Hella to Vik - 60 miles never felt so hard!

Slept well, too well in fact. Didn’t wake up until 9am and I seem to be the last person in the camp site. Breakfast will be one of the boil in the pan pasta parmasana packets I brought with me, which will lighten the load by 163 grams!

Until today I thought that cycling in the UK gave me an understanding of what a headwind felt like, I knew nothing. The wind was non-stop and the first forty miles took close to five hours of utter exasperation.

Once you are past Hvolsvollur Route 1 gets a lot less busy, but loses its hard shoulder, so what traffic there is (mainly coaches, lorries and 4WDs with huge under inflated tyres that you can hear coming for miles) does get a little close occasionally.

The scenery was much improved today, with Route 1 offering a pleasant vista for most of the day, even if it was the same vista all day. En route were the first glaciers and waterfalls of the tour including Skogafoss (which is reasonably impressive while you haven’t seen Gullfoss).

Once again, after nearly six hours struggling against the headwind, I elected to shorten the day rather than struggle on and Vik seemed to be the obvious place to call it a day.

It may have been a short day but it had still been quite tiring, so I didn’t really appreciate the rapid 100mtr ascent just before getting to Vik but, unlike wind, at least grovelling up a hill results in a sense of achievement when completed.

There is a youth hostel in Vik (be careful not to race past it on the descent into town) which, thankfully, had a bed free.

When I asked at the hostel if there was somewhere to lock my bike up the reply was “Why would anyone steal a bike? “ However, they did concede that bikes are sometimes ‘borrowed’ by those who may be a little worse for wear of an evening and need to get home; “but you will find it the next day if you look for it.”

With small towns and large gaps in-between them, cycling is not a big part of the Icelandic psyche and, apparently, the theft of adult bikes is almost unheard of (though not so much for kids bikes).

Vik is a small town and the eating out options seemed to amount to a road-side service station; there may have been more on offer I had strayed further from the main road, but all I wanted to do was eat and sleep.

Listening to the wind blowing a gale outside (from my bed in the hostel) I was glad to be indoors. I wouldn’t have fancied the chances of my tent surviving the night. I was going to need a change in fortune if I was going to complete route I had planned.

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Day:2 of 9
Date:10 July 2004
Distance:93 KM
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