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Iceland, second lap (3FI1702)

Sunday, August, 27nd, 2017 | Manuel Marabese / Pablo Piferrer | Europe

Day 10: Fludir - Selfoss

The final day has arrived and even though the ride is short, it has a bit of everything we have had over these past few days; from asphalt to gravel going through awesome sections full of curves and whole loop round a beautiful fjord.

 

A perfect ride for an amazing tour.

Þingvellir National Park
The tectonic crack between the Euro-Asian and the American plates
Kerið, a very rare crater created by lava fields running under. Now full of water and very rich in nutrients, it's filled with fish. Someone seemed to be looking for Nessi!
All bikes back at the starting point
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Sometimes some people have beautiful talents. In this case Keith treted us to this beautiful piece of music.

Day 9: Nupar - Fludir

Two options for today, both of them outstanding. Do you prefer to play in the dirt and spend most of the day on the highlands towards Landmannalaugar challenging yourself with about 20 water crossings... or do you fancy a leisurely ride along the coast, dotted with fabulous sights like Black Beach, Cap Dyrholaey, Skogafoss and Seljalandsfoss waterfalls?

The view of the fields of moss over lava as we leave Kirkjubaejarklaustur.
This lovely puffin couple seems posing for us in a truly perfect spot!
Black Beach and its peculiar basalt formations
The picturesque lighthouse sitting atop the hill of Cap Dyrholaey
Oh well, another giant waterfall, why not? Skogafoss comes also with a very personal double rainbow.
What about unwinding at the end of the ride in one of these hot pots gracefully placed among the rocks of the hotel's garden?
A needed rest to look at the land surrounding us.
One of the deepest rivers to cross, half of the time, it wasn't the depth that was har, but finding the right route.
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As we left Landmannalaugar a group of horse herders crossed the river next to the camp. A cool sight to remember.
As hard and unforgiving as this terrain looks, flowers manage to bloom. The vegetation is very fragile and it takes a long time to grow due to the hard cold temperatures and very little sunshine.
Pablo and Mike at "Paulinafoss"
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Overview of this beautiful hidden treasure.
Keith forgot to take the pastic socks off when we left the coffee stop and was getting ready to ride qith them.

Day 8 : Höfn - Nupar

The highlights of this tour are neverending: today we cruise along the southern coast, accompanied in our journey by the mighty Vatnajokull, the biggest glacier in Europe. Next stop is Jokursalon, the famous iceberg lagoon. Of course we will take with us some 1.000 years old "ice cube" for some whisky. 

50 shades of turquoise.
The trip on the amphibious boat is certainly a unique experience, don't try to jump for a swim though!
Post-lunch glacier walk anyone?
We prepared a little loop with 2 river crossings so as to get a taste for the nexrt day.
Hold it Mike!!
Keith and Pablo showing their ice carving skills. Next time they will carve a white swan and we will flow the whisky down from the neck and the plumage to cool it...
Nothing better than sharing a whiskey with 2000 year old ice after a hard day ride.

Day 7: Egilsstadir - Höfn

We have been already circumnavigating half of the island so far, and every day has been stuning in its way. What else can we expect? Well, still more has to come! For example this ride across Oxi Pass, one of the highest road in iceland, unveiling spectacular panoramas and bringing us towards the south coast.

Reindeer have been imported from Norway in the 18th century, there are still quite a few and often they pose for pictures.
The boys playing cool
Taking a break after Oxi Pass
Lunch break in a small fishing village, some old wooden houses inviting us for a photo stop
Ride done for today! Look at the view with the glacier tongues almost touching the sea

Day 6: Husavik - Egilsstadir

We continue our journey towards the eastern regions of Iceland and we take a break in the middle of the U shaped Asbyrgi canyon. No photos gives justice to such a phenomenal geological marvel. Later on another great sight waiting for us: the thundering Dettifoss, the most powerful waterfall of Europe with an average of 200.000 liters per second. In the afternoon we ride some dirt across the interior and we finsih our route in Egilsstadir, very close to the eastern coast.

Once again, when you think the last waterfall was the biggest you have ever seen, comes another one even more powerful: Dettifoss!
On top of the wall... boulders ammassed there by giants? No, but moved there by a massive glacier
And after a great ride... boot beer for everyone! You wish you top case was like that every day eh?

Day 5: Akureyri-Husavik

Another pretty chilled day cruising along the north coast of this intriguing island, with a few highlights like the lava area of Myvatn lake and the eerie lava labyrinth of Dimmuborgir. Plenty of time in the afternoon for a whale safari or for checking out the whale museum or the polar exploration museum (NASA astronauts were training in this area before the mission to the moon.

