Iceland ring road – 2. west Iceland

First night on the west Iceland is cold, even I had warm sleeping bag from my friend. I woke up couple times during the night because I felt cold. It was early in the morning when I got out from the tent. Everything was covered by lovely ice coat. Now I know why I was cold during the night.

Outside is a bit warmer. Sun is shining and I warming up slowly. To speed up this process I am taking small walk. In few minutes every one wakes up. It is time to prepare hot tea and have something for breakfast. I am more than 100% sure, I will wear more cloths before going to sleep.

It is time to hit the road again. Back to road 54 and continue to the west. There is couple of waterfalls next to the road, however there is no road to get closer to them. Now we are taking the turn to road 574 in order to go still to the west. Our First stop in west Iceland is Rauðfeldsgjá ravine.

Finally we can see some of the west Iceland beauty. If you follow small stream into the ravine, you can get pretty far in side. Unluckily we have regular running shoes, which get easy wet inside as well. There is plenty of birds watching us. Beside one photographer there is no one besides us. This is how I image vacation and rest.

In Arnarstapi is beautiful statue from rocks. Based on the legend Bárður Snæfellsás was half man and half giant. His daughter Helga used to play with his brother kids, who were named Rauðfeldur and Sölvi. One day, when there was a plenty of ice in ocean, Rauðfeldur pushed Helga on one the iceberg to the Greenland. Bárður was so mad and sad, that he pushed Rauðfeldur in the ravine and his brother Sölvi from cliff to the coast. That is why ravine is called Rauðfeldsgjá and cliffs are named Sölvahamar.

In Arnarstapi is nice local restaurant, so some of us want to try some local food. Unfortunately they have burgers and hot dogs. This type of a food you can get anywhere on the Iceland. Burgers are good, so at least we are not leaving hungry I fill the gas tank of the car and we are ready to hit the road. After the lunch it is time to move more to the west. We are having stop in very next place called Hellnar. It is nice place where you can see interesting rock a amazingly clear water.

Next stop is Djúpalónssandur. It is very interesting place indeed. First of all when you will go to the beach you will notice few big stones (154 kg – full strength, 100 kg – half strength, 54 kg – weakling and 23 kg – useless). In old days fishermen compare strength by lifting them. On this beach you can find also “wreck” of old ship. However by “wreck” official brochures mean only few metal parts are on the beach. One of the signs says that Jules Verne book “Journey to the Centre of the Earth” starts here.

Thru Hellissandur and Ólafsvík we are going back to road 54 and driving to the north. Our next stop is waterfall Kirkjufellsfoss. Comparing to the waterfalls, which we have already seen (and we will see in next days) this is really small tiny one. However the place is somehow amazing and it is worth of visit. From good angle you can see fall, bay and Kirkjufel summit. One of the your married couple were making their wedding pictures here.

Last stop of the day is hot pot, when we can relax after “long” day. We are heading towards Guðrúnarlaug, which is situated closed to road 60. We have done today about 300 kilometeres and lots of time we spend in a car. Some green stuff in the hot pot will not change my mind. Young couple had the same idea so we can talk. They are coming from the part of the Iceland, where we are only heading. So it is nice to talk to them. We are giving them as much information about west Iceland as possible. What I really like about this hot pot, that camping place is just few meters away. After dinner I am ready to go sleep.

After the last night I know, I need to get dressed much better. I don`t want to be cold during the night. This time a put much more clothes on me including Goretex gloves and cap :)

I feel much better next morning. Good sleep and no cold make the difference. After the breakfast we pack all stuff back to the car and continue on road 60 to the north. Plan for today is go to fjords in north west Iceland. Weather is much worst then yesterday. Clouds are really low and from time to time it is raining. While I am in card, I don`t care, but definitely I don`t want to spend whole day in car.

We are few kilometers from west Iceland fjords and weather is getting even worse. With Jan we agreed, that in this weather it make sense to see something else. Lets skip the fjords and try to get back on other side of the mountains. Easiest way would be take road 608, but because of the snow, we are not able to go thru. We have 4 wheel drive, knits in tires, but we got stuck on snow field. We have to go back and follow 61 towards 68 and to Iceland ring road (road number 1). Our destination is Hvítserkur – one of the most important sightseeing on west Iceland.

From my point of view it is big fat hippo with big hump on the back. At least, this is how it looks like from the front. From the side it is just one skinny post. It is amazing what can be formed just by water and wind in the rock. We are sitting in the car since morning, and nice walk on the beach is amazing. Sand is soft and totally dark. It is easy to find all kind of different shells in it.

After the break we keep driving to place called Kolugljúfur. It is big canyon with lots of water in it. All us are happy to get our the car and walk again a bit. I really like this place, because there is plenty of different rocks, where I can climb and take pictures of the canyon from various angles. Before we leave this place, we need to take one special picture on “wooden” bridge.

Next goal is to see some seals on the beaches near road 745. Unfortunately we have no luck. At least we have seen some nice part of the west Iceland. Skagafjörður welcomes us with super expensive yacht in bay. We have plenty of time so we decide to discover what is close to the city on the roads 75 and 76. While driving around we are looking for some hotel/hostel for the girls. Before the trip we promised them every third night will be in nice warm place.

Close to the road 75 is muzeum Byggðasafn Skagfirðinga – Glaumbær, which shows traditional houses from the past. Houses are made of wood (which is a bit strange, because so far we have seen maybe 10 trees) and covered by mud and grass. Muzeum is closed, so we didn`t get any other information. We did few more kilometers in the car and we are back in Skagafjörður city. Girls want to stay in hotel badly and paying about 50 eur per person per night. Me and Jan are sleeping in tent about 500 meters from the hotel in camping place. They have hot showers and it is clean. What else do we need? Some place without the wind. It is up in the hill, so it is going to be funny night. But at least wind doesn`t play with the tent and we can sleep for few euros for hot shower.

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