On Thursday, November 16th, 2015, we left Reykjavik at 9 am, with my new friend the American. We took the bus in the Hlemmur station in order to go, 30 minutes, later to the Klapparhilo station : the strategic place to leave Reykjavik. All the cars go that way(through about it)!
A storm of snow and hail beat down on us during our stop. Fortunately, a car stopped in 2 minutes, but it went to the South and we went to the North … We allowed to pass him and stayed under this stor. A second car stopped, and it went towards Golden Circle, so that didn’t arrange us. We waited for about twenty minutes when a small car stopped and this one was the good one! She went to the North! Well, not exactly where we wished but we travelled 350 km with her. Breathtaking landscapes, never the same one.
This lady, put down us to 100 km of Akureyri (where we wanted to go), in the middle of nowhere. An incredible silence invaded our ears, and we looked at the landscape, until a car delivers us from this cold. First car which passes (we waited all the same 15 minutes in the cold) and a man stopped, asking us where we are going. Fortunately he goes to the same place as us! On the way, we saw many ice and a lot of snow, what did not prevent him from running to 90 km/h!
We spent this night in Backpackers Hostel, a youth hostel very pleasant which also make restaurant , coffee, and bar (a beer was offered to us on arrival… for sure). If you intend to make a road-trip and go to youth hostels or hotels, take a sleeping bag, it should be considerably cheaper! Then, we ate in Backpackers Hostel (excellent salmon and for the price it was even better).
With this day I concluded that it is really easy to hitchhike in Iceland, even in winter, contrary to what we could think.
On Friday, November 27th, departure of Akureyri early in the morning, my American friend finally joined Reykjavik, so I continued alone.
This day a snowstorm and one very very bad weather report had been announced, what does not prevent Icelandic people from going out.
A first car pick me up at first and gave evidence in a more strategic place, approximately 800 meters farther. I waited for about ten minutes when a car with 4 young women on board stopped. They put down me 50 km farther, regrettably for me, right in the middle of nowhere … I waited approximately 30 minutes before seeing the first car, but it did not go to the direction which I wanted. However wishing to leave this place as quickly as possible, I rose in the first car that come (big mistake, I should still have waited a little, it would have avoided me many bends). Return to Akureyri where I hope to find a kind person :). The snow had covered all the landscape in few hours.
After two big falls, because yes the snow freezes very fast in Iceland, what makes the hyper ground slippery even if you have the best shoes in the world! Several cars stopped, but they did not go the same way as I). Approximately one hour later, a car arrives and I learn finally that it goes to the same direction I wished. After one hour and a half of road he puts me down again in a place even more lost than this morning (I did not think that that could exist but yes!) Then he announces me that the first city is at 10km, » euuuuh sorryyyyy?! « . I admit you that I was not really calm. 45 minutes without seeing any sign of life : OK I am in Iceland but that was too much! Then I took the first car which would take me in a more civilized place. The men in the car told me that I had to stay inside for the rest of the day because a big snowstorm was coming. Taking my courage, I just settled down in front of the gas station where he put me down, fighting against the snow and the cold. I stayed pretty much one hour crashed as a picket in order to wait the next car (I admit you that in this moment I hesitated between laughing and crying). Having become a snowman, a lady stopped and took me with her on a road full of ice and it was necessary to be very concentrated (for her, I collapse and sleep for a moment).
4 hours later, we arrived at the place where I wanted to go. But the night already began to fall at 3:45 pm. I finally decided to stop in this town, of the name of « Egilsstadir ». To summarize: no youth hostel, an extremely expensive hotel, and few habitants. I chose to spend the night in a guesthouse in what we would have been able to call “downtown », which was not too much expensive! A big room just for me, alone with all the necessity, what was gorgeous!!
To end, after having challenged against the snowstorm, I knew how to manage. But that was not so easy as the day before. What is important is to stay on the main road N°1, you will have all the chances to be taken there, and you should stay near houses in order to anticipate the very unpredictable weather in Iceland :). It is recommended to take roads 92 and 96 to get through Fjords, to go from « Eglisstadir » to « Hofn. Today direction the South of the country, where a farm is waiting for me, in which I am going to work for a week. I absolutely want to try that before leaving! (180 kilometers separates me from this place).
But as nothing never go according to plan, I was not able to join the farm today.
A woman got me back at the edge of a road where I waited for an hour in the cold. However the landscape was so beautiful that I forgot the fact of being almost frozen…
30 km farther, she put me down, again in the middle of nowhere (as a lot of times during my road-trip). She offers me mittens because yes I did not take it ( big error). She told me then that many cars should pass in that way! As I am too much innocent, I believed her. Three cars passed in 1:30 am, I walked approximately 7 kilometers without knowing where I went, when fortunately a car stopped with a 34-year-old young man on board, a captain of a fishing boat. He told me that he gone in his small village to 100 kilometers from where I had to go. He finally shown me this small fisherman’s village ( 500 habitants). He took me to discover the most beautiful landscapes of the world: a majestic black sand beach, the sea, the lakes and the ice-cold waterfalls and the assemblies of rocks. Being very tired I chose to spend the night there, to Djupivogur, in the east of the country.
This morning, on Sunday, November 29th, I left my small fisherman’s village, to go to Höfn at the guesthouse / farm where I am going « to work » this week. Today I took a bus, because they are not many cars who pass here in this period of the year … I did not want to take any risk.
After one hour and fifteen minutes in the bus and after having seen the gorgeous landscapes during the trip, I arrived at Höfn, where two other volunteers came to pick me up by car: a Hungarian and a German. And now direction the guesthouse / farm which is 37 km from Höfn.
My Icelandic road-trip stops here, I will stay here for one week and two days in this beautiful city.
See you soon