Friday, July 31, 2009

Drangsnes --> Djúpavík/Krossnes

Photos: (1) Driftwood on the beach; (2) A nameless fjord; (3) Emergency shelter; (4) Nauteyrarpottur; (4) Old herring factory in Djúpavík; (5) Djúpavík; (6) Krossneslaug; (7) Drangsnes with Grímsey island in the background

This morning, Ernesto wants to go deep-sea fishing and whale watching, and we heard that a small tour leaves from the Drangsnes docks. Yesterday we asked about it at Malarkaffi and were told to be at the docks at 9. We’re up bright and early, and prepare ourselves for the worst seasickness in a tiny boat and rough waves, and drive to the docks – and wait. And wait, and wait. And no one shows up. So we get in the car and decide to take a ride up road #643.

It’s a beautiful drive along the coast. The beaches are full of driftwood. We stop to examine an emergency hut a bit closer. We’ve seen them scattered throughout the fjords and this seems like a good opportunity to take a peek inside. There are a few bunks but that’s about it, no gas or any type of supplies for an emergency. But I guess shelter from wind, rain or snow is enough at times.

Djúpavík is the first real stop we make. The old herring factory with the waterfall above it makes for interesting photos. We walk around the old factory, where Sigur Rós played a concert on their homeland tour of Iceland a few years back. The old docks and rusting boat are more good photo motifs. It’s a very cute village with lots of charm. We have coffee and cake at the hotel, and meet Claus who is exhibiting his photos inside the factory. He opens the exhibition for us after our coffee, and we have a look inside.

Back on the road again, we soon reach our destination for the day before turning back again – Krossneslaug. Ernesto really wants to swim, but I prefer to wait for the hotpot back in Drangsnes tonight. There’s an Icelandic man and his Thai wife renting the cottage there, and like hospitable Icelanders, they invite us in for coffee, which we kindly refuse. Later, while Ernesto is in the pool, the man comes up and strikes up a conversation, He’s a fisherman from Ísafjörður but was born in Drangsnes, and both his father and grandfather were fishermen too. He’s been to Thailand a few times and on one of his holidays, brought back a wife. This year they’re staying in Iceland like many of the natives, due to the weak currency abroad.

The trip back to Drangsnes goes quickly, and we only stop once after seeing a seal and some small whales in Reykjarfjörður. Back in Drangsnes, we check into Malarhorn since our apartment last night is full today. It’s a big holiday weekend for the Icelanders as Monday is a bank holiday and a few large campers are parked on the grass near the hotel. Ernesto sets up the portable grill and makes some tasty lamb (again). The local campers are friendly and some come up and say hi. No one speaks a lick of English, and I’m thankful that my Icelandic is getting basic conversational. After dinner, Ernesto would love to jump in the hotpot right away, but I’d like to take a walk first. We walk along the coast a bit and then up the hill behind the village, past the official campsite (which is empty) and quite a ways up Bæjarfell. Then it’s back to the hotpot, but we’re not alone this time; a Dutch couple is there, and an Icelandic man.