Typing by candlelight. A delightful mixture of new and old. What I want is a typewriter that drives a quill. That would be cool. Regular, inside readers were probably expecting pictures from Germany. Hah! Fire up the waybackwhen machine!
This is one of those stories that has been awaiting it's moment. Hovering around the fringes of memories. Some might go so far as to say clinging tenaciously to the edges of the cracks, hoping to be remembered at the last minute, and written up in all it's glory to make it's glorious debut on the global stage that is the internet.
Itching to get outside, I drove. And drove. And drove. And wrote the sort of flowing, meandering prose that that would make an English teacher quiver. I turned the music up, the window down, zipped up my fleece, and headed off to the west fjörds. What sort of sick twisted freak would drive nearly 7 hours each way for a weekend with no set agenda, no plans, no people to meet. Not even the right season to see the normal sights in the area. Was it fun? Hard to say. Did I achieve the desired plan of getting the hell out of town? Hell yes.
Lonely planet. What an institution. It focuses on cheap hostels and buses. So it's pretty popular. But the more I travel, and the more I see, the more I find them fairly useless. The internet has superseded a lot of the advice on hostels and prices and buses. Things change, things get out of date. And as for the sights themselves? Well, sometimes Lonely Planet has some nice suggestions for more serious walks and things, but generally nothing you wouldn't put together with a map yourself. And sometimes, well, sometimes it just raves about places that really aren't that spectacular. I think sometimes the author just managed to get some particularly good sex, or got well drunk, but sometimes you go to a place that completely, utterly fails to live up to it's reputation.
Allow me to quote the Lonely Planet Iceland (5th edition, 2004) "Rauðisandur is a long gorgeous pink beach with pounding surf, backed by a huge lagoon. ..., providing access to some wonderful wild camping ares." The 4th edition, 2001 is even more glowing, "...Access is difficult without a private car... But it's undisputable worth it.... There's great wild camping available in the area, try beside the lagoon."
Pretty glowing praise. Pity they're full of shit. The sands are inaccessible without wading across muddy fields and over fences, but they do look like they might be nice. Maybe. Over there. The rest of the land in the area is pretty sodden and muddy, and far from flat. And not the easiest access to water. Lots of mud. Maybe it's nice in summer. Maybe.
But the moor on the drive over is nice. Nicer anyway.
So, Rauðasandur was a bust. But the rest of the trip was good. Látrabjarga, my vague goal for the weekend was lovely. Deserted. And brown. And not a puffin in sight. (I was about a month to early for proper spring and the arrival of the birds) But I had the place pretty much to myself. A great big front searing the sky above me, dividing the grey, sullen swells of the greenland sea from the merry blue crashing surf of Breiðafjörður.
Kollsvík, north of Látrabjarga was even better. Settled, but abandoned. A long windy dirt road, strewn with boulders to wend around while rejoicing in the beauty of tiny cars to fit through tiny gaps. Long wide sandy beachs with just me and the seals. Complete tranquility.
More beautiful westfjords landscapes, but with a long road ahead, it was soon time to start heading back. If one thing was consistently wonderful about this trip, it was the continualy changing weather conditions. Typical iceland I know, but it's still good to be in it. I had snow, rain, blue skies, and windy grey. Waterfalls, ice, dirt, bitumen, grey, green, blue seas. Iceland. Without compare.