Day 4 – September 2, 2016
We headed to the coastal town of Reyðarfjörður, which was our next hotel, and just a pit stop as we explored East Iceland.The beginning of our drive as the familiar site of hills, moon rock, clouds, rain, sunshine, and open land. There was the typical sheep foreground with another random beautiful waterfall behind. We also encountered a couple abandon (but still beautiful) buildings.
Höfn (Lunch Stop)
After our Glacier Lagoon tour, we were ready for lunch. We headed to Pakkhús Restaurant in Höfn. I had some KILLER lobster pizza there, paired with some of the Icelandic beer. We fueled up with some coffee. We stopped at the local Vínbúðin to grab some wine (trying to save money!) and some snacks from Nettó for the road, both in the same building. This was our longest driving stretch thus far.
Many times we would see horses speckled across the horizon, but on one rare occassion they were by the fence line. I forced Doug to pull over, and to my amazement they came closer! We gave a few of them a pet – I do NOT know if this is frowned upon by locals. Also, I am not sure if these horses were riding horses or meat horses. But it was still exciting! Then out of no where, our TWIN pulled up! Another Turq! It was a young Indian couple, also intrigued by the close proximity of these “wild” horses. We waved goodbye to our car-kin and continued our drive.
The road took us around the large glacial center of the country, until we entered our first and only tunnel! WARNING: DO NOT SPEED THROUGH THE TUNNEL. First you get a flashing speed limit sign with a frown face, if you continue to speed you get more warning lights flashed at you, and if you STILL speed a beam of red light gets shot into your eyes, leaving you partially blind through the rest of the tunnel. This slowed us down.
After the tunnel our scenery changed. We spotted something of a beach with a beautiful mountainous backdrop, so we decided to stop. Doug swore he saw tons of swans, but we would soon confirm it was just a lot of white geese. This was an unnamed area along Road 1, but it was between Höfn and Djúpivogur. Turq’s twin reemerged and they also got out to enjoy the view!
The East Coast
We hit the road again. Our path (see GPS) was a windy one. Back and forth along the coast. It became boring quickly, but when the sun hit the mountains and water just right, it was an epic sight.
Our drive continued. We needed more coffee and a bathroom, so we stopped in Djúpivogur, a quaint fishing town. We also re-charged with some more coffee, in a cafe above the public restrooms. The harbor was filled with tons of fishing boats, all shapes and sizes.
The Winding Coast
We continued the winding drive along the coast. Back and forth along the switchbacks. But the views were incredible. When facing the bays, we saw fishing boats headed out to sea and fish pens. When we switched back along the ocean, to our left were the natural cliffs with waterfalls; to our right, pastures faded into the ocean, speckled with horses… and WILD REINDEER! After the eighth switchback, the road turned to gravel. This was quite uncomfortable and honestly annoying. This went on for about 1/2 an hour.