The Long and winding road
Day 22. 13/July/2014 The Long and winding road. Day score 8.
This morning I needed to reply to a few emails and sort stuff out, travelling and site seeing was great, but not really helping progress. I needed to get the car back today as well. I sat in the arrivals lounge at the airport unfortunately next to the kiddies play area as that was where the only power point seemed to be. I stayed there too long really before hitting the road and heading north.
The problem is quite a major one. I want to go to Cape Dyer in Canada. I can’t go straight to the normal place of entry in to Canada for my type of aircraft at Iqaluit or Frobisher Bay depending on which language you speak because its just too far and I don’t have the range, but going to Cape Dyer causes all sorts of problems as well with the lack of fuel, or customs and the runway apparently is unserviceable, except I know the Bush Pilots of Canada are using it.
The only way around this is to get my long range tank I made for a competition in 2009 that sits in the co-pilots seat sent out to give me the extra range needed. But then I have my mountain bike sitting in the passenger seat right now. I have friends who have packaged the tank ready to send out. I just need an address to send it out here to. I also need my new bank card that has arrived at my parents sent out here as well.
Anyway, just leaving the city I saw a road sign to Pingvellir. This is where the old government buildings are and is where the split in the Tectonic plates is most visible. It was what I wanted to see last night and would have except I needed to take Urana to her home inReykjavik. It wasn’t that far. I’ll go…
On top of the mountain range over looking pingvalla Vatn or lake, I came across a viewing area where all the visitors had made piles of balanced stones. Insanely high and intricate considering. There were no more stones though and obviously some pilfering had occurred, but I drove a mile or so down road to another lay-by, got my own stones to return to build my little pile of balanced stones. This effigy complete I headed down towards the lake. There are two fault lines actually, one both sides of the valley. As the plates move apart, further north the magna rose to the surface creating many vent hole volcanoes many thousands of feet high which are then topped with snow and ice to form glaciers or Jokull’s, but here the land subsided and a lake was formed. The tourist site was not overwhelmed, I mean you hardly see another car on the roads. Spectacular. There was a place where you could stand with one foot on each plate, truth be told, there were many fractures, so who knew which plate you were standing on. A river cascaded over the 30 meter 50 meter crack in the ground creating a lovely waterfall. This insulated spot was perfect for gathering and indeed over centuries of history, once a year a gathering of the tribes took place here. So even though parliament is in Reykjavik, a lot of early history took place here and the local hall and church of the early government period still existed.
I wanted to go back via an off the highway road, but I had no idea how long it would take and not enough fuel as it was a gravel track over the mountains. If I couldn’t make it and had to come back I certainly would not have enough fuel. So I drove off the other way closer to Geyser again to a petrol station. I fueled up twice as I got confused how much I had placed on the automated credit system in Krona, only putting £5 in first. The garage acted as a local store as well and I bought more food. There was a roar from some people gathered in the restaurant corner watching a big screen, it was the World Football Cup final and the German’s had just scored their extra time winning goal. I stayed to eat and watch their celebrations. There was a German couple sitting next to me, everyone was congratulating them and I did also with a ‘thumbs up’ as I left.
Back at the junction with the gravel mountain road number:52 I set off, but by the snow gates, closing the road if impassable, there was a sign. It warned of bad conditions, that the insurance was invalid on hire cars on this road and of trolls that would crush your car and eat you up. I’m sure I could make it, but it wasn’t my car. I f anything were to happen, I would be a fool. Hawk had been very kind lending me his car and I couldn’t be disrespectful of the offer. So I went back to the high way.
Across the lava gravel planes I came across five cars all together, some in, some by the side of the road. This was strange. One of the cars had hit a sheep, there were no fences and I had had to dodge a few wondering sheep earlier. People had stopped to help. I stopped. The sheep had dismantled the front of this car and the car had dismantled the sheep as well, come to think of it. There was plenty of assistance and nothing I could do, so I headed on.
I came across a volcanic region and cinder cone. I love them, it’s fascinating. There was a road leading closer, it soon turned to gravel and then to black pumas, as everything was around here. The volcano, still five miles off, had probably lay dormant for centuries, but it looked all so new as if it was formed yesterday. But back to the road.
On the way to Reykjavik I had took the Highway number 1 ‘tunnel’. It cut out a fjord, but not wanting to take it again I turned down the old highway 1 road around the fjord. It was 60 kilometers further, but I thought it worth while. The road having been the main highway was good and deserted. I wish I was in a racing car. Close to the end of the fjord you could take blind corners because you could see the road on the other side of the sea and nothing had come down it for a long time. At the end of the fjord I stopped. I’ll get a little soft here, but I was caught by the beauty of the light, the calmness of the sea. You could see the road for miles each side of the fjord and there was not traffic. So remote, just a sheep or two and Arctic Turns buzzing me, upset at my presence…
Back on the main occupied highway I traveled back through Grabrocks. I had seen it on the way to Reykjavik, it was another much smaller cinder cone, but the lava field that it had admitted had diverted the road, so this one could not have been too old. And you could climb it… 1am, and I’m looking down on the town from a recently active cinder cone. For me, it doesn’t get much better than that. Inside the crater you could see the last area of activity. Just amazing.
Too soon time to head on, but I suffered extensive thick fog for the next few hours, but luckily I had seen this beautiful part of Iceland when going the other way a few days ago. I arrived back in Akureyri about 4am. Refueled, only to find I had left the fuel cap at the last station and I wasn’t going back for it. I bought an emergency cap and cleaned the car inside and a little out.
Hawk had left the door unlocked so I went inside and hit the sack.
Thought for the day: I love sinder cones. Going to have to go and see an active one someday.