Day one in Iceland. We are finally here — we made it!
We decided to go clockwise. A decision not given much consideration, except we did know that there were various touristic highlights on the southeast side of Iceland, and travelling clockwise meant that we would save the best for last (Thanks Vanessa)
The road to Reykjavik from Grindavík was smooth and spectacular. Having passed the barren landscape we began to enter the industrialised outskirts of a metropolis. Yes, people do live in Iceland! And plenty of them too.
The first mistake on the trip was not checking that the car rental company had remembered to pack the Sat Nav in the car, the second was not buying a data SIM card at the airport. Apparently, they sell them there in abundance (can anyone confirm?) so we were advised we could get one at either Netto or Bonus (Icelandic supermarkets).
Purchasing a SIM card seemed to be a series of failures. First Netto in Grindavík was a fail – no SIM cards left apparently, and the next Bonus and Netto in Reykjavik were also failures – perhaps SIM cards in Icelandic Supermarkets an endangered species?! After stocking up on food for the next couple of days we decided to visit the local expensive ritzy shopping centre in Reykjavik called Kringlan.
After a long wait for shops to open (it turned out to be a national holiday), we managed to buy a SIM card from a Nova stand within the centre. We thought the fact it only had a temporary looking stand as opposed to a decked out shop it might be the budget option, but alas it turned out being almost as expensive as Australia (also known as the land of price gouging). In terms of prepaid data we’re talking $30+ for 10GB on Nova’s 4G network… could always have been worse I guess.
At this point we felt in need of some direction, exuberance, and Icelandic inspiration, so headed to the bookstore there (Eymundsson) where we purchased our English version of Lonely Planet’s Iceland book – May 2017 edition, (Kr.4,499 = over AUD$50!).
Despite the all the wonders of the internet, I feel there’s still a place for a good travel book,
And it was just the thing to get the travel juices flowing with some nice glossy pix, a few historical facts, and proved to a nice memento of our adventures to come.
Perhaps it’s an attachment to the romanticism of guidebooks, not to mention the convenience — no on/off button, no notifications, no stuffing around with SIM cards or fighting for reception, no flat battery, just a simple turn of a page and a story ready to be immersed in.
After filling our stomachs with the local adaptation of Dominos (absolutely delicious – Australia take note!) we were ready to be onward bound… next destination, Bogarnes!
Still suffering sleep deprivation, we set up tent immediately upon reaching Bogarnes. I woke in the dead of the night to natures call, and the midnight sun was out again in its full glory. It was beautiful,still and serene, albeit strange. At that point I was thinking we could get a little head crazy especially with toddler over the next few days as it was so hard to convince him that it was night time. Oh well we’ll just have to wait and see!?
Day 1 covered 164 km over 2 hours and 50 minutes of driving. The landscape was wonderful, but we were still recovering from the red eye flight to Keflavik from Dublin, the cold, and the energy spent getting set up with toddler in toe./p>
The camping site at Bogarnes was beautiful with fair amenities (4x toilets, no showers). Cheeky-sneaky did a lot of sleeping today, and was happy about being in Iceland so far. Also very excited about the rooftop tent! (win for parents so far).
What exciting places await on Day 2? Stykkishólmur anyone?