Amory and I set off Thursday morning for our 3 week bike adventure in Iceland.
After a 7 hr flight over Hudson Bay and Greenland, we skimmed over the lava fields of southwest Iceland. We decided to set up our bikes at the airport. What a silly idea! The plan was to bike the boxes to the campsite to store them, but the highwinds and trucks blowing by made that impossible, so we walked 1km to the campsite with the boxes on our backs.
Despite not having slept in 24hrs (well, a little bit on the plane), we decided to kick jetlag by bike 48km to Reykjavik. We stopped in Keflavik for a groggy lunch. Sticking our heads into what may be described (in guidebooks) as a worker´s canteen, we saw a row of steam tables piled with roast lamb, fried pork chops, chicken thighs. And boiled sheeps head. Guess what we had?
The sheep´s head came with baby potatoes and turnip mash. It was succulent, fatty and tender and Amory inhaled it so fast I didn´t get to take a picture.
The first 26 km was beautiful. I looked right and there was a craggy lava plane stretching off to a line of volcanic cones and dark eroded hills. I smelled seaweed and looked left to the coast line, stretching off to Reykjavik.We stopped at a picnic table by Hvassahraun, which were a couple lava bulges with deep crevasses in the middle of a plain of gray lichens and low, shrubby heath.
We got lost and bumbled through the outlying suburbs of Reykjavik for a couple hours, but finally made it into the campground. We set up camp and nearly fell down catatonic, but were saved by hunger. After a quick burger, sleep cleaved upon us.
This morning, we went into town…and I got harkarl at the fleamarket. Oh yes, this is the fermented Greenland shark I´ve been telling everybody about, and it did not disappoint. The small container of fish cubes was labelled ‘Cheese shark.’ Sitting on a hill above the harbor, I opened it and released a smell of dead whale. There was dark meat and white meat, succulent juicy, that went in sweet and then immediately clawed up my throat with a feeling of ammonia wasabi. The taste is strongest on the exhale. Then the back of my throat went numb.
Ok, look forward to it, I´ll bring back samples. Until the next post…