Admiring Godafoss is always a mind boggling experience
The paths of the lava labyrinth Dommuborgir
Ready to jump on the whale safari boat?
Husavik is a nice little place

Day 4: Saudarkrokur- Akureyri

After the long ride on the dusty F35 today we have a shorter and more laid back day, cruising along the scenic north coast. With a late morning stop in Siglufjordur - an idyllic fishing village which was famous for the herring export - we reach Akureyri for lunch and we can enjoy some free time in the afternoon. The botanical garden, the public pool with hot spring water and the main drag are all a few steps from the hotel.

Not really a picture-perfect sky but good enough to keep us dry until the end
Fat tyre bicycles.... really perfect for... Instagram pics!
Today it's very quiet here, it's Monday but it's a major holiday here in Iceland, nearly every shop and business is closed today!
Last stop before reaching the hotel: the interesting and well presented collection of beauties in the Motorcycle museum.
Look at this, a Vespa Sidecar, how cute is that?
She is the grandma of all the bikes that ever arrived to Iceland
And finally a good steak, a rarity here in Iceland!

Day 3: Selfoss - Saudarkrokur

Another day, another beautiful ride await us, 160 kms of gravel; hard, demanding, and at the same time, beautiful and rewarding. With an early two monuments to show us the majestic power of this island, we leave the busy tourist areas to join the desolate highlands and the unforgiving roads that lead to the north.

On our way to see the Geysir, we pass some hot pools at 100ºC (212ºF) (pic by Jay)
Geysir Strokkur in it's calm state (pic by Jay)
and there it blows! (pic by Jay)
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Manuel, Michael, Kreutzmeir, Jay and Pablo enjoying a relaxing moment and having bit of fun.
Our second stop is Gullfoss, a beautiful three step waterfall, with an interesting story behing. With a regular current of 140 thousand litres a second and having reached 2 million litres with the 2002 heat wave, it's considered the most beautiful waterfall in iceland.
First contact with water
Michael, Keith and Jay on one of the many very narrow bridges that we find in the highlands within the gravel sections
Safely parked and lined bikes to admire the beauty of the surrounding land (pic by Michael)
When nature calls, you have to take the best possible option
The van, the bikes and the lake.... simply magic (pic by Michael)

Day 2: Reykjavik - Selfoss

In our first day we get the change to experience a bit of everything, both regarding weather and scenery: quite a good introduction for the following chapters of the tour!

The bridge across the continents!
Lunch at Blue Lagoon
It's quite steamy here!
First encounter with Icelandic gravel, all good!

Day 1: Welcome to Iceland's capital!

Time to gather in Reykjavik for the new group eager to discover the fascinating landscape of this island! This time we have a different selection of countries: Hong Kong, Canada (well.. Quebec to be precise), United States, Australia, Chile and even Malta! This is a marvellous mix! Let's turn the Tigers on...

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Add a comment Rate this post
Michel Cadrin
Monday, September, 25nd, 2017 at 16:13

I have a great pleasure to see the pictures of this fantastic travel on the blog.
Tank you Manuel for your entousiasm and your professionalist.

Michel Cadrin
P.S. Pablo, je n'aurais jamais imaginé qu'une valise latérale puisse servir de marche pied.
Tinia Gebhart
Wednesday, August, 16nd, 2017 at 03:42

Love the blog, my husband had a wonderful time. Would like to thank the guides and his fellow riders. This was on his bucket list and you all made it a wonderful memory. Thanks
Mike Gebhart
Wednesday, August, 16nd, 2017 at 00:42

This was an amazing tour, the photos captured within the blog barely scratch the surface of the entire experience of each and every day. Each day built upon the last and was shockingly better each and every day. Tour guides can make or break a group but I have to say that Manuel and Pablo were phenomenal, (even got a bonus visit from another guide I have ridden with, Michael Kreuzmeir, which added an even greater depth of special to the experience) they made sure that each day was fantastic. If you are considering this particular tour don't consider anymore. Book it and go have the time of your life. I cannot say thank you enough for the epic experience that Manuel and Pablo provided for us. I would like to also thank each and every rider in the group because you all added something special to the entire dynamic. Thank you one and all!!!!
Mike Gebhart
Tuesday, August, 8nd, 2017 at 22:22

So far this tour has been fantastic. Manuel and Pablo have been phenomenal guides and the group is amazing. Can't wait for each and every day!!
Manuel Marabese
Monday, August, 14nd, 2017 at 22:24

Thank you dear Mike, it has been fantastic for us as well! We have been glad to guide you all in this journey across Fire and Ice.

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