DAY 19

Patreksfjörður to Hellisandur

Last long day of driving this trip as we move from the Westfjörds to West Iceland. From where we start you can actually see where we're going - it's just 60km across the Greenland Sea, but it'll be 400km of winding roads of asphalt and gravel to get out there by car. There's a ferry across, but at this time of year it doesn't depart until 6:30pm. Driving it is.

We drive through probably the last snow filled mountain passes we'll see this trip, then get to a stretch of road that heretofore we haven't experienced; we finally found a boring part of Iceland. It's not long - maybe 45 minutes worth of driving, but the southwest bit of the Westfjords as you make your way back to the main body of the island is just scrubby, reddish brown, and simply, meh. Maybe we're spoiled by the last 2.5 weeks of epic landscapes. Maybe it was just the quiet before we got to the next world of West Iceland.

Driving into West Iceland from the North starts mildly enough. Sheep farms, a few rivers, a relatively smooth gravel road. Nothing you'd send a postcard about. Then, just past the town of Stykkishólmur, the landscape explodes again. Snow capped mountains reminiscent of the Rockies...the Berserkjahraun - a massive area of foreboding lava rock that looks like it's being slowly being consumed by neon green and yellow moss. After the 15 foot walls of snow we drove past in the Westfjords, spring is here. The vegetation here knows it has about 3 months to do what it has to do before going to sleep again, and it's starting to explode. White and gray landscapes are going red, orange and green.

We pull into our cottage in Hellisandur, near the western edge of the peninsula, and sitting just below the glacier. There's no internet here, a few channels of TV, and the sound of wind. It feels isolated, remote and quiet. All we need is a fireplace.

Maybe the last snow of the trip. Maybe.
Exiting the Westfjörds
These are the first jet contrails I've seen in weeks. It feels like we're moving back toward civilization.
Heading into West Iceland
I have no idea what this is doing here.
Moss & Rock. Either a description of this photo or the name of a hipster retail store. I have no idea what they sell. No one really does.
Spring is creeping up
The mountains of West Iceland
Kirkjufell. Supposedly the most photographed mountain in Iceland.
Home, darkening skies, and a glacier.