Monday, August 6, 2012

Mountain bike to Súðavík (40 km round trip)

Hiking trail from Arnardalur

I‘m up early and start off the day with a nice walk through town. I like to make my rounds in the morning, walking along the coastline and back through the downtown. Sometimes I stop for a bite of breakfast at the bakery. But today the weather is still, sunny and beautiful so I hurry home, pack my bags and hop on my mountain bike. 
I‘m off to Súðavík today. 
Arctic Fox Center
 
View over Súðavík
I ride quite quickly all the way there and will take my time coming home. There‘s a lot of traffic today after the long holiday weekend, people going back to Reykjavík after spending the weekend here for swamp soccer. After rounding the peak at Arnarnes into Ísafjarðardjúp there’s quite a bit of wind. Once in Súðavík I head straight for the Arctic Fox Center, a nice museum dedicated to these little creatures that are common in this part of Iceland. I’ve been inside many times before though and all I want today is some cake and coffee and to sit in the sun and relax. 

Harbor graffiti in Súðavík
After resting up I want to scout out some hiking trails for the future. I plan on coming back next summer, staying at the campsite and doing some day hikes. Pulling out of the gravel parking lot, I somehow lose my balance and fall off my bike, on my entire right side. My head smacks the gravel and luckily I’m wearing a helmet, and my elbow smacks something hard as well. I’m stunned at how fast something like this can happen and just lie there for a minute. My arm hurts pretty bad and I’m sure I’ll have bruises all up my right side. If it weren’t for the helmet, I’d be roadkill. 

Lighthouse at Arnarnes
Once I get back up on my bike, nursing my elbow still for a while, I ride into Sauradalur valley a bit and park my bike, hiding it in the grass. There’s a trail leading into Arnardalur and I want to have a look. First I fill my water bottle at a waterfall where the river Eyrardalsá flows. Up past the falls are some trail markers, one leading to the peak Sauratindar at 841 m. I’ll save that for another time and continue on towards Arnardalur, which so far is a clearly visible track. I don’t want to go far though since I need to save some energy to bike the 20 km back home, so instead I find a nice spot in the grass for a nap. 

I sleep for a whole hour and am amazed when I wake up at how sound I slept and how much time has passed. I stuff my mouth with some blueberries and sip some tea before heading back to my bike. I’ll be back next year and hike way into the pretty valley. 

Alien landing pad?
Back on my bike going out of town, I stop at the peak of Skutulsfjörður fjord at Arnarnes and hike up the small mountain there. On top is a lighthouse and some kind of radar station for the airport. It looks a bit like a alien spaceship landing pad. After a short rest I’m back on my bike heading back to Ísafjörður. My legs feel like jelly when I finally reach home, but this was probably my last long day trip since I’m headed back to Reykjavík soon.