Iceland - Day 19 : Who'll stop the rain
At night I woke up at 1:30. That's when it was supposedly the darkest, so I got out to check if the northern lights were visible. It was nearly as light as at noon. It was also raining again. It was warm and dry in my sleeping bag, so it took some effort to get out in the morning. While packing the tent it became covered in mud and a lot heavier. I didn't mind walking in the rain though and didn't encounter many people. The same muscle was hurting as yesterday, but now in the other foot.
De weg met rechts mijn slaapplek en verder veel mist
A bit later I passed through grassy plains
It was nice to be alone again. In the afternoon a car with a man and woman stopped. They asked if I was OK and if I wanted a ride, which I of course declined. They had told me they had hiked in Israel last year and I replied the weather was probably better there. They explained they were very religious and wished me good luck in walking through god's country and said that god would always accompany me on my journey.
I am not religious but it felt special to have a complete stranger talk to me like that while being there alone. I didn't want to confirm or deny what she was saying so I replied it indeed was a very special place. The simple food, being outside continuously, the tough hiking, and the solitude made the experience very 'real'. It's hard to live more free and simple.
At home at lot of people had asked what was fun about such a though 'vacation'. The answer is that it isn't necessary fun. I did this to be away from the daily ritm back home. I also wanted to try planning and carrying out mini expedition all by myself. Lastly, I wanted to see what it was like to travel through a remote part of nature. Traveling alone is a unique experience. If something goes wrong you can only blame yourself and there is no-one there to help you, and if something goes fine there is no-one to share it with; but you can be extra proud of accomplishing it. It's a nice feeling to know you are the only one who has seen or experienced something. You do need to be able to get along with yourself well though. Only by being away from society and interactions with other people do you discover who you truly are.
After meeting the religious Swiss people I walked on. There were a surprising amount of Swiss there. Eventually I reached a large dam and arrived on the Kjolur route. The first thing I thought was 46. According to the map that was the number of kilometers until the bus stop. According to a traffic sign it was 48, which was still better than the 28 km difference indicated yesterday.
The Kjolur road
On the internet I had seen two movies of people who had hiked in Iceland. Those were filmed like they hadn't seen anyone for three weeks, but they weren't real diehards. One had walked over the relatively big gravel road that I had been following from day 12 to the 2nd campsite, where a car passed at least every hour. The second one had been walking over the Kjolur road I was on now, which is a 2 lane gravel road with a car about every 20 minutes.
After walking 4 km over the road I pitched my tent next to a lake. That was quite a challenge. It rained, was windy, the tent was covered in mud, and I couldn't get the pegs into the ground. Eventually I succeeded and managed to get my gear inside and still relatively dry and clean.
It has been raining literally the entire day and my foot still hurt. I hoped the sun would come out the next day. It was still roughly 44 km until the bus stop and I hoped to walk at least 30 the next day. Before going to bed I listened some music, including to "Who'll stop the rain" by CCR.
Distance walked: 31 km