The land of ice and fire – a camping road trip round Iceland

Back in the days before we had babe, hubby and I did a two-week camping expedition around Iceland. It was one of the most amassing, thrilling holiday experiences of my life. Soon after I set about writing a post holiday diary to record all the funny moments, in case the memories of the trip should start to slip in my old age. As Iceland has been hot in the press recently (did you like that pun?) I thought it might be an entertaining series of posts to share with you.

An old volcanic crater

Oh how we’d learn to love the Suzuki Leona…if only we knew
In June 2007, hubby and I (he was my boyfriend at the time) flew out of London to Iceland, early one Saturday morning. Walking out of the airport doors, we stumbled over to the hire car parking area, bristled by the wind as we went, set off by the moody grey skies over head. I was feeling rather apprehensive at this point, because we we’re off to discover what the internet bargain had bought us. I was particularly apprehensive as I had taken responsibility for booking this bit of the holiday. It stated VW golf or equivalent, but what was the Icelandic’s equivalent of the trendy european hatch back? A plush sled with built-in CD player and heated seats? Luckily, that was not to be, we ended up with a Suzuki Leona with 4WD, which later, we we’re real glad of as hubby inadvertly took us driving off-road up to the nose a glacier.  Anyway back to it – we threw the rucksacks in the boot, readied the CDs and maps, and set off through the spitting rain. This was to be the start of our very big 13 day adventure in Iceland, with highlights that included Orca whale watching, snow mobiling and jaw drpping scenery.

Journey from the airport and map reading issues
We got on the main road leaving the airport, to drive through some really strange barren landscape of undulating lava field covered in a mossy lichen type vegetation, flanked by the sea on our left hand side. Hubby (then BF), the driver and fellow mischief-maker, better know for the duration of this holiday as Mr Mischief or Bumble Foot was frantically fiddling with all the nobs and switches he could lay his hands…’where is the indicator?!’ Meanwhile I cautiously looked through the various books and maps to try to establish the route we needed to join to head for our destination of the day, Borganes. This involved leaving Kelflafik airport, navigating round/through Reykjavik and heading North on the ring road round, Route 1. For those who don’t know me, I’m terrible at map reading, particularly when I have the added pressure of a tired impatient driver demanding instructions for the next turn.  Generally the journey through and round Reykjavik was pretty uneventful, at least we didn’t have any catastrophes or else I would have remembered them.

Rekjavik sky line

Not like the time when we we’re driving through the Canadian Rockies on the way to the dinosaur museum in British Columbia or was it Alberta – I dunno – never mind. Well that was going to be a journey that neither hubby or I will forget. My poor map reading skills stood true to form. We ended up travelling four hours in the wrong direction. By the time we had turned back and actually got to the darn museum, it was middle of the afternoon. Plus to tee it all off, the whole attraction was all rather rubbish. I’m sure when I’m eighty odd, hubby will continue to remind me of this and revel in sharing it with our other oldie friends.

More on our journey to Borganes soon…


7 thoughts on “The land of ice and fire – a camping road trip round Iceland

  1. Claire Duberry says:

    LOL – Best one to date!!
    We were suitably entertained!!

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