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Iceland - Day 2 : 'If it would be someone else I would've thought it was made up'

The next day (well, 4 hours later) I woke up. I freshened up a bit and went downstairs to have breakfast, Henk was already there. He said he hadn't slept the entire night. I ate as much bread as I could as this would likely be my last real meal for the next 3,5 weeks.


We arrived at the airport way too early. When we checked in the man asked if I carried luggage, so I explained how the lady yesterday had told me it would be automatically send to Iceland. The airplane would leave in 1,5 hours. Henk told me he had initially planned to stay in Iceland indefinitely, but not booking a two-way flight would require him to pay an additional 45 euros person tax when he ever fly out of Iceland and he didn't have that kind of money. He also said he studied Japanese.

The flight itself went fine and was not delayed. There was also nice Icelandic music playing because we were flying with Icelandair. After 2,5 hours we were flying above Iceland, which looked beautiful. I saw Vatnajokull, the largest glacier in Iceland.

After we landed I found Henk again, he was at the help desk and the person there told us that our luggage had not arrived yet. If it wasn't on our plane he would 'have a look in the system'. We  kept on waiting at the conveyor belt, but soon it was empty and our luggage was not there. The help desk guy told us he would give us a call if he had figured out where our luggage was. He asked where I was staying so he could sent it there. I said I didn't have any place to stay, all my belongings where in that bag. He said he had no idea where my bag was or how long it would take before it would arrive. I did get a free toilet bag to confirm I now lived at the airport.


Henk and I kept waiting. There was really nothing to do at the airport. Outside was only a parking lot and the driveway to Iceland's ring road. Henk again asked if he could borrow my phone, but if I would give it to him now I would have to explain that its battery hadn't been empty afterall. Eventually, it turned out he had some money after all and used a phone at the airport. A bit layer a guy came to pick him up, he possibly looked even weirder.


By now I was super tired and stressed from all the things that had happened, but there was no place to sit down. The airport was designed in a way to get people out as soon as possible. Downstairs it was a bit less crowded, but there were no benches and clear signs that it wasn't allowed to hang around there. After much searching I found the ideal resting spot: it was quiet, nobody could see me, and I could lay down quite easily. If I really had to state a disadvantage it would perhaps be that it was on the floor of the bathroom stalls. I lay down on my jacket and texted Bart what had happened. He texted back 'If it would be someone else I would've thought it was made up'. You can say whatever you want, but 1,5 hours later I felt a lot better.

By now three hours had passed since the guy from customs started searching for my luggage. Luckily he had some news, my bag was still in Amsterdam, but would be in Reykjavik around 15:30. That was strange, maybe it was held back because of my (empty) stove or the kilos of powdered food. I knew there was a real risk that would happen, but had decided to give it a try so I didn't had to figure out where to find proper hiking food in Iceland.


It was around noon, so I still needed to wait 4 more hours. I bought a kilo of peanuts, which meant I would have enough food to eat 2550 kcal/day during my hike. I also bought a lighter as backup for my magnesium stick, to make sure I could light my stove. After brushing my teeth for the third time out of total boredom it finally was 4 o'clock.


The lady  at the desk told me my bag had arrived. I was curious if anything had been removed. When she brought it over she said it was very heavy, that was true, but I still needed to add 5 kg worth of granola, gasoline, and water. Luckily nothing had been taken out of my backpack, but it did have 20 extra tags on it. Likely it had already lived through as much as I had.


Now I just needed to find gasoline to fill my stove with. I got on the bus to Reykjavik, which drove over the only large road in Iceland. It was just two adjacent 2-lane roads with no emergency lane, guard rail, or traffic signs. There also was only one row of street lights. The landscape was amazing, it was all moss and solidified lava.

I expected to arrive at a large bus station in Reykjavik, but it was only a small building.

reykjavik bus station

The bus station in Reykjavik

There was a gas station close by so I decided to give it a go. I was laughing, because I had never tanked gas before, and now it was in Iceland to fill up my camping stove.


I needed two hands to fill my petrol bottles, which didn't really work as I also needed to press the handle on the hose. While I was fumbling a car parked next to me. Those people looked pretty confused, especially when I emptied the water out of one petrol bottle in the garbage. I think they thought it contained gasoline. Eventually I had paid way too much and spilled more gasoline than was safe, but managed to collect enough for 3-4 weeks. Afterwards I went back to the bus station to verify that my planned bus connections would work out. 


Then it was time to find the local campsite and get some real sleep. I asked for directions and the person confirmed I was headed in the right way. He said I could also take the bus to 'Largufrukipliduluk', I had no clue what he said so decided it was better to walk. Using my GPS it wasn't hard to find it.

At the campsite they of course sold coleman fuel, which meant I had gone through the trouble of filling my stove for nothing. I pitched my tent and called home for what might be the last time in quite a while. I ate dinner and took a shower, using water that smelled like rotten eggs. Apparently all the warm water in Iceland is derived from hot springs.

campsite in reykjavik

The campsite in Reykjavik

I had to get up early again the next morning. I was tired from everything that had happened. In hindsight I definitely should have taken the earlier flight and left my stove at home. However, then I would have landed around midnight and would have had to wait almost an entire day to catch the bus driving inland. This was also my first time flying alone and with hiking gear, so I just didn't really know what to expect. Fortunately everything worked out, I just had to  make sure to eat enough and start out slowly the following days

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