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Day 4 – Skagaströnd

The day before, I had a look through the entire collection of leaflets under the coffee table. There was one in German, talking about Skagaströnd. Turns out the rock formation behind our cabin is a great nature walk that skirts the sea. So we made our last day a walk. We didn’t realise how close we were to the sea – just a minute walk led us to a beautiful rocky cove.

The views were great – the snow-capped, mountains crept above, and there were cliffs and rocky beaches facing the Greenland sea. It was pretty cold, but the winter sun coloured the landscape.

Through there were signs informing us about the sealife. I got the feeling this area barely attracted any tourists. Its walkways were hardly worn. We could walk freely over the spongey moss that is so prevalent particularly in this part of Iceland.

The walk is only a few kilometres at most. And we finished by the area where fish processing seemed to, or had, occurred. Typical of a sea-side factory- old machinery, even cars, left to wither in rust outside in the elements. Still, no litter. I took some pictures of the weird murals – one of a man with glasses, one of an older sea-faring man with his weathered face.

The day was clear, which made me hope for a spectacular this evening… but no, no northern lights.

Day 2 – Skagaströnd and Skagi Peninsular

I awoke at 10am – I don’t think I have ever slept for twelve hours! The mountains outside our window had been peppered with snow overnight. We went to the local supermarket, the Samkaup-úrval and tried to buy Icelandic as many things are imported and therefore costly. Pauper’s dinners for the next few days!

Chloe elected to drive. Think she might regret it! We drove around the Skagi peninsula, and all the roads were gravel roads with sheer drops either side (and so where we encountered the Malbik Endar sign). We barely saw anyone. A few active, but mostly desolate farms, hundreds of ponies. Bleak but beautiful landscapes of lavafields with green, yellow, orange and rusty red blankets of moss engulfing rocks that probably haven’t moved for centuries. The scenery was always liable to turn your head. From streams and little waterfalls to unforgiving rocky coast lines and towering mountains.

Some of these roads were riddled with potholes – I’m sure Chloe was aiming for them! And some of the stretch seemed as though they hadn’t been travelled down for some time. A dog (which from a distance, I was hoping to be an arctic fox), was chasing the car which made us panic. Thankfully it was behind fencing. This barely used 745 gravel road meandered through rocky, lunar landscapes, then hugged the Húnaflói coast overlooking islands and columns in the cold, turquoise-blue Greenland Sea. What seemed like a lifetime, we eventually had Skagafjoður on our left. Drangey and Malmey islands continued to watch us as we drove down the coast. Heading to Sauðárkrókur, we saw the sign for a thermal spring, Grettislaug. We forgot our swim costumes but I wanted to look anyway. 16km, the sign said. Yup, 16km of ridiculous pot holes down a ‘road’. I noticed ahead a huge puddle and didn’t want to risk it, so we turned around and headed to Sauðárkrókur to try and find the shipwreck that I wanted to see. We pulled up at a heritage point. The sign had a diagram of an old ship but I couldn’t be sure this was the spot; I couldn’t see a wreck, though perhaps the sea was in? So we turned back and headed on our way to the cabin.

The drive down the 744 was great – huge mountains of a rust colour topped with snow. The temperature was 0°C, with flutters of snow.

Driving down the 74 to Skagaströnd, a dog started chasing the car, and ran towards us. I slammed the breaks, heart pounding. We missed the dog, thankfully, and the farmer and owner of this dog, looked on and carried on with his work, not phased. My legs went all wobbly. So I slashed my speed and carried on at a slower pace. In the clear, or so I thought, I picked the speed back up and noticed a black lump on a drive way. For a split second I thought to myself, jokingly, ‘curled up dog’. I immediately concluded it was a lump of volcanic rock, nothing unusual about such a rock in Iceland. It then animated and started chasing the car! I thought this one could be a goner. It backed off thankfully, panic averted. My head was throbbing. We got to the cabin with all animals unharmed and we proceeded to eat to packs of plain noodles. I don’t think I want to eat noodles again.