Cycling around Iceland – Part 3

Iceland, Travel

It was a beautiful sunny day. In fact it was so hot I could feel how I will get sunburned but it was totally enjoyable. One of those days that fills you with warmth and makes you happy.


Day 3 – Borgarnes – Budardalur

During breakfast the “campsite receptionist” arrived to collect the fees. After I packed and prepared, but before moving on the way to Budardalur I went back to the town for supplies and then the day could start. I said goodbye to the extremely friendly Icelandic family I met the previous night and continued on the main road.


The road was absolutely enjoyable, no climbing, sun shinning, little wind and the views were so beautiful.


I knew though that there is a big climb coming later on in the day. There was a more than 10% grade to climb followed by a 8%+ one for about 3-4 kilometers. I was still fresh and lacked the strength so those climbs were a huge challenge (read pushing up the hill here). Because of that I was saving my energy.



A field of lava that has cooled down and over time became covered in green moss. It was as a see of waves frozen in time.

A field of lava that has cooled down and over time became covered in green moss. It was as a see of waves frozen in time.


The heap of black ash was bigger than it looks on the photo. At the base where the erosion was less moss had started to grow.

The climb

I was approaching to point of the climb. Just before I stopped for my midday break and some nourishment with a magnificent view back at the valley where I just came from. The road was fairly quiet now as I had moved away from the number one road.


The climb was very difficult for me. Really steep and long. I pushed most of the first section with intermittent starting and stopping (which is not great for your muscles). The less steep section at around 8% I managed to climb on few long bursts. It was colder and windier at the higher altitude and I was glad when I reached top with a very long downhill following the painful (and rewarding) push up.

The wind on the downhill was quite strong at the top but died down towards the bottom. I stopped to take some photos and immediately the air filled with flies right in my face. I left the photos and started cycling again. The flies couldn’t keep up as long as my speed was above 15-17km/h.


The ride continued and after some really beautiful sections where I just enjoyed it without stopping I finally made it to Budardalur. I could see the rain clouds gathering so the tent was pitched immediately and everything inside set up. I was ready for dinner so jumped over to the nearby gas station for provisions. An apple was the treat for the evening, pasta and some eggs that I boiled for the following day as well.

I made a friend at the campsite as well. Didn’t get her name but she was very friendly (and photogenic):



The 5 minute shower

The guy responsible for the campsite came over and after covering my sleeping fee I asked about the showers. There were showers but you paid for 5 minutes. Receiving a ticket one could put it in a reader that then actives the shower for 5 minutes and it stops after. It was a hot and long day so I decided to have one, prepared all my shower stuff and clothes and went to the cabins. The available shower’s door was not locking, but after some trying a guy that was sitting outside and waiting for his girlfriend to finish showering told me he would just tell people that it is occupied.

I got in, undressed, prepared soap etc. and then put the ticket in. The shower started and I jumped in, very quickly soaped up (literally it took me half a minute maximum) and then the water stopped. I was completely covered in soap, sitting naked in the shower. I tried to put the ticket again but nothing happened. The shower lasted no more than 1 minute and the guy responsible for the campsite had left (they didn’t stay near the campsite).

I put my tiny lightweight travel towel around my waist and went outside (the guy’s face was priceless at that point). I quickly tip-toed to the toilet (separate from the showers) and locked myself inside. There was a tiny sink in the toilet so I started splashing water on myself to wash off the soap. After a few mins it was done and I put my towel again and tip-toed back to the shower where my clothes were and dressed.

Not the best shower I’ve had but I was still very glad to have had it. It later became a point of conversation with a polish guy who was staying there with his family and we had a good laugh about it.

It was a great third day in Iceland and I was slowly developing a rhythm. The weather had been merciful to me and I was very thankful for it and I knew that it won’t last much longer.

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