Getting Lost Along the Coast of Iceland, Western Peninsula
To start off our road trip, I had planned to drive down along the southern coast going counter clockwise around the island, while stopping to see the beautiful Golden Circle visiting Pingvellir National Park, Gulfoss Waterfall, Geysir, and Krid Crater and ending at Hellisholar Cottages. That was the plan.... but basically all things that could fail, did. After a long crazy, hazy night of partying in Reykjavik, we barely made it alive to our 8:00AM rental car pick up time. I was dying and probably suffering from mild liver failure, so Hanhwa took the reins to our electric blue rental car. We navigated our way to Þingvellir National Park via car GPS. Keep in mind, this was the only Þingvellir that popped up on our GPS. We had to stop a couple of times because of my sickness and to hack out my breakfast and the burgers from last night (or morning?), but whenever I was finally halfway alive, I got up 3 hours later to find ourselves in icey and snow filled mountains. What the fuck. Where the fuck are we?! It should have taken us one hour to get to the park so I was confused as to where we were... I zoomed out on the GPS map and realized that we were mapped way the fuck up northwest of the island in the completely opposite direction towards Snæfellsnes Peninsula going to Þingvellir FARM... WHAT. THE. FUCK. WHY THE HELL ARE WE GOING TO A FARM AND WHY THE FUCK IS THE GPS TAKING US THERE AND NOT TO THE REAL ÞINGVILLER!? Everyone please note: in Iceland, DO NOT trust GPS, it ain't no GoogleMaps. Hanhwa and I learned a very important lesson to never trust technology too much. So the rest of the trip we used an old fashioned paper map and a compass to get around this island. Honestly, this is all you really need.
By this time, daylight was already halfway gone, so we had to rearrange our whole trip's itinerary. There was no way we were going to make it back to the southern coast by now. Luckily, it was still considered low season at this time, so after making a few phone calls, the cottages we booked were extremely understandable and flexible and allowed us to rearrange all our bookings around. So now the plan was to spend the day along the western peninsula then head back down south tomorrow via western fjords.
We found a map at a gas station (probably the only gas station in the whole western peninsula) with a friendly lady who circled the best view points with the time frame we had left with the sun. We made many stops along the western peninsula admiring the volcanic surroundings. The scenery seemed like a backdrop to a magical fairytale with black volcanic rocks and colorful moss of greens and oranges juxtaposing the never ending water along the cliffside beaches and the supernatural energy of Snæfellsjökull glacier (where Journey to the Center of the World was filmed).
Once the sun start to set, we headed to Stykkishólmur (famous for whale watching) for the night. Because it was a Sunday, everything in the city was literally closed by sunset: restaurants, stores, banks... everything. We were starving since we only had breakfast (and I threw up my breakfast on multiple occasions along on the road... don't ask), so we ended up at the only place open... Pizza. Fuck yes. It was exactly what we wanted. After a couple of beers from our suitcase filled stash of alcohol from duty free, we slept so well in our hostel along the habour at Habour Hostel.
Early morning, we headed out to see an unreal sunrise at the chapel and at the highest viewpoint within the city. Here, we tried to catch some whales, but it was a silent morning where we cherished and basked in the melting colors of the sunrise... Despite the extreme detour, I was still very excited to see what else Iceland had to offer since what we saw already in one day was just simply beautiful.
Now off to drive along the western fjords down to the southern coast... I really and deeply hoped that it was smooth sailing from here on out.... but maybe I spoke too soon.