Today I joined Allison and Gavin for an afternoon in Morges. We arrived at a giant inflatable carnival before strolling along the lakefront, playing in the fountains, and admiring the dahlias in bloom along the walkway. It was a beautiful summer day and felt like a big vacation, just a short drive down the road.
Since we've been back, it's been too hot and sunny, and I've been missing cool rainy days, and waiting for friends to get back from their trips to share some Reyka and travel stories. Mostly I've been missing the raw landscape, walking, and just being with Derek in an amazing place. We had a long trip back, waiting at the airport, luggage delay, a nearly-flat tire in the long-term parking, trying to find a gas station to pump enough air into it to make it home, too many adventures too late at night. Pinot greeted us at the door when we finally arrived, and our only task before crawling into bed at two in the morning, was to dump our packs and open the window in the spare room to let everything breath and dry. Wow, that room was fresh when I opened the door to gather the laundry the next day, separating it into piles to be washed with similar odor levels.
We spent the weekend washing and reorganizing, starting to wade through our trip photos, getting back to some runs, and taking walks to check the progress of the vineyard and the height of the corn.
I finally got around to restocking the groceries. As much as I wanted to avoid the crowded supermarket, the endless piles of every-color fruit and vegetables were incredible. We are lucky to have such variety of produce at low prices, that might be the thing I'd miss if we packed-up and moved to Iceland tomorrow. I'd almost forgotten we were back in time for plums in a rainbow of colors and my favorite, nectavignes. Berries were ripe for picking for muffins, and perfect French melons, and we ate a ton of everything.
On Saturday afternoon, we had a crazy hailstorm. The huge ice balls wiped out my tomato plants, but most things survived once the ice melted.
Since we clearly didn't get enough cold water in Iceland, we spent Sunday sitting by the river, picking more berries, and enjoying the sunshine
Today was our last full day in Iceland, and we had a good distance to cover...from one end of the island to the other. We packed up and waited for the small airport in Egilsstaðir to open to rent a car and begin the drive. A few shots along the way:
We didn't have time for many stops, but we couldn't pass a swim in the Mývatn nature baths. The steamy blue water was so relaxing, we soaked and floated for a few hours.
All cleaned up! Besides soaking in the pools, it was also amazing to have a shower. By this point in the trip, we weren't all that fresh (I'll leave it at that, despite my pride in the odor of my eternally-wet socks), but the baths, a shower, and a clean shirt renewed our energy.
We pulled over for a quick view of the Gullfoss falls, and kept moving.
Our only other stops were for fuel and gas station snacks (my guilty travel pleasure- chips and a cola).
After many hours on the road and only passing a handful of other vehicles, we pulled into downtown Reykjavik at 20h. Just enough time to eat a huge vegan feast at Gló followed by the best blueberry pie. Today was for tourist-ing: soaking, sight-seeing, and chowing - big treats after our travels on foot. At the end of our quick road-trip, we got beds at Hlemmur Square hostel where we stayed our first nights in the city. Fed and refreshed, we wished we were headed back out to the trails, staking our tent in the rain, but we were returning to the airport in the morning and back home with beautiful memories of a wild and inspiring country.
|Egilsstaðir - Mývatn - Gullfoss - Reykjavik|
A tiny yellow flower poked its way under the flap of our tent - the first hint that it would be a beautiful sunny day. We crawled out of the tent to discover that we had spent the night in a high saddle. We couldn't see anything while pitching the tent in the rain, fog, and wind, but this morning, the panorama was amazing. I don't know the words to describe how it feels to wake-up to sunshine and an awesome view after so many days of rain. What a gift for our last day on the trail. We left the tent set up and our clothes and shoes strewn about for a chance to dry in the sunlight, (loosing the water weight would make our packs so much lighter for the day's walk), and enjoyed breakfast with a view.
For the first time, we had perfect weather, and a little extra time to spare. We had left ourselves only a few hours of hiking to finish the 74KM trail today, so we decided to backtrack while our gear dried in the sun, and see what we had missed in our hurry through the rain last night.
We packed our bags and continued along the final stage. Descending through sheep-dotted green valleys and toward a cove.
As soon as we reached the black sand beach at Brúnavík, Derek ran into the Norwegian Sea for a refreshing swim. We didn't need to rush, so we sat on the sand and enjoyed being warm in the sun.
After a final climb on the grassy slopes leading up to Brúnavíkurskarð, we met many other walkers on their way from town to spend the day at the beach. The view over Bakkagerði was sweet but sad. There was nothing left of our journey but to descend the last bit of trail and follow the road around the bay into town.
We abandoned our packs near the roadside making a short detour to visit the puffins and fishing boats at Hafnarhólmi harbor.
We may have been stalling, not wanting to the hike to end, so we stopped on a stony beach on the edge of town to soak our feet.
We finished the Víknaslóðir trail, but our adventures in Iceland weren't over just yet. We still needed to return to Reykjavik and we were in a small town, just about as far away from the capitol city as you can get. There wasn't much traffic, in an hour sitting on the roadside, only half a dozen cars passed going our direction (most of them full), so we were beyond grateful when an American couple stopped for us, offering a ride over the mountains to Egilsstaðir.
We had 700 kilometers to cover from Egilsstaðir in the next day, so renting a car and making the drive ourselves seemed like a good option. We relaxed with Viking beers in town before setting up camp in the bushes outside the airport where we would be ready to get the car and start our impromptu road trip in the morning.
|Súluskarð - Brúnavík - Bakkagerði - Egilsstaðir|