaris would get here easily. Even though they improved the access, the pool itself was left untouched and still beautiful. There were maybe 8-10 people here when we arrived, but by the time I had changed, the pool was empty.
    Back at the bikes we had some cookies and congratulated ourselved for the timing: Just now, a convoy of Dutch 4x4s rolled in.

    [​IMG]

    We rode across the dam from which we could see the river falling into its original gorge.

    [​IMG]

    It seemed the reservoir lake continued all the way to the glacier, so we followed a track down its shore for a couple of miles. But we turned around when it seemed as if we wouldn't get close. From here, the 910 is asphalt. We were almost in the clouds, and it was quite cold.

    [​IMG]

    A small gas station with a cafe at the Lagarfljot lake gave us an opportunity to warm up and refill. The station itself was an icecream shop with some basic groceries on the shelves as well. It seemed unlikely that they had many customers. I was certainly not in the mood for icecream, and nobody showed up while we were sipping our coffee, looking for a place to spend the night. We decided on a camp site in Reydarfjoerdur at the coast and followed the ring road to the south. About 10 miles from the intersection with the 910 my tablet wanted me to turn left, while Maddin's GPS told him to keep straight. We check the maps and agreed, that there was a shortcut across the mountains. Cool.

    Over the last few days I had kept a close eye on my brake pads and basically avoided using the rear brake at all, whenever I could. Nevertheless, the pads were gone by now and all I got was a screeching metal-on-metal noise. I had to approach the decent a little bit careful.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The camp site was unsupervised, but offered well maintained facilities, including free use of washer, dryer and wifi. We went into town for dinner.

    Track for day 13. A hot waterfall!

    [​IMG]
  3. pip_muenster

    pip_muenster curious

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    There was one more day left before we had to board the ferry. We spent it riding along the fjords, visiting Faskrudsfjoerdur and Breidalsvik, before heading back to Egilsstadir.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Here, we met the Norwegians again and exchanged our expiriences and stories. The camp filled with more and more people, even the Rotel bus showed up. In the morning, a ride through the clouds brought us down to Seydisfjoerdur. Boarding was quick and easy, and we went searching for our berths. Back when we had booked, all the cabins in our price range had been sold out for the return leg, so now we only had berths. To get there from the bikes, we actually had to go down one deck ...
    The room had 9 berths, stacked up 3-high, with maybe 10sqft in the middle. Its door reminded on a western saloon, probably a good idea to keep a minimum of ventilation. Only 6 were occupied, and I heared that they never actually put more than 6 people in each room. We spent most time on the upper decks and only came here to sleep, so it wasn't actually that bad, apart from the snoring. One guy decided to sleep in the ball pit.

    Here is a map with the combined tracks from 2011 (red) and 2019 (yellow). I'm wondering whether it's possible to cross the highlands from Askia all the way to the west. You would need 500-600km of fuel though ...

    [​IMG]

    Thanks everybody for following along, I hope you enjoyed the trip. And say 'hello', if you met us somewhere. I'd love to understand how Edelweiss counts river crossings ...
    :lol3
    jeckyll, Joris van O, ferals5 and 7 others like this.
  4. itinerant wool stash

    itinerant wool stash Inveterate optimist Supporter

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    re west to east:

    Askja to Laugafjell would be the easy party: F910, either via the current or the old southern route with the funky delta, F22, F881. The question then becomes how to get from Laugafjell to the F35, which basically is the question of how to get around Hofsjokull. Crossing it on the north I know that there's a track that goes via a hut called Ingólfsskáli. It is surprisingly hard to find good information on that track -- or perhaps not that surprising ...

    Map: https://www.nat.is/veidi/isl_arnvh600.htm
    Other things I was able to dig up: According to the map and some descriptions, 14 major -- decidedly non-Edelweiss-compatible -- water crossings, including the Blanda. And apparently the Blanda fording is *not* the hardest problem on the route ( :eek7 ) . Some of the rivers can have about a 1m of depth variation during the day.
    I've the distinct impression that on motorcycles, assuming it is possible, at least one bivouac would be required en route to manage river depths, with all that entails (like the chance of getting stuck between rivers)
    Since I assume you speak German, I'd head over to islandreise.info and search for the hut's name.

    Once you manage to get to the F35, you can take the F338 -- the powerline road, I think you've done it -- further west.
    Maddin and pip_muenster like this.
  5. rider1150gsadv

    rider1150gsadv Long timer

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    Great RR!:clap Tx for taking the time to write it. I know it is a hassle at times... I have done a few way in the past so I know..:eyes
    Maddin and pip_muenster like this.
  6. Hollyr

    Hollyr Vesterislendingur Supporter

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    Thanks for both reports. You managed to cover quite a distance each day! One of my favourite Icelandic t-shirts Says "Today's Weather" then has pictures of every possible weather. Looks like you discovered that.
    pip_muenster and Maddin like this.
  7. Maddin

    Maddin Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2010
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    Hi Joel,

    time flies... that was some time ago now, that I stayed with you in LA. Thx man.

