August 12 - 20, 2014
Vestfirðir or the Westfjords have some of the most remote places of Iceland. Located in the north-west, this area left a strong mark on us due to the mysterious beauty of its mountains and the big climbs we had to face. With around 12 climbs, we put in a lot of hard work. But it's what this trip is all about, going somewhere we've never been, both physically and mentally. Days would start on the bright side and end on the other side.
We basically crossed the mountains from one small city to the other. Patreksfjörður, Bíldudalur, Þingeyri and finally Ísafjörður, from we're I'm writing right now, are some of the most interesting towns we've seen. Only a few hand of people living quiet lives we crave for. One of them is Gudmundur, an architect from Patreksfjörður who shared with us his impressions on the climate change, as part of our collaboration with WWF-Romania (more on that after we get back).
First we rode on asphalt, then on gravel, then on asphalt again. Gravel roads and rain took their toll with a punctured front pannier and a recurring problem on the front brake of my bike, while Aura's doesn't switch in first gear, a problem we already fixed, I hope, in Ísafjörður. At least now we look like we mean business with dirty bikes, squeaking sounds and desperate faces.
Even if we contradict each other's irrelevant (on a cosmic scale at least) choices almost every day, peace comes back again when it's time to eat. And trust me, you want to eat almost constantly when pedaling your heart out. There's enough food for the soul too with all the greatness around us.
Agony and ecstasy in one day is a game we learn to play and we actually start to have fun even it means going uphill. We had only a lousy day with lots of rain, wind and 2 big mountain passes that got the best of us. But other than that, sun was on our side. It's still chilly though and sometimes you feel like you're in Kyrgyzstan with 4x4 Lada cars passing you on dirt roads. A cool fact is that some of the Icelanders look like they're from the 80s, whether it's the clothes they're wearing or the cars they're driving. If you saw Nói albínói which was filmed in the Westfjords, you know what I'm talking about. One of my favorite movies and the reason I wanted to visit Iceland in the first place.
One important thing that really helps us going is the air. It's fresh and free of dust. Let's hope the Barðarbunga volcano causing the earthquakes these days in Iceland doesn't sneeze.
Thumbs up for Aura. She always takes care that we have energy for the road and good (looking) clothes for the road.
With more swimming pools than grocery stores, the Westfjords is an area will definitely visit again. The landscape is strangely fantastic, as one motto around here states. Until next time. - Dorin