Thursday, July 10, 2014

Horse-riding

Despite the cold, wind and rain, it‘s another action-packed day. I go to the Simbahöllin cafe at  10am to meet the group for horseriding and since I don‘t have a car, I get to ride with the owner Wouter. After signing the usual paperwork and questioning each person individually about his/her riding experience, the horses are carefully selected for each person according to their size, abilities and personality. My horse is Gápur, meaning  something like „strong man“ and indeed this guy has a strong will. He‘s usually a leader but not this time, just no one told the horse that. He has a mind of his own, is always pushing way to the front or breaking rank and wandering off to the side. The whole ride is a struggle to keep him under control, but it‘s fun nontheless.


On the way up Sandafell
We spend half an hour just getting used to our horses, walking around the stables a bit. Then we head out into the Sandá river valley. Our group is fairly small, 8 people and two guides, including a girl from the US. One German girl falls off her horse twice and an Israeli girl is terrified the entire time and crawls at a snail‘s pace, so we don‘t do much tölting. I don‘t feel real comfortable on a horse either, so I‘m not disappointed with the slow pace. But I‘m not scared either and I have a jolly old time. I certainly don‘t regret wearing long underwear under my down jacket, plus a hat and gloves. It‘s cold sitting in the drizzle at 5°C/40°F.

On top Sandafell
We cross rivers and go up and down hills. All in all, it‘s a great ride, a lot of fun and I highly recommend it. Back in town, I have coffee and one of the famous Belgian waffles and the cafe run by Wouter‘s wife, Janne. When I was here in 2011 I rented a mountain bike from them and first discovered a new love for mountain biking. 

Þingeyri beach
Later in the day, I hike up the local mountain, Sandafell. I've been up here a few times already and it's always nice. Today it's freezing, the wind is whipping and rain is slapping my face. It's too miserable for lying around in the grass or relaxing, so it's up-down in record time.