    I changed to the 690 from my 660 Tenere and I don't regret it. Much easier in the harder terrain.

    Hope everthing is well in California. Stay safe and healthy!

    back then:
    [​IMG]
    NSFW likes this.
  8. Maddin

    Maddin Been here awhile

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    I will remember this day not only for the scenery, but this was the first time of riding in deep sand with confidence (most of the time).
    Back then (klickme), when we hit the sand in 2011 (first ever sand experience), I dropped my motorcycle more often in the first 100-200m of sand, than on this entire trip (3 times :-) ).
    Since my crash in Quebec, there was always something in the back of my head whispering to me, when I encountered sand. It might not be totally gone, but now someone stuffed a boot up that mouth and I can't hear it anymore :D
    eaglescan and pip_muenster like this.
  9. gasperX

    gasperX Adventurer

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    How much costet ferry??? and how long does it take?? Do you have any web pages???
  10. Maddin

    Maddin Been here awhile

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    1. ~450€ one person with motorcycle, one way with a bunk bed (which I dont recommend, rest see https://www.smyrilline.de/preise). There was a cheaper offer, when you visit the Faroer Island, if you want to see them.
    2. You spend 2 1/2 days on the ferry, one way
    3. we don't habe web pages. You find us here on ADV-Rider or other forums.
  11. NSFW

    NSFW basecamp4adv Super Supporter

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    maddin..i remember after sitting on your 660, i want one - unfortunately, it was never sold in the US. now i see you have the 690 which is a very nice bike too. in my case, sold my 640 and it was a tough decision what bike i would get next.....the 701 was the answer.

    now we're all under lockdown order and hope you guys are safe and healthy. take care.
  12. itinerant wool stash

    itinerant wool stash Inveterate optimist Supporter

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    re ferry:

    It is also possible to ship the bike unattended in a cargo container (for example via Bremerhaven and Eimskip), then fly to Iceland. However, this requires a bit of extra paperwork, you'll likely need to bring the bike to the port a couple days before shipment, and there may also be a delay until customs releases the bikes to you.
  13. pip_muenster

    pip_muenster curious

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    Airfreight, e.g. with Iceland Air, is also an option, and possibly easier to organize if you live far away from a cargo harbor. If you're afraid of sea sickness or if your spare time for such trips is limited, shipping can be an option, and many people do this without problems. For us, this would have meant dropping the bikes either at Liege (Belgium) or Bremerhaven (see post above). So overall, it would have cost us as much time as taking the ferry.
  14. BSTT

    BSTT Been here awhile

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    Braunschweig, Germany
    Thank you for your time and first class pics! Now I'm ready for the "organized" trip!

    Ciao Gero
    pip_muenster and Maddin like this.
  15. jeckyll

    jeckyll Kneedragger

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    Vancouver
    Just finished reading the original and new report. Great stuff!
    pip_muenster likes this.
  16. live2ridetahoe

    live2ridetahoe BSN, RN, CEN, TCRN, MICN Supporter

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    Hey Pip! Really enjoyed your RR! Thanks for taking us along!

    - Tahoe
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  17. Peter640

    Peter640 Peter 640

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    Thanks loved the report and happy memories of Iceland last year.

    Nice work!

    I remember the wet feet!

    IMG_9371.jpg
    Big Rivers ...
    IMG_9387.jpg
    And the balmy warm climate!
    IMG_8082.jpg
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  18. itinerant wool stash

    itinerant wool stash Inveterate optimist Supporter

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    The second two pictures look familiar. ;) Peter, you went with Chris's tour, right?
  19. Hollyr

    Hollyr Vesterislendingur Supporter

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    Wimps. Real Icelanders don't even dress for the cold.
    [​IMG]
    My foot hurts just thinking about changing gears barefoot!
    pip_muenster and G B like this.
  20. Peter640

    Peter640 Peter 640

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    Yep, it was nice to have support on those big river crossings and we got to some places we wouldn't have found easily or where we would'nt have been game to go to on our own. Plus, Julie could hop in the 4WD when the riding got a little more tricky! Im thinking I might take the bike back to North America the same way in a couple of years time as I feel there is so much more to see! Currently my ride is stuck in Portugal (after having to bail out of Morocco in March this year) and as I live in Australia our borders are still closed to in or outwards bound travel. Feeling a bit cooped up (which is odd in such a large continent!).

    Loved your writing and pics. Nice work. If you get down this way come and say hi!

    Peter