Into The Westfjords

I’m going to be talking about the roads and you’ll see why!

Good morning from Karuna Guesthouse. They didn’t offer riding here but they did let you snuggle those horses all you wanted and they left boiled up eggs from the chickens in the refrigerator for the guests.

I learned some things about the Icelandic horses. They mostly stay out all winter. They might appreciate a place to get out of the wind but inside they get too hot. They grow a huge winter coat and shed it in the spring. They put on tons of weight in the winter from inactivity and from being fed instead of grazing. You are not allowed to own horses unless you can prove that you have food for them to cover the winter. The government comes around and checks! Animal welfare is important in Iceland.

They’re helping each other shed their winter coats. It itches until they can get it off!

This is why there’s not going to be much for today.

What you see above is a very decent gravel road. They come in ‘ok, I can do this’ all the way to ‘now I’m begging for mercy’.

Notice the tall yellow pole above. All the roads have yellow poles marking the road bed, taller and shorter depending on the average snow level. As you’ll see the roads are elevated and you don’t want to drop off!

The paved roads are fantastic especially when it’s clear. Even when it’s raining, for some reason I don’t know yet, the roads always look and act dry. They are smooth, so well maintained, the sight lines are excellent, I have not encountered a single problem with a driver either wanting to pass me or I them. It’s quite amazing. If you’re considering driving in Iceland, Go For It!

BUT you must check the weather every day and be ready to change your plans. I think I might change tomorrow’s plans because one of the roads I need to be on is both gravel and reporting high winds and high winds here push you right off the road.

Here’s the website and what the navigable map looks like. You can click click online. What’s awesome about this map is that it shows the gravel roads and paved roads in a different color. None of my other maps did. There are other roads, you just shouldn’t be on them.

And here’s the map for today’s journey, the longest in time of all my legs mostly because of the Mountains and Gravel Roads. (I’ve talked about that combination before! As I write this on June 2 all is well, the new car, a Kia Sportage, is holding up like a champ.)


Some views when the fog lifted:

See the medium-height yellow poles, guard rails for sharp turns, how you don’t want to fall off the road bed.
Another rainbow walk.
Cliffs for nesting seabirds.
Of course when I finally get a chance to grab a shot along this coast you don’t see any driftwood despite that I saw driftwood on every beach for an hour. So I nabbed a picture that looks right.
How do we get driftwood on the beach when we (literally!) don’t have any trees?
It takes 4-5 years but it does arrive. They use it for all sorts of things (summer houses, bonfires, art projects, not commercially it seems.)

I was hungry and not in the mood for a gas station sandwich so although I was not planning to visit the Museum of Sorcery and Witchcraft, they did have a restaurant. I had fish soup that was absolutely splendid so…
…I thought ok, I’ll have a look at their museum. It’s worth it for the food (everyone was exclaiming about their food). The museum was a ‘not so much’, but fun nonetheless.

It was a long day and when I arrived at Country Hotel Heydalur I just went to my room to watch a little tv and stretch out from the long drive. Oh no! They didn’t have blackout curtains so all night it was basically day! I told them about it in the morning and they apologized totally and fixed it in 5 minutes. Every accommodation has blackout curtains, even here, they just made a mistake. Like all the little stumbles on this trip, everything has been easily and cheerfully made right.

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