I haven’t dropped my bike since Wednesday (progress?), but today I made a mess of two simple situations and I am annoyed at myself for not being confident enough to manoeuvre the bike at slow speeds on gravel. I then get myself stressed and Cameron needs to help me out of the dead end I get myself into. He generally does a good job at hiding his exasperation but today his tone is more stern head master than friendly teacher. I know he is worried that Patagonia is less than 3 months away and I am essentially a total novice on gravel. And there is LOTS of gravel in Chile and Argentina.
We leave Vic in lovely sunshine but in such strong winds I almost get blown over in the hotel car park as I take my bike off its stand. Not a great start. The wind is ferocious for the first hour, but they say you get used to lots of things and this is also true of the wind. I convince myself that it’s great training for the big trip. Nobody said this was ever going to be easy. The landscape is lovely for the first hour, but then it gets really busy on Iceland’s main ring road and the scenery is a bit dull. If I only got to see this part of Iceland and nothing else, I would probably be a bit disappointed. We eventually turn off the main road for our last night on bike (tomorrow night we will be arriving by taxi at our hotel) and the final 13km we ride on a minor road (with passing places) alongside Pingvallavatn to our hotel for the night – and my love of architecture gets rewarded by riding past beautiful, quirky weekend lodges and chalets of what must be wealthy families from Reykjavik. The hotel is right next to a steam power plant which makes for an “interesting backdrop”. Hardly scenic, but I guess it is a welcome source of energy in this part of the country. I make use of the hot pool and sauna and I am now tapping away at my keyboard to reflect on our trip (whilst Cameron is out walking to take pictures of steam rising up from the little river we spotted alongside the road up to the hotel – they better be good photos so I can include them here!)
Some of what you have been reading in relation to previous days has not been actually been written on the day I experienced it which is possibly not ideal, but I have been so tired most afternoons that my little brain simply couldn’t manage the energy to write a proper account of what happened each day. I am not sure that’s a bad thing though as it allows a bit of reflection and the benefit of a little distance and hindsight. I wonder what Cameron and I will make of our Iceland travels after a few days of sleeping in our own beds in our own homes. I can’t figure out whether I am surprised or delighted that we haven’t had a major bust up yet.
One random thought I am having whilst drinking what must be my 20th odd pint of Viking Lager (on the holiday, NOT tonight!) in the hotel bar is that “Icelandic Fish stew” isn’t like anything anyone British would classify as a stew. However, it’s a wonderful concoction of cod, potatoes in a very dry sauce and we have now had it twice and it’s truly delicious.