The second day on the road brought sunny skies, high winds and impossible views of the many glacier tongues that stick out of the southern end of Vatnajökull national park. We stopped at Skaftafell for a 3-km walk, then carried on towards Suðurland and Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon, finally bunking overnight in a country (farm) hotel that could have easily been the set of Dagvaktin.
Weather and road checking became our latest obsession. The road leading eastwards had been closed because of heavy snowfall, forcing us to think about contingency plans at every stop on this ring road tour. It’s no casual undertaking, even at this time of the year: don’t pass up any opportunity to eat, stock up at a provision store or refuel because the next town could be too many kilometres away. On Sunday as we finally headed into the fjords towards Egilsstaðir, the chances of doing all the above decrease dramatically. Consequently, a huge plastic bag full of biscuits, skyr, chocolates and crisps took up permanent residence in the back seat, picked from supermarkets and stores found all over various stops in the South and the Southeast. TC depleted the storehouse quickly as he foraged for lunch.
The weather turned from grey and bleak to blue and sunny again in a matter of an hour. Still, route 1 was closed for the final stretch into Egilsstaðir and the detour took us around the coast for a while on route 96 before going into town on route 92. On the grit-filled road, the sprightly Ford Titanium that had once looked like a hulking vehicle in the Thrifty showroom now resembled a tiny, beaten-down farm tractor that a horde of cute Icelandic horses have trampled on.
I always looked forward to dinner after checking into the accommodation – as a celebration of having completed each day’s mileage. Simple fare at Salt last evening – burgers, pizza and hot chocolate – made my night.