Once again I woke up feeling refreshed and excited to begin my day. One thing about Iceland, I slept like a rock every night, excluding the one where I was sick, which was a bit of a surprise to me because I’m not always the easiest sleeper in the world. For the most part the beds were comfortable and I was usually so tired every night that I fell asleep almost as soon as my head hit the pillow. That morning I did my usual neat packing up and started getting everything back into my car, but for the first time my host was up and came out for a nice morning chat. It was a very nice way to start out my day, especially when she steered me away from taking a road that I had considered taking, apparently it was snow covered and through some very hairy terrain. Instead she pointed out another route that wasn’t so difficult, but would still provide some nice scenery, and so I headed down the road after saying good bye.
My plan today was to get to Seyðisfjörður relatively early, check into the hostel, and then just relax. Maybe go on a hike, but for the most part just relax and enjoy being in one place. I’d been driving quite a bit over the last week and from what I’ve heard Seyðisfjörður was a beautiful place to spend a day. The drive there was definitely full of eye candy, mountain roads, waterfalls, hairpin roads, and fall foliage. Once again, my eyes and heart were overflowing with the beauty of the land around me. I was honestly starting to wonder how anybody got anything done around here. Seriously, I could see myself setting off to get some work done, just wandering off on a hike for several hours, and never actually getting anything done!
Before heading up the mountainside I had stopped at a grocery store to stock up on supplies. My diet had become muesli and delicious Icelandic yoghurt for breakfast and for lunch, sandwiches on crazy good Icelandic bread, some sort of meat, and this amazing soft cheese, which was a little like herbed cream cheese, but five million and a half times better. I ate that happily all day and then indulged myself in dinner wherever I stopped for the night. After my stop the little larder in the back of the Duster was full, so I decided to stop on the mountainside for an early lunch. These roadside lunches were fast becoming a favorite of mine, generally traffic was slow so the sounds of nature were all I heard, which made it so very relaxing and refreshing. Quite often it was a struggle to convince myself that it was time to go and today was no exception. But I wanted to get to Seyðisfjörður early enough to go on a little hike and the sun set early deep in these fjords. Especially at this time of year!
I continued on my merry way, stopping a couple times to take more pictures of the roadside waterfalls that abounded in this area of Iceland. Seriously if multitudes of waterfalls are your thing you definitely need to go to Iceland and don’t forget to check out the East Fjords, especially the area around Seyðisfjörður. There were so many streaming down the mountain; I took pictures of as many as I could and inundated my poor Facebook friends (I had made an account for my mom so that my niece could track my “not dead” progress) with numerous pictures all day. Anyways, before too long I was in town and set off looking for the hostel. As per usual I got somewhat turned around and before too long found myself turning around in someone’s front yard because that’s where the road ended up. Back into town I went, this time paying closer attention to the road signs and my irritated Siri. Finally I found the hostel, but there was no one to be found. I tried calling the number several times, but my phone chose that moment to go on the fritz and wouldn’t connect. Instead of just sitting there like a twit all day, I decided to follow the directions and head to the other part of the hostel which was on the other side of town. Again, I didn’t see anyone around, so I was a bit stumped about what to do next. I drove to the hotel, but they were closed with a note telling me to call for service, once again my phone wouldn’t connect. At this point I was cursing my damn phone, but determined to figure the issue out. It took me several more tries, but after going online and using the link to call the hotel it finally worked. I reached someone right away and he said he would be over shortly to help me. Funnily enough, right before he walked up a woman appeared and apparently she was the hostel owner! We all chatted for a bit, they concluded their business and I got squared away with a room.
After unpacking I still had a couple hours of daylight left to wander about so I decided to go for a hike. I’m not a hardcore hiker, as in I barely know how to use a compass and I’m not great at following directions, so I was going to take the “safe” hike, especially this close to dark. Even still today was a stark contrast to my first confused day in Iceland, today I drove through yards and pastures with barely a worry, stopping to allow sheep and horses to move out of my way. After yesterday’s craziness with the road, I knew what my car was capable of so I took a road I wouldn’t have dared to drive down the day before. I only stopped when it was obvious that my little 4wd didn’t have the clearance of some of the bigger vehicles and was in pretty real danger of scraping or worse on the road. So, I stopped, grabbed my camera, kindle, and notebook before heading off down the path. It was a beautiful walk, but it was obvious that I wasn’t going to make as far as I wanted before the sun went down, so after hiking for awhile I found a likely place cushioned by plants to sit and enjoy both the view and the supplies I had brought with me. Not that terribly exciting, I’m afraid, but it was quite wonderful to just sit in the quiet and alternate between reading and writing as the mood took me while watching the birds and the fishing boats coming in from the ocean.
Once dusk hit, I headed back towards my car and the hotel room. I decided to stay in that evening and eat off of my larder while planning the next couple of days. It was possibly a little obscene just how content I was that night. My soul was finally full, as was my head and heart, with all the changes and challenges Iceland had wrought upon me in the previous days. I was looking forward to the next several days to come, even as I was saddened by the realization that my time in this magical place was drawing to a close. Only four full days and a short half day left…
And that is where I will end for now. You can find the rest of the pictures from that day on here – Iceland Day 8. On the advice of a friend I sized down the pictures and removed the watermark, hopefully this will make it easier for everyone to view.