Saturday, August 20: This morning, after another wonderful breakfast at Hotel Aldan, we leave the pretty town of Seyðisfjörður to make our way south on the eastern part of the Ring Road. Our destination for tonight is Höfn, a fishing town in the southeastern part of the country. We cross over the pass to Egilsstaðir, where we fill up with gas and buy orange juice, coffee, and snacks. Mike picks up some earplugs so he can sleep despite my snoring. We then head south on Route 1 through Breiðdalur, the longest and widest of the valleys in Eastern Iceland.
As we head south, we go through another pass, and we see majestic views to the south and west. We pull into a gravel pullover to get out and explore. The wind here is fierce and icy. I walk around trying to get decent photos, but the light isn’t good and it seems an exercise in futility.
We do find some cairns left by some hardy souls.
We jump back in the car to escape the wind and cold and continue on our way. I ask Mike to pull over for a couple more photos, but he stays warm and cozy inside the car. He’s already sick, and, though I don’t know it this morning, I’ll be sick by the end of the day. 😦
The low-lying fog makes for spectacular views, but sadly these views don’t come across with the camera.
Much of our drive through this valley is on a gravel road, and it’s a long drive! The Ring Road is definitely not paved all the way around, and this is the longest stretch we’ve encountered. I don’t know how long this unpaved portion of the road is, but it takes us well over an hour, with a few stops, to get back to a paved surface.
We stop at a bridge over the impressive Breiðdalsá river, famous for salmon-fishing, which winds its way across the valley basin to the sea.
We see little civilization in this broad valley, but every once in a while, we find a farmstead and some sheep scattered here and there.
After leaving the valley, Route 1 takes us to the coast at Breiðdalsvík, a town of only 139 people. From this point we will drive along the coast of the North Atlantic Ocean until we reach the little town of Djúpivogur.