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Riding in the Fjallabak, Iceland, 2007

Sunday: Let battle commence Friday: Destination Iceland

Saturday: Let the good times roll

(knock knock)

Someone is knocking at the door. I open my eyes and see that we appear to have been burgled by drunken versions of ourselves. I feel a bit sick, the room is very hot and smells like a cabbage factory. I imagine I'm making the sort of face someone would make if they found that every Frenchmen that had ever lived was in his head playing in a gigantic brass band and holding a wind breaking competition... and they're all naked. The wind breaking competition seems to have spread outside of my head and into the room. Someone is knocking at the door. Mark wakes up in the opposite bed and looks at me with a face which is a mixture of the following statements, "Did we go out last night?", "You were a noisy *@$!
when you came in last night (he was with me)", "I want to throw up", "I want to throw up on whoever is knocking on that door", all at the same time. Someone is knocking on the door. We then hear the unmistable drawl of Les, "Guys, hello?". Mark opens the door, Leslie and Aaron have arrived and, stepping in through the door to the cabbage factory instantly no doubt wish they were back in Conneticut. The gang are all back together get up and go for a catch up over breakfast.

After breakfast we split up. Aaron and Leslie wanted to build their bikes up, Mark and James were going to wander down to the harbour and I had been told the cathedral was worth a visit as you could climb the tower to get a great view of the capital. I then spent another hour wandering around art galleries (the art festival was on all weekend).

Statue of Leif Eiricsson, son of Iceland and discoverer of Vinland (an area of North America)

Reykjavik cathedral was particularly impressive with a clock tower you could climb up

Another view of the statue of Leifur Eiriksson.
I like this picture as it shows that it wasn't always cloudy and raining!

Photo taken from the cathedral tower, showing downtown Reykjavik. A colourful, slightly damp but great place to visit!

We all met up again around lunchtime and went to show Aaron and Leslie round the downtown area and to buy a few souvenirs. We naturally ended up back in our local again (it was a foul day and we were more interested in catching up than wandering around doing touristy things).

A classic "Haven't we met before?" look from Aaron.

Leslie outside a shop, not sure who the cheeky chappie is.

The bike rocked up but there was no sign of Lewis or E.T. No idea why this bike was here but it was very cool.

Feel free to suggest a witty caption!

In the evening we finally met the rest of the guests on the trip and our guides for the next 7 days riding. There was a young girl called Deborah and a couple called Alan and Cath who were roadies trying something new. Alan and Cath were in their fifties and were ex roadies and time triallists who had come along on rigid bikes...I think we all thought that they would skin us alive! That's pretty hardcore. Our guides for the week would be Niel's and Helka. Niel's was to be the guide on the bike and Helka would be our support vehicle driver. Niel's was telling us that he had done a few Ironman competitions which raised a few eyebrows about how difficult this trip might turn out to be. I think we were definitely in for a surprise, Iceland wasn't really going to be what anyone expected.

For dinner we went to a fish restuarant and, despite a lot of big talking before I left the UK, I declined the local delicacy of shark meat...doesn't sound too bad does it? Oh, just one thing, it's prepared by being buried underground for 6 months to cure it, making it pretty much rotten shark's meat. Apparently, it's an aquired taste! It can't taste that great as when you order it it comes with a large shot of the local firewater, Brennivin (also called Black Death), basically Icelandic Schnapps...and damn strong stuff too.

Quite a good evening meeting folks and chatting. We went to a few of the bars we went to on the Friday night. James got stung in one of them for forty eight pounds for 6 drinks - ouch!

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