Note: Romanians Dorin Bofan and Aura Popa recently spent six weeks cycling through Iceland, both for the challenge and to inspire others. This short gallery and report is from the first leg, a ride to the incredible Snaefellsnes Peninsula.
And so our journey begins. We arrive at KeflavÃk Airport late on August 5th. After spending one night at Alex Camping, which really isn’t a camping anymore as we had to pay quite a lot for a small cabin, we head out to ReykjavÃk. The good thing about this place is that they pick you up from the airport and you can safely leave the bike boxes with them.
We have all types of weather on the first 50 km, but we make it to ReykjavÃk nevertheless. The camping besides City Hostel is super crowded with tourists from all over the world: backpackers taking the bus, cyclists and the ones with the rented cars. The environment is very welcoming and surprisingly quiet.
The next day I manage to find a bike service which quickly fixes the front brake disc on my bike which got bent during transportation. We meet a Canadian couple who share with us their bike adventure. We learn so much from them. Thanks, guys. One important advice is to take the bus to Borgarnes to avoid the highway traffic. And so we do. Groceries and we’re ready.
We stop for the night at SnorrastaÃ°ir. From here to Langaholt we have wind from the right, but the spirits are high. We take breaks from time to time to catch our breaths. Anywhere will do.
Langaholt is such a great place by the beach. It’s protected from the wind and offers beautiful views of SnÃ¦fellsjÃ¶kull stratovulcano. We spend some time relaxing and doing a little bit of stretching before we go.
Then it gets real. No more joy, no more fun. Wind gusts reach more than 50 km/h and we can barely walk. 32 km from which we push the bikes around 20. We stop often taking shelter wherever possible. We barely reach Arnarstapi, the place that inspired Jules Verne’s Journey to the Center of the Earth.
The following day, we push our luck yet again, only to be stopped by the wind 3 km from Arnarstapi at Laugarbrekka, the place from where the first woman to bear a child in America left. We are forced to take a minibus to GrundarfjÃ¶rÃ°ur. During the short trip, we can feel the car moving to the sides because of the wind. Once we reach the foothills of Kirkjufell, on the other side of the peninsula, the wind dies down and we are blessed with a peaceful atmosphere and a dramatic sunset.
The final stop on SnÃ¦fellsnes Peninsula for us is StykkishÃ³lmur. From here, we’ll take the ferry to the Westfjords. So far, Iceland is an amazing, but tough place to ride a bike. We can’t wait to discover the rest of it.
For more photos from Dorin Bofan and Aura Popa’s trip around Iceland, visit dorinbofan.com/ProjectPI.
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