Dan's Sing Around Iceland cycle tour – first leg!

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Hello all! Here's the first proper account of my cycle trip round Iceland, after a little over one week's cycling round Snaefellsnes, some unseasonal and untypical good weather, and some hardcore offroading! Hæ to all Icelandic viewers, and Hello to all you good folks at home!

The Finest Workhorse

The Finest Workhorse

Rachel* – plus luggage and flag – in familiar pose by the side of the road. Looks like a proper touring machine, doesn't she?

Sorry for such a long wait for my latest update – shouldn't be surprised that internet access is harder to come by than I'm used to (though in fact perfectly possible as the whole country is dotted with tourist signs showing, amongst everything else a visitor could want, the @ symbol at interweb-equipped locales), but finding enough time to check emails, keep in touch and look for info, AND upload pics at a sensible speed, at a convenient time of day, and at an affordable cost, is harder to fit into my schedule than I imagined (I spent 1500Kr, or about eight pounds fifty, on internet usage on Monday and still couldn't find how to log into my own webage's email!) Time to take an afternoon off, spend some kronur and let y'all know how I'm doing.

Peak District, eat your heart out!

Peak District, eat your heart out!

So reminiscent of the Monsal Trail – but this scenery is BIG. And you turn another corner and there's a whole lot more of it.

Pretty well, actually – there are pluses and minuses but so far I am healthily in credit on most fronts! I've passed my first objective (cycled round Snaefellsjökull, or the volcano Jules Verne wrote of in Journey to the Centre of the Earth), trekked up a river valley to see Iceland's highest waterfall (the amazing twin falls of Glymur, at 190m.. ), met some good friends old and new, relaxed, exercised, explored, and encountered many different weathers – and done over 570km of my trip so far! I'm in touch with Icelandic radio (Andri's midmorning show from 9-12 on Ras 2 – their equivalent of Radio 2, but with a more modern and more adventurous musical remit), and am looking forward to my first feature in Icelandic print in two weeks' time (The Reykjavik Grapevine, a refreshingly liberal English and Spanish fortnightly publication that aims at polyglottal locals, visitors and ex-pats alike) – a bit of TV or mainstream news couldn't hurt though! By far the most effective tool for publicising my trip has been Facebook though, with the Kvennakor Kopavogs (Icelandic choir), Ljosið, friends and family all supporting me and helping spread the word – this trip is indeed proving to be expensive and it does help having a meal and a bed for the night rather than having to put up a tent, trying to cook on a tiny stove, warm up and brew up in the morning and pack it all up before I can leave the next day!

... and my first campsite. Not a bad introduction to sleeping rough in Iceland!

My first campsite, in Kjos, perhaps 30 miles from Reykjavik. Not a bad introduction to sleeping rough in Iceland!

Carry on to find out more about my trip so far... (next page)

(* I'm told every steed should have a name, and seeing as I created Rachel from the bare bones of frame and forks, maybe she should be called Eve.. however for historical reasons (and frankly because it's a name I quite like), Rachel is the name she shall henceforth bear! No resemblance to persons living or dead, real or fictitious, etc. etc.)

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8 comments on “Dan's Sing Around Iceland cycle tour – first leg!”

  1. Freyja Ólafsdóttir wrote:

    Hello Daniel.
    Thanks for being so kind to us and We in Leifsbúð hope you have a good time in Iceland.
    Best wishes from, Freyja 😉

  2. Patrick wrote:

    Dan wrote: ... 570km of my trip so far ...

    Nice going Dan. In good voice too I hope.

    ... [rebuilding a bike] a worthwhile experience, time-consuming but I'd recommend it to anyone who cares about their bike ...

    Especially if you go long-distance touring. 'Rachel' is looking good, and those are impressive photos from a mobile phone. You seem to have picked the right time of year for your trip.

  3. Kern wrote:

    'Rachel' does look good, and capable of handling as much punishment as the roads can dish out. I'll be interested in following your journey. Iceland is on the list of "nice to do someday" destinations.

  4. Hilary wrote:

    I hadn't realised the photos are from a mobile phone, they certainly are impressive. Lovely to see pics of Iceland with blue sky. You and Rachel are looking good. Do you sing while cycling? I would imagine that that landscape and a baritone go very well together! 🙂

  5. Chris wrote:

    Yes they are very good photos. I didn't know you could capture images at 2048 x 1536 with a mobile phone. I'm so out of touch 🙁

  6. Mary wrote:

    Wonderful post Dan.

    LOVE Rachel, she has a very solid name for a good strong gal. Love reading your story, and I wish you so much joy for your trip ahead. ONe good thing about having a good singing voice is that of all the instruments to carry about on a bicycle, its gotta be the easiest and lightest to carry with you!

    Your pictures are fab too. I cant ever figure out how to access Cycleseven when I am away from my laptop, so to do it in another country using another language, you have my deepest respect Sir! 🙂

    Looking forward to your up dates when you are able to do them.

  7. Janet wrote:

    It all makes Otley Road look like a picnic in the park, doesn't it? or a pinprick on the skin!

    We are immensely proud parents as you might imagine. I wonder where you get such originality and tenacity from?

    Glad to know you are getting singing engagements and beds for the night. The people of Iceland are clearly very kind and generous. I can understand why you have fallen in love with the country.

    Pity about the camera, but I agree, the ones taken with your phone are excellent. We look forward to a virtual trip round Iceland when you return to the UK.

    Be careful, look after yourself and have a wonderful time! 🙂

  8. Darryl and Lesley wrote:

    Hello Dan
    I dunno if you will mind us but we sat next to you on the plane from Glasgow to Iceland. You filled us with very interesting titbits on Iceland and we were on our way to Greenland.
    It looks like you had a fab time cycling around Iceland. Hope it was all what you hoped for.
    We had a great time ourselves... we were in a canoe in the middle of the sea, just the two of us and we witnessed a huge iceberg come crashing down! Scarey but exciting!
    Take care

    – Hi Lesley, Hi Darryl! Yes I remember you and I´m glad you had such a good time! I think all of us are having experiences to remember for a lifetime. Good to hear from you, take care and hope you get to enjoy a bit more of Iceland sometime (and that I get to Greenland too at some point!) Dan

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