Iceland - Day 15 : A cup of coffee
Today I left just after the French. The landscape kept on getting nicer and greener. After 10 km I catched up with them while they were having a break. I decided to stop a little bit longer because I wanted to walk alone.
Later I got a beautiful view over the Hofsa valley, which I would be following for a long while. First I needed to descent a few hundred meters while being careful not to hurt my knees. At the bottom a car with a Icelandic family stopped. They chatted a bit and the wife seemed very worried about me and kept inquiring if I was doing OK. It turned out to be the sister of the lady at the campsite, who had told her about me and my bleeding lips. The man asked what I thought of hiking in Iceland and I said it was sometimes tough but also very pretty and I certainly didn't regret going.
A bit later I caught up with Matthew and Thibaut and we continued together. It started to rain. Between us we carried 3 different maps which all indicated a different distance to Varmahlid and in turn all disagreed with the scarce traffic signs we passed.
Walking went well today. After a while I got ahead of Thibaut and Matthew and a lady in an off-road truck stopped to ask if I wanted coffee. As it was raining I said yes. Only when they stopped I realized they were also from the Netherlands. When the French arrived the woman asked how I liked my coffee, as I had never drank coffee before I just said something. I didn't really like it but according to Matthew it was very good. We also got some gingerbread and the husband told us he had designed the truck himself, it was a support car for the Dakar rally.
We continued walking and talked about France and the Netherlands. Thibaut started to get the same type of rash as I but his hands weren't itchy. We also talked about food for 1,5 hours straight. We hoped there would be a McDonalds in Reykjavik. At one moment we passed a gritter, it was Juli after all. The driver told it us was not against snow but only to fortify the muddy road.
Matthew was finishing his PhD in sociology and told me that he and his fellow studies had a theory that all women who ride horses are ugly. Just th there was a group of horse riders passing by, so we stopped to check them out.
Ready to take important scientific measurements
We talked about French models and all the wives of the past president. Apparently they were all pretty. Matthew also told me that there exists an important subgroup in sociology that studies French cycling girls in the summer in Paris. As Bart and I had cycled there a few years ago I was able to contribute to the research area. Apparently Matthew's wife had been making jokes about their hike, saying it was going to be like the movie Brokeback mountain. I didn't ask if it was. Just after 18:00 I wanted to stop, but they wanted to kept going since it was their last day. We said goodbye and exchanged email address. I had walked 34 km today, which was a new record.
Along the way
Tibaut and Matthew
Because I walked far yesterday and today it is 'only' 26 km to Varmahlid, which I plan to walk tomorrow. When I get there it's still only day 16 out of 26. At the moment I wouldn't mind returning home a little sooner, but I would probably regret it if I rebooked my flight. There are a couple nice organized excursions going farther east, but these are pretty expensive and still only fill one day. That's why my plan is to take a rest day in Varmahlid and then walk south over a different road for 4 days before taking a bus. I also have some plans for what to do in Reykjavik, but if I have learned anything on this journey it's not to plan too many things.
Distance walked: 34 km