A Travellerspoint blog

August 2017

2017 JULY ICELAND, HAFNARFJORDUR & WE FLY TO SPAIN

RING ROAD COMPLETED, WE ENJOY A DAY OF REST.

rain

DAY 159 FRIDAY 14TH JULY 2017

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We woke to rain and were thankful we did not have to drive in it today. We could have a bit of a sleep in as we did not have any distance to cover to got to our next nights accommodation. We have 2 nights here in Hafnarfjordur, a little harbour town just outside of the capital.

There was a vague plan to visit the capital, Reykjavík, but the rain put rest to this idea. And anyway, I would like my memory of Iceland to be the magnificent open vistas that we have seen over the past week, not a wet, expensive, busy city. So a day of rest was called early and we all stayed in. (Most of us only taking off our pj's for Lyn to put them in the washing machine when we were able to use it after 4pm). Although Dolly did wander out at some stage during the day to get a few needed supplies from a nearby supermarket.

I have spent the day catching up on loading photos, finishing blogs, doing expenses and planning the next leg of our journey.

Tomorrow we need to return the hire car by 12.30, then repack our bags which we left in storage at the hire car office. They will shuttle us to the airport and we are on a 4.15pm flight to Spain, arriving in Madrid at 10.25pm (local time).

It was been a great time in Iceland, so glad we made the stopover as it really was a one off opportunity. As you would have seen from my photos the scenery is just spectacular and really my photos do it no justice at all. I would not like to be here in winter as our summer days here were cold enough for me, but I did think it was going to be colder and I think we all came prepared with enough warm clothing. Most of which was purchased in charity shops in the USA and will be left here at the hotel - donation to tourists who may not be as well prepared.

I am glad we travelled around the Ring Road and did not just base ourselves in one place with day trips. Although the driving was a times a bit hairy for Miss Dolly, she did a wonderful job. Especially with all us passengers gasping and clinching unnecessarily. Unfortunately, due to her having to concentrate on the narrow road, avoiding sheep, cyclists, and oncoming traffic she probably did not enjoy the countryside as much as the rest of us, but my 100's of photos are a little compensation for her.

We knew Iceland was going to be expensive and the budget accommodation I pre-booked from Australia has all been very clean, warm and comfortable. The prices were high compared to anywhere else for the same standard but that's just Iceland. I made sure we had some sort of cooking facilities in all the accommodation as the price of any sort of food, from petrol station hot dogs to cafes to restaurants, were all way out of our budget. Even supermarket prices were incredible, but self catering saved us a lot of money. In fact the only meal we had out was the first lunch at IKEA. And to tell the truth we have been alternating between meals of chicken wings & vegetables and spaghetti bolognaise, as the only meat we wanted to pay for was chicken wings and mince. The price of everything in the supermarkets was just mind blowing crazy. But that's ok we didn't come here for the food - thank goodness!

So in the end our food bill for the week was quite minimal. Accommodation was the biggest expense and the car hire and fuel was ok because it was divided between the 4 of us. Our 7 day/8nights costs were:

Food total = ISK 19,169-51 = aud$235-54 (aud$58.89 per person or average aud$8.41 per person per day)

Accommodation total = ISK 153,092-44 = aud$1,881-11 (aud$470.28 per person or average aud$58.79 per person per day)

Car hire and fuel = ISK 60651 = aud$730.64 (aud$182.66 per person or average aud$22.83 per person per day)

Which is a total of ISK 232,912.95 = aud$2805.80 (aud$701.45 per person or average aud87.68 per person per day)

This is pretty good for such an expensive country. The fact that we could cook our own meals and did not eat out made the big difference. Our food bill could easily have been an extra aud$200+ a day if we did not self cater.

So the highlight of the whole country for me was definitely the glacier lagoon. Sure the waterfalls were pretty impressive, both the official ones and the hundreds we saw just falling everywhere from great heights. But those small and giant icebergs floating around in the water were just the most amazing sight I saw here, and I'm not likely to see this again anywhere again. The different shades of blue to clear were just beautiful.

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I was surprised by the amount of cyclists we saw, both young and old. This is a hard country to cycle, no cycle paths, narrow roads with no verge and nervous tourists driving hire cars and campers. Lots of hills, mountain passes, winding roads and open spaces with long, long distances between villages or towns. And even in the summer as we have experienced, it's cold and it rains.

We also saw a large number of hire camper vans of assorted sizes and companies. I guess this is a way to save on expensive accommodation costs. And the large amount of campers in tiny little dome tents was crazy also. Most of these tent dwellers were also cyclists so they were double crazy.

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Sheep were everywhere, including on the road at times. Not in large flocks, usually just the ewe and a couple of little ones feeding on the roadside or sitting in the long grass. Lots of Icelandic ponies, of which we found out they do still eat, but only the young ones. The ponies are used for riding around the countryside rounding up the sheep and even more to take the tourist trade out on horse back adventures. We saw a few herds of cows, but these were are mostly kept inside oversized sheds/barns which we saw accompanying every farm house. Battery cows are the thing here too. At this time of year the farmers are growing, cutting and bailing the feed for the animals to stock pile for winter. Everywhere dotting the countryside were assorted coloured plastic covered bales waiting to be collected and piled next to the barns.

We saw 2 reindeers and a seal and some geese.

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DAY 160 SATURDAY 15TH JULY 2017

After breakfast and a collection of abandoned clothing, left at the boat house for the cleaner to donate to the op shop, we were ready to return the hire car. Being a weekend the petrol stations were closed but we managed to find one where we could stick in a credit card and get the tank filled.

We managed to find our way back to the car hire office, the car checked out with no problems or damage. We took our time repacking our bags before we were taken to the airport in the shuttle van. We were early so had a bit of a wait at the airport.

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It was a short flight from Iceland to Spain and after we had collected our luggage we called the hotel I had booked as they offered a free shuttle collection service from the airport. This was one of the main reasons for booking this hotel, as we arrived on a late flight and this was the best option for us.

The shuttle bus turned up 20 or so minutes at the agreed area and another 15 minutes later we were at the hotel reception checking in.

Our accommodation includes a buffet breakfast which we will take advantage of tomorrow before heading into Madrid for the day.

Posted by Cindy Bruin 08:59 Archived in Iceland Comments (0)

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