This is not a very unusual occurrence.
Thing is Gerry, Isabel and Shirley were on this very tour. Three lovely ladies from Katanning, Australia.
And I happened to work at that backpackers hostel.
It’s now 4 years since I cycled into their town and they looked after me like a long lost (grand) daughter.
It was time for them to come to Europe again.
Sadly granny Isabel couldn’t make it.
It’s only been four months since I last visited. But now I got to see the Netherlands from a slightly different perspective.
I realised I haven’t been there in spring/summer for many years. With a lot of festivals and celebrations it’s not a bad place to visit…
Flying back to Iceland I ran into the Dutch national soccer team heading for Brasil.
It must’ve helped them as they seem to be doing alright.
Due to a small change of plans I had to leave Borgarfiordur Eystri and was headed back for the airport. Wich happened to be at the exact opposite side of the country.
But first we did a sheep run.
When the lambs are born and the weather gets warmer all the sheep get taken up and over the hills where they will roam free all summer.
In September they will be mustered again and either sold for meat or head back to the shed for another winter.
It’s a huge difference with four months ago when I first arrived. Instead of camping under the Northern lights I now have the midnight-sun accompanying me. It’s great to be able to ride at any time in the day or night! The light is beautiful and soft.
Maybe, after all those weeks on the farm I’d ‘forgotten’ about the brutal headwinds, but I was reminded very quickly as I ploughed against it heading North.
Sometimes you’re lucky. I was looking for a wind-free place to pitch my tent one evening and noticed a little shed. upon further inspection it turned out to be a small indoor hot spring![vimeo 99755276]
Rolling into the small town of Isafjordur I never made it to a coffee shop or supermarket, instead I got chatting to Harald Paul and his wife Silvia.
They have been living on their aptly named boat “Gypsy Life” for 11 years now!
They’re on their way to Greenland and Canada, but arrived too late to cross last year. So they have waited 11 months to be able to set sail for the West.
I spent the night on their boat, an unusual experience as I’m one who likes solid ground under her feet. I had a great evening with these two adventurers. Many wonderful anecdotes, you find some of them on their blog.
He has written a couple of books and they even have a movie about the time they got stuck in the ice for months in the north of Canada living of fishing and hunting.
Harald takes his motorbike around with him and takes off whenever he gets the chance. So he gets to ride off-road where no one has gone before.
“It’s all flat once your over the next hill!” Harald enthusiastically told me as I pedalled away.
Now the season has changed I’ve ran into some more people cycling around. The first person I saw was a girl who came flying down the hill towards me. But she didn’t feel like breaking. I understand…
The next one was another girl by herself, Julia from France. And a couple from the States.
On top of the last big hill I met Ian from England,
we had a coffee and a chat and he mentioned another hot spring near the ferry departure point. It was another one of those great little secrets that are very well appreciated after a long and slightly cold downhill.
On the other side I found a place to pitch my tent and set off on my last day riding for a while.
The lovely cheese my grandma gave me was a real treat!
And it took me to a sudden end of this part of the journey as I had to hurry back for a flight.
Now -not planned and a little surprising- I find myself back in that very same hostel in Derry. Where I first met the grannies all those years ago!
Iceland & Ireland, only one letter, but a world of difference.
There’s one small thing I missed in Iceland… Pubs!
Sure there’s a few in Reykjavik, but compared to the amount of churches you see scattered around the country the amount of pubs is severely lacking.