One more tunnel, then done again

In the morning I packed everything up and then decided I needed more fish. So I went to a little restaurant tucked into a converted basement underneath an apartment building a few blocks from the hotel. It looked pretty janky, but there I had the most delicious fish and chips I’ve had in all of Iceland, and as I ate I abused their wireless network downloading software updates. Everything for the traveling geek!

The WIFI password is 12345678. That's the same as on my luggage!

Then I asked myself: “Hey is it time to get on the road?” And my stomach and legs said: “We’re not ready yet.”

So my next stop was a bakery one block down, stuffed full of tourists and Icelanders. Every table was occupied, but I noticed that people were following the local custom of offering unused seats at their table to strangers, so I did the same. A family sat across from me, then a couple of Spanish tourists. I got myself a cream-filled pastry and a hot chocolate and consumed both very slowly, looking over some code from work and texting with my co-developers and family members on the phone. Outside, the usual procession of curious people paused next to my bike to take photos or just gawp at it before hurrying on. It was a nice little bonus intermission before hitting the road again.

Second breakfast!

I did have to hit the road, but I knew it would be an exciting ride. To head south out of town I needed to pass through a pair of much longer, more modern, two lane tunnels, called the Héðinsfjarðargöng. These were built in 2010 and much closer to sea level so I wouldn’t have to press myself against the wall to avoid cars or ride up a gigantic hill to get to them. I was really looking forward to it.

My first real two-lane tunnel! Sweeet.

If the tunnel wasn't here I'd have to go over these mountains.

Not suitable for hiking, let alone biking!

And it was totally cool. Both tunnels slope up very gently to their midway point, then slope down again. So for two kilometers I pedaled gently along the first tunnel, then for two more kilometers I coasted effortlessly, and I was out. That put me in a narrow unpopulated valley right next to the ocean.

Coming out the other side...

Tunnel entrance from the side.

There was nothing around but the road, with the first tunnel at my back and the second tunnel waiting ahead of me, and the crumbled walls of a long-abandoned building up the valley in the middle distance.

It was very picturesque so I pulled aside to look around. First thing I needed to do was climb over this fence…

Too narrow for four-legs to climb. Just fine for two-legs!

The building had some wonderful textures…

Deliciously spooky.

And the terrain itself was intersting as well…

Icelandic lichen growing right up through the moss.
I don't see very many mushrooms in Iceland.
Teeny weeny flowers! CUTE.
Looks good for a nap, except it's quite wet.

And then, after I chomped another Prince Polo candy bar, it was time for the second tunnel.

Monsters with glowing eyes live in the tunnels!

This one was nearly twice as long as the first, and even more fun. When I emerged I was in the little town of Ólafsfjörður. I rode around scoping things out.

Another day's riding, another frosty town to explore!

It was an industrial-seeming place, with lots of equipment sitting near the docks, one restaurant, one coffee shop, and some hotels scattered in amongst the houses.

I bet you've never seen VOLVO printed on a vehicle like this before, eh?

Thanks for the warning, but ... what if there's a woman driving?

There is absolutely no space inside this truck. (That's a joke; get it?)

I found a campground, and spontaneously decided to spend the night there. I had only gone about four miles but I wanted to treat my body gently for another day before returning to my current ride-every-day schedule. Once again, I was the only person in the entire campground.

Still recovering from two days ago! Time to set up camp.

I got a crepe at the one local restaurant, then ate some more vacuum-packed fish at the campsite and washed my hands thoroughly before crawling into my tent. With luck I could get more than a full night’s sleep and feel back to normal…

Set up in the corner of the campground, for maximum wind blockage.

Back to “real” touring tomorrow!

One Response to One more tunnel, then done again

  1. J Man says:

    Man! I stopped checking a little bit after “Endurance” and missed a lot. Thanks for all the posts, can’t wait to read through these!

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