Petra Wetzel Petra Wetzel

Friday 13th August Vopnafjordur to Hofn

For many people the 13th has an ominous ring to it (especially when it falls on a Friday) but my son Noah was born on the 13th of July so, to me, the number 13 will be forever my lucky thirteen. That said, I didn’t want to spoil my love of the day by falling off my bike at more than 2 km per hour today. So I vowed to concentrate and be a good biker, especially as I needed my “rain” setting all day as the weather was rather, well Scottish. We set off in low clouds, high winds and plenty of rain. There is one thing packing your panniers every morning in the sunshine. It is altogether a different vibe when your panniers are dirty and wet. I have already decided that I am, at heart, a fair weather biker, just like I am a fair weather golfer. And those who know me well also know I only play golf with people I have seen naked (NOT on the golf course!). I may need to change that rule for who I ride alongside on my bike with….


Today’s ride takes us from Vopnafjordur to Höfn which is quite a stretch especially when you are travelling with a dicky tummy. I think the scenery is lovely around us, but we can’t see much of it through the rain pelting our visors. We ride mostly in our own bubble as Cameron is still not feeling well. I just count myself lucky that I am feeling well as there is no chance I could be doing this trip the way my travel companion is feeling. I feel sorry for him and impressed in equal measures. I am starting to feel that our journey through Iceland is somewhat rushed. When you ride a motorbike, everything takes longer than travelling in a car. Packing panniers takes more time than throwing a bag on the backseat of a car and putting on riding gear, gloves and helmets or taking them off for a “quick pee stop’ (no such thing on a bike for a woman!) is a faff.


That said, I am loving the freedom and I am very much starting to feel at one with my bike. On route to Hofn I wonder whether because Cameron is not feeling great, I have to be a bit more mature about my own relationship with my bike and I am starting to love my steely Thor (the name has stuck). Our home for the night in Hofn is a cool hostel come B&B on the outskirts of town and after a quick shower we walk into the centre for something to eat and some beers. Cameron is a “plain Jane” when it comes to his dinners so the receptionist’s restaurant recommendation is a hit with me, but leaves Cameron cold. Her bar recommendation is even more surreal as we head to what looks like the local community centre for post-dinner beers where the local youth take turns in pouring the beers and standing on the other side of the bar. They even offer us a strange concoction of a cocktail (in a pint tumbler!) on the house. We realise we like a pint of lager better.