I started my hitch & hike trip counterclockwise around Iceland, following Route 1 – the main road which circles the entire island. Hitchhiking is still possible and actually pretty good in Iceland, I’m still positively surprised. What you have to know before I seduce you with postcard pictures though: the south coast is, for its stunning sites and easy access from Reykjavík, full with tourists. Loaded. Overcrowded. And some more. Just be prepared for that and don’t let it spoil your experience, because the landscape and special spots are just incredible. We all want to see them, and that’s okay. And, it will get much more quiet once you reach the east coast, or whenever you leave Route 1.
Amazing Waterfall with a 65m freefall water drop, really impressive. A path leads from bottom to top and turns into a hiking trail along the river.
A wide beach with – you guessed it – deep black sand, bizarre rock formations and a protected birdwatching area. The latter I couldn’t see because it was raining and misty.
From here it’s only a couple of km’s to the next town Vík, a neat little town with a very romantic church-on-a-hill, where I could resupply my food and fuel.
The road then leads right through endless lava fields which ran down here almost 300 years ago. I stopped at Kirkjubaersklaustur (had to mention that just for the name!) to spend the night at a campsite and try my luck hitching up to the crater region around volcano Laki the next day. You can read about that in the next blog post “Iceland: Laki and Lakagígar Volcano Area“.
Back on Route 1 I got picked up by the incredible sweet and friendly Dutch couple Guido and Gerrie. We got along so well that we spent the next 2 days together! First site we visited and camped at was Skaftafell where you can have a nice 90 minute walk passing a waterfall and the viewpoint over the local glacier.
Next day we spent entirely on 2 different glacier lagoons, one of them being the famous impressive one, the other a little smaller and quieter. Guido and Gerrie even went out on their Kajaks and got followed by a cute seal while paddling carefully around icebergs and against rising winds. So much fun, such a good time. Day ended with a nice meal, games and a spectacular sunrise at 2am.
Our last half day together, we drove to a little fisher village to make the find of the day: The Exhibition: Monster and Men. This is basically a private collection of rocks and bones, put together so funny, with lots of love – you can feel the passion the owner has for these little – and big! – things.
When the couple’s way lead them further east to the Puffins Colony, I had to part and take a road north. Thanks Guido & Gerrie for the great time!