Exploring the jawdropping landscape of Landmannalaugar!
After hours of battling against the strong headwind, I finally reached a small town called Hvollsvollur, with the population just around 800. The weather was pleasant, very sunny and clear blue sky, I find it very relaxing cycling under this weather, well, minus the headwind. Since I came from the rainforest of Malaysia, I love the sun, no matter how strong it shines. But Im afraid of the snow! Hehe…
I then realized that Im less than 100km from Reykjavik. If I really push myself, I can end my ride here in Iceland within a day. Reykjavik is so near to the west but suddenly, I decided to turn northeast! From the clear weather in Hvollsvollur, I can see the beautiful mountain of Hekla and the jawdropping landscape of Landmannalaugar from a distant. I stood still, watching the landscape from the roadside holding my bicycle, thinking.
Many people told me not to cycle to the interior part with my heavy luggage. Its impossible since there are many river crossing, the road is very bad and Im carrying heavy. Even normal car is not advisable to go to the interior. Only 4WD goes up there. The Italian riders warned me NOT to go to Landmannalaugar with my bicycle. But there is one problem. Im one very stubborn creature. When people tell me not to do something, that’s exactly what Im gonna do. So that’s the case with this problem. I pitched my tent at the campsite in Hvollsvollur, , stayed overnight there and studied the map really carefully. Its around 800m climbing vertically from Hvollsvollur to Landmannalaugar, with the distance around 70km. Riding back to the mainroad to reach another town called Hella, that’s 150km on bad roads. Well, how bad can it be? I rode on bad roads before in Tibet and Tian Shan. Only difference is, that time I was riding in a group, this time Im riding alone.
So the next day, I left the campsite really early. Thick clouds started to cover the sky again and rain started pouring lightly when I was packing my horse, eh… I mean, my bicycle! The road was good for the first 30km. The last 40km to get to Landmannalaugar was difficult! It was climbing steadily from sea level to 800m and the road was sandy! Some parts, its quite soft, makes it very difficult to cycle with heavy luggage. There were a few river crossing, but it wasn’t so difficult. Only the last part was quite deep, so I used all my energy left on me to push the bike through the river.
The weather in Landmannalaugar was more stable compared to the coastal area. I spent 2 days exploring the surrounding areas of Landmannalaugar and it was sunny most of the time. I climbed to the peak of the highest mountain here. I camped in a campsite in Landmannalaugar, there were many people camping there and it feels like Im camping in Everest basecamp, when I see most of them were serious hikers carrying their climbing equipments here. As for me, I don’t carry any climbing equipments u know, I do it the Malay style, without any equipments, just climb blindly LOL! But at one point I almost fell down a steep cliff when I was climbing. I fell for a few meters and I managed to grab one of the rock here, but the rock was very sharp and I had a minor injury on my finger. Well it was nothing serious.
The surrounding landscape here is truly amazing. Landmannalaugar is surrounded by multicolour mountains, it is seriously colourful here. On sunset, you can see that the mountains here shining its colors, brown, yellow, black, white and green. This is because of the volcano here, This is the part where the North American Plate and the Eurasian plate meet. There is also a huge beautiful caldera here and a few smaller ones. Hiking here is really amazing and it is definitely one of the dream trail for all hikers all over the world. I met so many hikers from different nation here, surely most of em are European. After spending 2 days in Landmannalaugar, I rode back to the coast heading to Hella. It was downhill this time, but I was struggling fighting the headwind again! I reached Hella early, there is nothing interesting in Hella, its just a small town so I decided to cycle further to the west and finally I get to Selfoss. Im now taking a rest in Selfoss. Reykjavik, the capital of Iceland is only around 60km from here, so I will think on where to go next. I might head north towards the Geysers instead of ending my ride in Reykjavik. I will see how it goes, I don’t have any plan for now…