After two days in Reykjavik, we decided it was time to go down the open road and really begin our tour. Packing up the bike is always a negotiation for the first few days as we try to figure out the best way to pack the panniers in a way that makes sense. Where to put what in terms of when it’s needed during the course of the day is one thing to consider but weight distribution is probably the most important. Most of the weight will be on the back of the bicycle with the front panniers and handlebar bag holding lighter weight items. The handlebar bag holds camera gear, wallet, sunglasses and sunscreen (haha!). Too much weight on the bars makes negotiating the bike more difficult and potentially dangerous. The front panniers are more accessible so lunch food and snacks live in there as well as the stove and pots in case we want to cook up a brew or make some soup for lunch. Rain gear and gloves must also be available quickly so into the front bags they go. That pretty much fills them up. All the rest of the gear lives behind the bum: bike spares (tire, spokes, chain, cables) remaining clothing, shoes, tent, backpack, breakfast and dinner food. There is only so much we can carry and we always carry too much. Always! Because of the length of this trip we are carrying a few extra items: computer, back up drive and all the cables and widgets that are needed to run those. It adds a few extra pounds to the gear pile. I’m sure that as we go along some things might get left behind or sent home. Once we had the bikes packed our first stop was a gas station to properly pump up the tires. Our little hand pump will get to 65 psi but it takes a while. We navigated our way on bike paths to the outskirts of Reykjavik questioning our decision. The wind was blowing at 45 KM per hour, driving the rain right in our faces. It took us more than an hour to get to Hafnarfjördur, 15 KM from where we started, where an N1 gas station provided us with a place to dry out and eat lunch in the adjoining Subway restaurant. A sign for a campground clinched it: we were not continuing in this crazy weather. We would not have gotten very far anyway. At least here in Hafnarfjördur we had access to a warm guest house and showers.
We pitched our tent in the only place to offer some shelter from the howling wind. A small structure became the bicycle shed and we ran for cover inside the warmth of the guesthouse. At 1100 Krónur ($9.50) per person per night, a steal, especially since it includes access to the kitchen to cook our meals and the adjoining dining room. Free Wi-Fi put us in touch with the rest of the world so we could take care of some things that still needed sorting out, as well as posting this item to the blog. This is our second day here while the storm rages. The forecast for tomorrow is better: no rain, mostly sunny, but still wind of 35-40 KM per hour with gusts up to 65 KM per hour. Still very high wind but at least without the rain, so perhaps we’ll carry on. We want to get to the south coast and head east. Into the wind!! http://en.vedur.is/weather/forecasts/areas/