July 16th. The day we started cycling all of Iceland.
The plan was simple: prepare everything the night before, wake up bright and early, grab a quick breakfast and start riding out of Reykjavik towards north.
Of course, almost none of it happened.
We woke up way too late, took way too long to shower and get all of our stuff together, got lost on our way to get coffee, came back to Nanna's apartment only to find out she had prepared the BESTEST breakfast of all time, took our sweet time eating our bodyweight in salmon and skyr and ONLY THEN, we left.
It was 2 pm already. Classic.
It took us a good 25kms of biking paths and busy roads to finally leave Reykjavik behind and withness Iceland unfold in front of our eyes. I mean, Reykjavik is beautiful and all, but we were not ready for what we started seeing : tall mountains, stretching as far as your sight can go, deep valleys, low hanging clouds and green. All the green you can imagine of.
The landscape gradually started looking like it was painted in all shades of brown, green and gold. With the sun constantly setting at the horizon, we kept on cycling, ignoring the constant traffic (it's never a great idea to start a cycling journey on a sunday afternoon) and the first signs of what we would learn to hate : headwind in Iceland.
Not even 40kms after, we found the last traces of human presence, in the form of a teeny tiny village with a gas station. Upon discovering that it was the literal LAST gas station for the next 65km (aka: last toilet, last coffee, last minimarket, last chance at getting anything we would need) we decided to call it a day, trow the tent down in a field, and record the long overdue first VLOG of this project. (if you wanna see three loud italians chewing your ear off, go ahead and watch them HERE )
Upon waking up, and while absusing of the unlimited refill coffee at the gas station (something that we would soon, as opposed to wind, learn to love immensely), we planned the route for the day and jumped on our Cinelli Hobootle Geos heading north. Destination? Glymur, formerly known as Iceland's tallest waterfall, until a glacier decided to simply sprout another one a few years ago.
Just like that. Boom. Here's a new tallest waterfall.
Must have been a tough break for good ol' Glymur.
According to the map, an easy ride: 20km to the next car only underwater tunnel, a 35km detour along the Fjord and a handful more kilometers before having to park the bikes and start hiking to the top for a good hour and a half.
We cruised along the traffic until the tunnel and as soon as we left the main road, we literally experienced ICELAND (with all capital letters) for the first time: long rolling hills, crystal clear waters, a nice breeze on a warm sunny day, and no cars almost whatsoever. We had the road for ourselves, and we took full advantage of this newly found freedom.
By 2pm, we had parked the bikes already, changed into our hiking clothes, had lunch and we were on our way to the top already.
What started looking like a boring, slow hike amidst some pointy dull looking rocks, wuickly changed into an incredible landscape, one of those ones that changes with literally every step you take. A good hour later (and after having crossed a river on a wet log, scared to death of getting all my cameras and drone gear wet), we sat at the top, and simply felt small in front of Nature.
Once all the way down, we rode the last 10-ish kilometers in a way colder, way wetter evening until we reached a farm with a campsite, had some food (The owners cooked us some DELICIOUS lamb) and pitched our tent LITERALLY among their sheeps.
Goodnight everyone, I said. "BAAAAAAAAA" the sheep replied from outside the tent. Ok, cool.
The following day was, well, our first time experiencing the full icelanding treatment. Started riding in the morning with a thin layer of mists and some much appreciated taildwind, only to see it randomly change in front of our eyes and turn into this insane stormy weather, with extremely strong side winds (I mean every word, the wind was so strong that we had to stop cycling and hold ourselves and the bikes to the ground for every wind gust. we're talking 30-40km/h winds. Sio missed his timing once and got BLOWN OFF THE ROAD into the gutter, along with his fully loaded 35+kg bike.)
Oh, and to top it all off, it was raining. No sorry, my bad: it was HAILING. Right in our face.
We did what we had to do: tried to stay safe on the road, got soaked, sucked it up, buckled down and tried to cover as much ground as possible. By the evening, we had done over 60km, and found another farm with a camping site in the middle of nowhere. Right when we thought we had to pitch our tent in the rain, in the soaking wet swamp they referred to as "the camping field", the owners told us we could stay in their stable-turned-dormitory for the same price. We almost cried for how joyful we were, and enjoyed a nice warm, but especially dry, night.
The next day we headed towards Stikkisholmur, a coastal town around 60km north. Except for a few hours of annoying headwind, we made good time, climbed our first proper hill among an almost lunar, moss-and-lava-stone only landscape and arrived in town before dinner.
It had only been a couple days, but it felt damn good to be among other people again!
Pitched the tent, ate a bunch of junk food at the gas station, met other cyclists and, after taking the first hot shower outside in the cold of our lives, put our heads down to work on videos, photos, vlogs and blogs on our trusty Wacom Mobile Studio Pro's
The next day, the ferry to the westfjords was awating us.