Saturday, July 18, 2009

Hveravellir --> Reykjavík

Photos: The sheep of Hveravellir

A bird lands on the roof of my tent in the morning, waking me up. When I look out the tent, there’s a thick fog hovering above the campsite with the sun trying to peek its way through. I take a walk through the geothermal area for some unique pictures. The sheep are close and curious this morning. A whole family of black sheep grazes on the other side of the river. The sun quickly burns off the fog, revealing a blue sky with fluffy white clouds – it’s about 10°C (50°F). We have lots of time before the bus arrives, so I wash my hair and take the time to comb out the dreadlocks that have formed around my braids. Meanwhile, Henning is dealing with Peter and manages to sell him his tent. The trip is over already for Henning, but Peter has some quality adventure time left.

After a quick snack of skyr at the hut, the bus finally arrives and we say goodbye to Peter who has become a familiar face over the last few days on Kjalvegur. The bus ride is a bit uncomfortable - it’s hot and stifling in the bus, the sun is beating down and I’m not used to being cooped up inside. I stare out the window and doze a bit, and soon we reach the tourist attractions of Gullfoss (where I eat an ice cream bar), and Geysir (where I eat the best pear of my life, crisp and juicy, followed by a banana). As I’m standing outside eating, the bus driver strikes up a conversation. He’s a civil engineer in his everyday life, but due to a lack of work during the crisis, he’s taken on the job as a bus driver. With a chuckle he says it’s a good way to see the country. I smile at this typical Icelandic lightheartedness that I love.

Finally back to civilization in Reykjavik, we tackle the first priority – food! Henning and I have both been dreaming about cheeseburgers, so that’s what we have at "Flójtt og gott", along with the traditional cocktail sauce for the french fries. After a short hike uphill to Guesthouse Aurora, the owner Siggi pulls up on his quad and gives me a hug. We chat for a bit. He’s added a new house to his array of guesthouses so we get rooms down the block in a building that still smells like paint. We merely drop off our things and head out for a bit of shopping. It’s late in the evening and the stores won’t be open much longer. I buy some fresh socks so I can throw away my old ones, since they’re permanently sticky inside from all the plasters on my toes. After an hour’s rest at the guesthouse, we head out to the Irish Pub for a beer, and a walk around the harbor, stopping for hotdogs on the way.

It feels good to be in Reykjavík again, and I’d like to spend more time here than planned. Luckily Siggi has a room available in the new house that’s not officially open, so I will return the day after tomorrow.