Yesterday it took a long time to pack in the car.
It is not easy when the car is filled with things even if one has a list and knows more or less where everything is. In the end I was left without dinner. The only place still open was the fast food joint in the gas station but my cards didn’t work there for some reason. Dried hiking food is not so inviting while in civilization.
In the morning there is still some mess in the car. I have to drive to Bakkagerði. This is the hiking capital of the East Fjords. Statistically there is more sunshine in the east than in other parts of Iceland. I would like to see this statistics in action now.
All places in the capital open at noon. The shop where hiking map is on sale. Café. The guesthouse where maybe maps are on sale. The campsite staff is there either early in the morning or in the evening. The campsite also sells maps according to the tourists that I catch on the street. I check the campsite hoping to see someone of the staff. I find two Latvians who have just come from a three-day hike, found it difficult and hitchhiked back to the village. Their travel companion is still wandering somewhere in the mountains. They help me spend 20 minutes chatting. Now the shop will open in half an hour. I park next to it and am the first customer.
Starting so late is not a problem because I don’t plan to go far. Six kilometers along the road that takes one hour and 4.5 km over a pass that takes two hours. The pass is 350 meters high. Not 3500. Next to the trail are crowberries and blueberries. I don’t have to move from the trail to eat them because Western Europeans don’t eat things from the ground. Hopefully they also haven’t peed on them.
Wind is strong. That’s why the plan is not to go far but only to the Brúnavík emergency shelter. When the wind will be really bad I can shelter in the cabin. I see quite many people, a popular place. Mountains are somehow rougher than on Hornstrandir, everything is different. Except for green grass and wet ground.
First time I have with me full set of the lightweight hiking equipment I pieced together during winter. Nice soft trail runners, MLD tent, feather-light warm sleeping bag, lighter cooking utensils, children's toothbrush. Just in case the heavier Bergans backpack (heavier weighs 1.3 kilo and the more spartan ULA 900+ grams). All packaging is left behind and everything put in waterproof or mini-grip bags. Camera has only the small wide angle lens and two spare batteries, no other photo stuff. Only one book. But I have tablet and power bank for the tracker. Don’t know the total weight because the scales I brought especially to find it out has ran out of battery. Seems to be somewhere between 10 and 15 kilo. Instead of the usual 20-25 kilo. Anyway, I don’t feel the need to stop for resting like I have on my previous hikes.
I settle in front of the cabin. Wander around, examine stones. Here are very cool striped stones. Check out the river crossing for tomorrow. Looks like wet feet. Sheep. I didn’t think of that. In Hornstrandir there are no sheep and so it is safe to drink from all streams. Here it does not seem to be so safe but nothing to do.
As soon as people stop coming and going I put up tent, read, look at the sea. Make dinner. The usual. Too late comes the thought that I might have continued further today. Then again, hotel with out-of-season price waits for me on 1st of September, I should hang around somewhere for one night anyway.
As soon as sun disappears behind the mountain it gets chilly although some sunlight has been forgotten on the mountainside opposite. Wind dies down.
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