Exploring The Glaciers!
I guess its been quite a while I didn’t update anything on this blog. Internet is hard to get in this area and I was busy exploring the glaciers. This is the place that I ever dreamed to visit long ago since I started thinking about exploring Iceland. The mighty Vatnajokull, it’s the largest glaciers in the world outside the poles. Its almost the size of our Peninsula Malaysia. Riding around this area, cold gets right into my bones and I was really shivering when I was riding under the rain and fighting the strong wind coming from this glaciers.
After watching the magnificent Vatnajokull from a distance at Hofn, I couldn’t wait and the next morning, I quickly ride leaving Hofn into the glaciers. I made a big mistake then. I didn’t have enough food and my money was running out. I didn’t make any research to learn that there is no ATM machine for more than 200km. I planned to stay long here in this area, exploring it not only with bicycle but to hike the mountains here. I only realized my mistake after I camped 70km west of Hofn. When I reached the campsite, I asked around and realized that the next available town is 160km away towards the west. Problem is I don’t want to go to the west so soon. I wanted to stay a while in this area. Eating in a restaurant is not within my list since its very expensive. I need to buy food in the supermarket and cook.
Since I was too hungry that night, I had no other choice but to get to a nearby restaurant for dinner and paid almost RM100 for a plate of lamb! I really felt odd eating in that restaurant, only those rich tourists can afford to eat there. I was the only traveller with bicycle eating there I guess. I was totally in a wrong place! But there were not much choice. It’s the only restaurant available and there were only 2 choices of food which are the lamb and a simple soup that costs more than RM30. Don’t think soup is good enough to give me energy. The next morning, leaving my heavy stuff inside my tent, I took only 1 bag with me and cycled fast back to Hofn. The rain never stops since my last post, this is the worst weather condition I’ve been through so far. Since im so used to cycle with heavy luggage, I felt so light cycling with only 1 bag and I reached Hofn in less than 2 hours. The first thing I did when I reached Hofn was to draw out some cash, eat all I can and buy enough groceries. Cycling back to my campsite for another 70km was painful. Only the first 20km from Hofn was easy, the last 50km I was constantly fighting the strong headwind and it was raining for the whole 140km journey nonstop. Once I reached back my campsite, I took a long hot shower and lied flat inside my sleeping bag like a pancake!
I took a long good rest the next day. The campsite owner let me to come in to his house nearby and used all the facilities available since the rain never stops. Thank god, I had a really good rest that day. The next day when all my energy was restored, I rode further away to Skaftafell. Here I passed by Jokulsarlon, one of the most beautiful place I have ever been. It’s a beautiful blue lagoon with icebergs coming from the glaciers floating towards the sea. It feels like in North Pole here, it is surely a dream place for photographers. I was shocked to learn that this place exists only around 75 years ago when the glaciers of Vatnajokull started to melt here. Maybe this is the effect of the global warming?
In Skaftafell, the rain finally stopped! The thick clouds started to give ways to the blue sky! The sun started shining again! Even though it was only for a few hours, I felt soooo happy seeing the sun! It started to get warm for a few hours, giving me enough time to dry my clothes and towel! After getting a good sleep inside my tent without any rain, I woke up early in the morning and went for almost a full day hiking through the mountains to explore the glaciers. It was one of the best hiking trail I’ve ever been. It is quite easy hike, somewhere between easy and moderate with a distance of somewhere around 12-15km. This is the only place in Iceland that I see trees! It’s a small jungle here with a beautiful waterfall of Svartifoss. After I walked higher, the jungle ends and the view was clear again. Here in Iceland, since the view is too clear because there are not much trees, when I reached the top of the hill, I could see soooo far, I could even see the shape of the earth is not flat anymore but a bit curve in a shape of a sphere!
After I hiked at about 4km, the rain started again and the fog was thick and visibility became poor. I just kept hiking to higher grounds ignoring the rain. After 2 hours, the rain stopped and the clouds were giving ways for me to see the beautiful snowcapped mountains and the jawdropping landscape of the magnificent glaciers of Skaftafelljokull, one of the nicest glaciers of Vatnajokull. It really feels like Im in a totally a different world here. I stayed here at the top of the mountain ignoring the cold wind, watching the beautiful view in amazement for hours! I find it amazing when Im always shivering and complaining about the cold, but when I see beautiful views, I stopped complaining and can really ignore the cold! Im sooo into all these, I guess all these while, Ive been traveling the hard way just to find a perfect spot to watch beautiful landscape. I guess Im crazy about landscape and nature. I felt good that, all these years Ive been admiring beautiful travel and landscape photos and videos mostly from National Geographic and since I started my cycling journey, I managed to see all these with my own 2 eyes. Better, I could get nearer and could even touch it, smell it! Now when I watched some of the travel photos around the world, I could say that, “Ah.. I’ve been here! I know how it feels like standing here watching this view!”. The idea of traveling the world with a bicycle that popup into my mind 2 years ago is actually not bad at all!
I could feel like how those climbers felt when they reached the peak of Mt Kinabalu after spending hours and hours of struggling trying to summit the mountain. It feels very different than those who took the easy way to get to the peak by a helicopter because they missed the best part of the journey, which is the struggle!