Day 11 – Mývatn -> Vopnafjörður – > Wodopospad -> Przełęcz Hellisheiði -> Seyðisfjörður 300 km
It was the last day of travel around Iceland. There was a little over 300 km ahead of me. There was no sign of a hard crossing over the Hellisheidi Pass, all the more since the weather improved by the hour. After riding over 100 km to the east, I left Route 1 and entered Route 85 heading north. After several dozen kilometers I arrived at Vopnafjörður.
This is a small fishing town. In fact, I came across a wasteland where tourists are unlikely to come. Since I was a little cold, I stopped at the supermarket more to check the map and find a fuel station than to do some shopping. However, it turned out that free coffee was served in the store, and there was a small table by the radiator. It was a sin not to take advantage of it. The fuel station was a few hundred meters away. Since I was to cross the pass, where there was certainly no town or the station, I decided to fill up the tank. Anyway, at the station I also aroused the interest of the saleswoman and the question of where I came from and whether I had got lost by accident. The conversation went on so well that I ordered tea and a hot dog, with fried onions.
Having crossed a large bay with really nice views, I reached the Gljúfursárfoss waterfall. If it wasn’t for the fact that I marked it on the GPS, I would probably pass it because it is a bit “hidden”. The motorcycle had to be left in a small parking area and went down several dozen meters on foot and it was worth it. Although compared to Dettifoss, this one is a real little thing, but the view is also nice on the Icelandic Sea.
I decided to stop again a few dozen kilometers away because the view from the cliff was breathtaking.
As it turned out, I encountered sheep here. They seem to be extremely tame and very curious. Further on, it was only steeper and higher, and the winding road together with the asphalt ended, the stones began as well as the ascent to the Hellisheiði Pass.
The jokes were over. Access from the west was difficult, but the weather was almost perfect. Unfortunately, when I was about halfway through the run it began to change radically. First the fog appeared and visibility dropped to several meters. I don’t even know when I went through the pass. On the other side, the fog there was no more, which is not surprising, because it was blowing so hard that I was afraid that I would be blown away. At one point, having already descended from the pass, I saw a car that was climbing up, also just at that moment! Because the road was steep, narrow, and graveled, with a lot of large stones and not secured by barriers, I didn’t even try to risk passing through with this car. Driving to the edge was too risky. Without thinking for a long time, I pulled over to the left, stuck to the wall and stopped the motorbike. A car slowly passed me on the right. I headed down carefully. About halfway down the slope it stopped raining, I left the clouds and a beautiful view unfolded before me.
The road was easier from that moment on. Although it did not blow as hard as on the pass, I pulled over to take some nice pics and admire the views. I also needed to cool down a bit. The rainbows that “chased me” was a certain reward that afternoon. Whenever I looked in the mirror another appeared, and I stopped to take a photo.
After returning to Route 1, I immediately decided to stop in the parking area and ate a late dinner. Immediately after entering the asphalt, the opportunity arose, because I crossed the river with an interesting bridge, and right next to it was a nice parking area. When I was riding down it was empty. There was a large wooden table a few meters below. There was a view of the steep slopes of the river valley and an interesting bridge that I had just passed, ahead of me.
I had mastered dinner preparation and “dessert” to perfection. I brought all the necessary things at once. I just started the stove when a young couple came to the table, also traveling by motorbike in Iceland. We immediately began to talk, first about the general impressions, to go on to show the details of the route on the map after a few minutes. Anyway, they had also travelled a similar route, so there were many stories.
As it happens in such moments, everyone looked a little about what equipment we used and how we prepared the meal. Well, we did it at the same table together. In my case, the matter was simple. I boiled water within 3 minutes. Then I poured boiling water over the freeze-dried meal and set it aside for 10 minutes. I prepared tea with honey and coffee for dessert. At that time, the young couple laid out a well-equipped kitchen, macaroni, meat, vegetables and … it turned out that they had no water. Well, going down the river was impossible here, and I still had a lot (as for me), so I rescued them. I always carry a 1.5-litre bottle of water and a 0.75 l bottle as an extra emergency supply. So I gave away the 1.5-litre one and began cooking and further stories, this time about who does what in life besides riding.
I decided to evacuate ąfter about an hour. I collected all the things and I was just approaching the motorbikę when ańother motorbike with two people entered the parking area. They were smiling Poles, after a while we talked about their adventures. You admit that seeing two guys on one motorcycle traveling in Iceland arouses curiosity. Unfortunately, I do not remember the names, but the first of my friends, having got off his motorbike, came up to me and began his report with the fact that as soon as he arrived in Iceland, driving down a gravel road, threw him off and he hit a huge stone. He was thrown off the motorbike and was battered, his jacket and trousers were wash-rubbed, his helmet was scratched, but he was in once piece. Unfortunately, the motorbike was no longer fit to ride. A friend showed me photos from that place and the stone which he stopped at. The motorbike returned to Reykjavik on a tow truck, and he and his friend repacked (one trunk remained) and the two of them rode on but only on asphalt, and so another hour in the parking area passed.
I completed the “Icelandic ring” after several dozen kilometers. You have to climb the pass in order to reach Seyðisfjörður. When we were leaving the first day the weather was not so good. Now, although it was late afternoon, the sun was quite high and the view of the river valley was worth immortalizing.
Later, there was a very pleasant, hairpin style descent to Seyðisfjörður, a port town with a campsite in the centre. The asphalt was clean and dry, with interesting winkles, some of them almost with relapse so it was nice to cover the last kilometers in Iceland. Even the trunks, tent, and bag did not weigh heavily.
I was at the campsite before 5pm. This is the perfect time to find a place for a tent without any problems. The campsite is quite big, but on the eve of the ferry departure tourists gather together. I pitched my tent up quickly, arranged the formalities and payment at the reception. I still wanted to take a walk around this place. It is interesting because it has incredibly beautiful and neat houses.
I was very lucky because the church, which is usually closed, was opened to tourists from the USA who had come over from the Faroe Islands that day. The interior is quite ascetic, but definitely worth seeing. I was able to enter and witness the last minutes of the church song concert.
At the end I could do nothing but treat myself to a good dinner at the Nordic Restaurant and order the excellent Tuborg Classic beer or even better Kaldi Blonde from the local mini brewery.
When I returned to the campsite I saw that there were tents around. Everyone who just like us had to get on the ferry the next morning arrived.