Experiencing a great Filipino hospitality in Iceland!

Leaving the glaciers of Vatnajokull, I came across one of the toughest ride! I left Skaftafell under the very heavy rain and strong headwind. This is the heaviest rain I’ve been through so far in Iceland. Besides the rain, the strong headwind makes it difficult to cycle. I was wet all over! While riding along the Vatnajokull glaciers, I could hear the sound of avalanche coming from it. It was scary, sounds like a storm but I couldn’t see it because of the heavy rain and thick fog everywhere. Visibility was poor.

Mordor! Orcs hiding here!

After I cycled further away leaving the glaciers, I came across a huge , vast area of black lava sand. This might be the effect of huge volcanic eruption that happened years ago, destroying everything in its path. I rode at least 20km along this dark area, nothing but black sand, lifeless! But this is unique to me, I feel like Im riding in an unknown planet rather than our planet Earth. This is the transition of landscape between the land of ice and the land of fire! This country is sooo Lord of the Rings to me. It should be here rather than New Zealand! While in the glaciers, I imagine Icekin, Trolls and Elves, here I imagine Orcs! With the volcanic landscape around it, it looks a lot like Mount Doom of Mordor!

finally… some greens!

Only after more than an hour of riding, I started to see some green areas again. The rain was showering heavily, nonstop. I was cold and hungry. And the worst thing happened, I started to crave for our nasi lemak and the nasi beriani bukhara in Bangsar! Aicoooo… it was really demotivating!

slowly, more and more greens!

But all the pain ended when I was around 7km away from a small town called Kirkjubaejarklaustur (I seriously gave up trying to pronounce it!). There was a guesthouse with a camping site at the roadside so I decided to stop there. There was an Asian lady saw me from inside the house and quickly came out to me. I was shivering while talking to her. Shes actually our neighbour, from Philippines! Brown people! Married to an Icelandic man and been living here for 12 years. She was happy to see a Malaysian here, so she helped me out to dry all my wet clothes and let me to take hot shower! She has a daughter and her cousin is living here too taking care of the guesthouse. After I was done pitching my tent under the rain, I went inside and she cook for me for free! She let me to use all the facilities inside the building, drink as many hot chocolate as I want, eat all I can. I ended up staying 2 days here. The next day she cooked rice for me! And the rice is from Thailand!!! Mannn, I felt like at home! I actually wanted to eat with my hand but there were many tourists here, so okayyy, I used fork n spoon huh? Hehe…

the guesthouse owned by the Filipino lady during the Midnight Sun

I spent my time here exploring the area. Theres a hill here so I sprint as fast as I can to get to the top to train the strength of my legs and my stamina. When its raining, I stayed inside the building editing my film and talking to the Filipinos. Theyre very nice people, they have been so kind to me, feeding a hungry traveller. When I wanted to leave and was about to pay, the lady refused to take my money! Nooo, that is too much. I told her, at least let me pay for the 2 nights of camping. So she finally let me pay for the camping only. I then left a note at the desk saying thank you for showing the great Filipino hospitality here in Iceland to a solo Malaysian traveller. I left them my email address, hoping that they will write to me so that we can keep in touch and I will definitely visit them in the Philippines one day when theyre back in the homeland.

climbed here few times to train my legs into a machine!

the surrounding areas


11 Comments on “Experiencing a great Filipino hospitality in Iceland!

  1. God bless the Philipino lady helping you out during your musaffir. Thai rice in Iceland must be a novelty! I love that picture of the guesthouse under the midnight sun. Let us know if you meet Smiegel/Gollum.

  2. Hats off to u bro….I would hv cried if I were to cycle alone on the lifeless area, under heavy rain and strong wind, black lava sand (with the heavy weight, resistance tu weiii), with the sound of avalanche lagikk, and not knowing how far u r going to cycle in this kind of landscape. Trying to imagine it already make me exhausted. Ko mmg giler laaa….and this is what makes me and many others admired u. BTW bro, isnt the cycle itself is an endurance (the long distance + duration) and strength (the weight that u r carrying + the resistance fr wind & sand) training for u? Lagi mau sprint panjat bukit kaa? HAHAHA….pasni ko train berenang pulak, boleh masuk triathlon….LOL!!!

  3. Subhanallah! very amazing and interesting experience.. I hope Allah bless u and give u strength to further your journey!..

  4. Filipinos are known or renowned for our Great Hospitality. It is natural amongst us to treat strangers like our invited guests. I met an American in the world-famous Banaue Rice Terraces. Then afterwards, I invited him to stay in our place in Manila, which he used as his base in his travels in the Philippines. His name is William “Bill” Green ( I am no longer sure of the surname.) He was later working in Hongkong with American Standard. My only regret is I am not sure if we have a photo.

  5. We the Filipino people treat every stranger as though they are a long lost family .. we don’t look at the colour of their skin, hair or eyes .. Mabuhay ang Filipino …

  6. Hi Zahariz! Do you happen to remember the name of the guesthouse you stayed in? Thank you!

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