Petra Wetzel Petra Wetzel

Saturday 7 August – Arnarstapi to Holmavik

Cameron has a rubbish sleep and gets up well before 6am to take photographs of birds. We have never seen more artic terns than on the cliffs at Arnarstapi. If you are a “twitcher”, coming here would be paradise. I stay in bed and do a bit of yoga, but I am itching to get on my bike. I consider this a good sign for things to come. Wouldn’t it be terrible to lose the zest for riding after one day, even if you are not very good at it? We set off just after 9am for day 2 of riding. We need to cover over 220 miles and today some of our journey will be on gravel roads.


On leaving Reykjavik yesterday, we tried out my brand new BMW sat nav which Cameron had meticulously programmed alongside his own for our trip and it just won’t work. We resign ourselves to only having one system to guide us and having an intercom on both helmets keeps me right when I ride ahead and Cameron can give me directions. Though time will show me that riding is something I like doing in silence and apart from the occasional checking in with him, we each are left to our own thoughts and impressions.


This morning we go a different route than planned to take in a little bit of the Snæfellsjökull National Park on our way to the Western Fjords. Today, we have a long stretch of gravel roads which I strangely really enjoy riding on. I figure it’s because I don’t ride as fast as on tarmac which allows me to feel closer to the utterly stunning scenery we pass. We stop at a lovely view point on the way and whilst marvelling at the views, we lament a camper van which blares ridiculously loud music from within. Why would you come to some of the most tranquil place on Earth and spoil it with music? And why sit inside and not eat lunch on the nearest rock? I fear I am getting old…



Because Iceland is so busy in August we have pre-booked all of our hotels (I may be persuaded to try a few nights in a tent on our next trip) and during our final planning meeting before leaving, we realised we had booked tonight’s hotel in the wrong “Husavik” in Iceland. Now that would not have been a funny one when, tired after a long day on the bikes, we would have been told “no room at the Inn”. Our bed for tonight is in Holmavik a tiny fishing town in the Western Fjords. It takes us 3 goes at finding the hotel in such a small town which is a bit frustrating after quite a long day in the saddle and the rain has dampened my spirits somewhat. I also had a stupid car hogging my back tyre on the last stretch into Holmavik which made me feel uncomfortable. I get a pep talk from Cameron how to handle those car drivers over my first beer. His intentions are always impeccable. His delivery could be a bit more polished at times.