I still have a week of vacation left and I really want to get away for a while. I packed up the car last night so I’m ready for the long drive this morning. I hop in the car around 9am and realize the power steering is making a loud noise. I'm guessing the transmission fluid is low, but since I’m not familiar with this car, I’ll let the neighbor check it. I finally head out of town an hour later.
It’s a beautiful, sunny warm day and I have good music in the car. I enjoy the winding mountain roads weaving in and out of the fjords. I have a quick coffee and waffles at Litli Bær again, since I really like that little place. It’s warm enough to sit outside and enjoy the view. Then I drive straight on through, up and over the long mountain pass at Steingrímsfjarðarheiði and stop at Drangsnes for lunch.
Restaurant Malarhorn is just closing the kitchen after lunch but I beg and get the most wonderful mushroom soup I’ve ever had in my life. The typical Icelandic mushroom cream soup that you get at lunchtime at restaurants on the road is usually quite nasty. I don’t have high expectations. But this soup is clear, not creamed, with large, fresh mushrooms and carrots and it tastes so good.
After coffee and dessert, I continue on my journey. I’m headed up the east coast of Strandir as far as I can make it. I have the tent in the car and I’ll see where I end up. I‘d like to make it to Urðartindur in Norðurfjörður. For the remoteness of the region, however, I’m surprised at the high number of cars that pass me. In fact, the traffic flow is quite constant.
But I’m soon weary of travel. The road is dusty, narrow, winding up and down mountain passes, treacherous and it even begins to rain. The last 40 km are quite harrowing. When Hotel Djúpavík comes into sight at 4:30pm, I’m done for the day. I really hope I can get a room, as they have no campsite. I didn’t want to book anything on this trip. I’ll just see where life takes me.
Hotel Djúpavík is totally packed and it feels really odd to be in such a crowd of people in the middle of nowhere. I don’t like it one bit. I’m tired and really want some peace and quiet. I’m able to get a room for two nights. The single room in Álfasteinn cottage is cozy (which is polite for tiny) but the walls are extremely thin and I soon find out why there are earplugs on every pillow. Every door and floorboard creaks and moans and I’m sure it will be ruckus a when all the guests come home late. But I’m an early riser and will certainly get my revenge at 6am.
I take a nice walk to get my bearings and pick myself a salad for dinner. I travel with a bottle of olive oil and plan to just pick my salads whenever I want one. A little container village has sprung up that is an eyesore in the landscape. I wonder if it’s for the staff to sleep in? It could at least be painted, given a few flowers and made to integrate better into the village.
After dinner I walk on the trail in the valley behind the hotel. The nature and landscape here are really unique and beautiful. Out here with no people around I can feel the magic.