|Posted on August 7, 2009 at 10:43 AM|
August 7, 2009
Egilsstadir to Reykjavik and back to France
90 days 7500km
The windgods have been playing with us on our last stretch. Lucky for us it has been mostly in the back. It would push us at 44 km/h! No wonder why cyclists going the other way were taking the bus! Once arrived in Vik, the most southern point of Iceland, the wind was so strong that on the camping, some tents were litterally dancing in the wind and tentpoles were breaking. We were happy to have a strong tent made to withstand hurricane winds.
Together with the wind, we had some rain: We haven't had good weather for the last 2 weeks.
We followed the ringroad towards Skaftafell, a national park well known for its many beautifull hiking trails. We spent an hour hiking towards pretty Svartifoss and learned about the Jokulhaups (the flood of water etc that occurs when a volcano erupts underneath a glacier) that happen in the region. The biggest Jokulhaups was in 1998:
During the Grimsvotn Eruption From December 18 to 28, 1998 a 1300-meter-long fissure eruption took place on the south edge of Grimsvotn Caldera, much of which is buried beneath the Vatnajokull Ice Cap. The ash and steam column reached heights of 10 kilometers. This eruption occurred 10 kilometers south of the 1996 Gjalp subglacial eruption that melted 3 cubic kilometers of ice, causing a huge glacial outburst flood that destroyed the road and communication lines across southern Iceland.
We cycled for many kilometers over the long, flat, grey, rocky moorland that is caused by the Jokulhaups wiping out everything on its way.
The road became very impressive as we were squished in between the ocean on one side and the countless glaciertongues on the other. One of these glaciertongues drops into a lake, creating a lake full of icebergs. The lake slowly flows out into the sea, creating a perfect fishing spot for the seals that hunt in between the twirling icebergs. This lake is known as Jokulsarlon (glacier lagoon). we were lucky to find a campsite just by the shore of the lake to enjoy the icebergs for ourselves.
Slowly but surely we were progressing towards the west, we left the Vatnajokul area and the shoreline. The road became hilly and the wind came from the side. We took our time as we were ahead of schedule.
We arrived in Reykjavik 3 days before departure and spent those last 3 days walking through Reykjavik and eating our favourite snack, Skyr (Skyr is an Icelandic cultured dairy product, similar to strained yogurt. Technically it is a very soft cheese).
Ofcourse on our last kilometers to Keflavik airport the rain decided to give us a last pooring, so we arrived pretty wet at the airport. But that didn't bother us as we knew that in a few hours we would be arriving in the very welcome French heat!
We are currently back in France.