Iceland 2016

In July 2016 we headed to East Iceland for a 3 week bike packing trip. We flew in to Egilsstadir and headed off from there. We were keen to explore Viknaslodir (Trails of the Deserted Inlets) which are to the east of Egilsstadir.

From Egilsstadir we headed across country to get to Seydisfjordur. There was a good track that headed up Gilsardalur.

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The flowers were giving us a good show.

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The weather was good and our first wild camp of the trip was in a stunning spot.

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The snow was still around in large patches which we had to cross. Some of the uphill patches required both of us to push the bike to the top.

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When we reached Vestdalsvatn we were greeted by a superb view which made all the hard work worth while. The lake was frozen so no opportunities for a dip!

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The trail down to Seydisfjordur was good single track and we were soon below the snow line. A couple of sections were quite rocky and the descent was a lot of fun.

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Seydisfjordur is a small town; famous for being where the Icelandic crime drama Trapped and Walter Mitty were filmed. More importantly for us, it has a shop where we could stock up on food.

We went to the Tourist Information to find out about the trails we were planning to ride on and the current snow conditions on them. It became apparent very quickly that we were asking some unusual questions and that no one had ridden the route we were proposing. When confronted with ‘That pass is dangerous and I’m not sure you should take a bike over it’, we thought ‘Challenge accepted’. The game was on!

It was a steep climb out of the Seydisfjordur valley and we had to stop part way up to camp. Due to the 24 hour daylight we were never stopped by lack of daylight, only lack of energy. Not a bad view whilst eating your tea.

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Towards the top we were starting to think that the guy in the Tourist Information might have had a point.

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The hike a bike was a little challenging.

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The challenge was worth it to reach some of the best single track we’ve ridden. The ride down the top of Hjalmardalur was stunning.

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When we reached Lodmundarfjordur we decided to camp next to the hut so we could have a shower. The birds in this valley were incredible and we spent most of the evening being twitchers.

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And finally we experienced the Icelandic weather we had been expecting.

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We were now on 4 wheel drive tracks that took us up and over a few passes and via the beautiful inlets of Husavik and Breidavik. It was easy riding which gave us plenty of opportunities to gaze at the views.

 

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We reached Borgarfjordur and had a rest day. It poured with rain whilst we ate a lot of food and planned where we were going to go next. We were keen to stay off the roads and spotted a trail that took you around the mountains of Tindfell and Jokuldalur. It looked too good not to try. We decided not to consult the Tourist Information this time and headed off in to the unknown.

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It was a steady climb out of the valley and then we got amongst the rocks, snow and mountains.

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This route did involve some bike pushing, however, this was more due to my lack of snow riding ability than anything else. I wanted to take the time to savour the views….

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And then we reached the best camp spot of the trip.

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And the most glorious single track heading down the valley.

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We popped out on the road in the Heradsfloi bay and decided to test out the fat bikes on the sandy dunes. They are unstoppable.

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With some tarmac to take us back to Egilsstadir we had completed our circuit. Time for a celebration.

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