Summer 2004 in Iceland

cactipus

Guest
Anyone know about getting to and riding in Iceland in July? So far it appears that it's possible to take a ferry from Aberdeen that is not too long and apparently after that the roads seeems to be predominantly dirt. More info apprecited
 
Enter 'Iceland' in the search (see top right button) and you'll find quite a lot of info. You could send a PM to Zwerver who was up there with his GS a while back. I've been there but sadly not on the bike - it would be brilliant on the GS if the weather would be a bit kind to you.
Bon voyage :D
 
Yep, it's possible to ride on Iceland in july... and with a GS it is fun! I've been there in 1998, two-up on a 1100gs, together with
my younger sister on a r65 and her boyfriend on a NX650.
The main road around the island, road no 1, is 1500km long, and about half of it is gravel. All other roads are gravel, and with increasing roadnumber, the
surface gets more difficult; more stones, deeper sand, and
unbridged rivers...
All in all we rode some 3500km on the island, off which 500km on tarmacced roads.

We took the ferry from Hanstolm in Denmark to Torshavn on the Faroer, and there we had to wait for two days for the ferry to
Seydisfjordur on Iceland. From Seydisfjordur we went north,
and circumvented the island anti-clockwise following road nr 1,
with some side tours over more diffiicult mountain tracks
along the northern coast to see the Asbyrgy, the Dettifossen, a whalewatchtour at Husavik, and a big seal colony near Skagastrond.

One of the tracks in the north:
948235-M.jpg


In the west we left road 1 again for a side tour to the western peninsulas. There the roads where quite bad.
We took a ferry to Sneafellsness, the small peninsula north of Reykjavik. Except for the mountaintrack up to the Sneafellsjokul
the unsurfaced road where quite easy.
Then east agin back to the 1, which we left for a small track over Thingvellir to Laugar. Doable, but not easy because of the quite rough, loose surface. From Laugar we made a daytrip to Reykjavik over mostly tarmacced roads, and a trip inland to the Gullfossen and the Geysir and a bit furrther inland over the Kjolur
inlandroute to go to see some more Glaciers. All gravelroads, but
no problems until we left the Kjolur for a very bumpy track to the west to the Langjokul, where we turned around when reaching a for us unpassible river; We were quite late in the day so there was a lot of melting water from the glacier making the current quite strong and the water very muddy. And crossing rivers without seeing what's in the water is asking for trouble!
From Laugar we went inland for the most chaleging part of our trip, to the hot springs at Landmannalauger. This was the most amazing landscape I've ever seen, almost as if you are on another planet.

Landmannalaugar:
948229-M.jpg


We decided to take the easy road inland, a mountain track without river crossings... It took us 3 hours for 36 km, riding uphill
over fistthick loose stones and sliding down the other side to get stuck in deep sand... follwed by two small river crossings to reach the camping place. The diffucult road out we took two days later
had 7 or 8 smaller river crossings but was quite easy beacuse there was not much sand or steep hills, which are quite difficult
if you have little off-roadexperience and a fully packed 1100 with pillion...

Marlies and John on our way out of Landmannalauger:
948233-M.jpg


After this adventure we were running out of time and diceded to follow road 1 back to Seyduisfjordur. Most of the 1 was newly tarmacced after the Vulcanoburst under the Vatnajokul and the big flooding afterwards in 1996, but some parts are still gravel, but hard enough to reach 100kmh+ speeds. Only at some road reconstructionworks it was difficult to ride through 20cm of loose gravel for 10+ km.

So it is possible to ride on Iceland; except for some bad parts
the mainroad in rideble for every bike. The inlands roads can get very difficult, but it is your own choice if you want to try them; most must see places are near the ring-road so you do not have to go any further then you trust your bike and riding capabilities.

One of the smaller crossings:
948227-M.jpg


I hope I find some non-riding time this winter to scan some more pics; I've got some 200 waiting...
 
My '95 gs, on TKC80, with Hepco&Becker junior 2 panniers, H&B crashbars, WP +50kg rear Suspension and home made tanksidebags, fully packed with campinggear, fishingrods to survice 5 weeks of out-door living, then at 98k km, with new fitted camshafts.
Revision was ready the day before we left, had to re-tension
the cylinderhead bolts during our stay on the Faroer. Couldnot get hold of an Torquewrench in Torshavn, so we used a 50cm
wrench with a 4 liter can of water to get the 20nm torque...

1062384-M.jpg
 
Thanks for the info. I definitely be coming back in the near future for some more Juicy info. At the moment there are two of us, one GSA and one GS possibly three but the third is going to be on a Honda monkey or something else that we can provide. I must say though given the state of the roads, I'm a bit reluctant to take the better half, as undoubtably it's going to be a siginifant going solo and I'm quite impressed that you managed so well.
Also what is impressive is that considering there are two of you, you don't sem to have a lot of gear, have you got one of those "Tardis" panniers?
Richard
 
Hi Richard,

I definitely be coming back in the near future for some more Juicy info.
At the moment there are two of us, one GSA and one GS possibly three but the third
going to be on a Honda monkey or something else that we can provide.

It's doable with a GS(A), but if you have never gone off-road with it with full
luggage, I would try that at home before going on such a trip.
We had little off-road experience, only what we learned on previous hollidays
to Scandinavia, but compared to Iceland the gravelroads we had done in Norway
and Sweden were quite easy. Last year I did a one day off-road-skills course,
on which I learned some tricks which would have been very usefull for such a trip.
So if you really want to enjoy your trip, be prepared!

I must say though given the state of the roads, I'm a bit reluctant to take the
better half, as undoubtably it's going to be a siginifant going solo and I'm quite
impressed that you managed so well.

To be honest, it wasn't the best trip for my girlfriend; more then half of our time we spend
riding. For us, my sister, her boyfriend and me, as riders every day was an adventure,
trying to survive all these tracks allday, but for my girlfriend as a pillion the only
challenge was not to yell too often, and occasionally help me getting out of the sand
or water when the GS got stuck.
I'm planning to go back in 2005 (in 2004 I want to participate in the Finnish allroadtour)
but then I want to ride solo, with a bit less luggage, so I can try some of the tracks
which were to difficult last time.

Also what is impressive is that considering there are two of you, you don't sem to
have a lot of gear

Because we went with 3 bikes, we divided some of the camping gear; only one coffee-maker,
one set of pans, 2 fuel stoves, one air-pump, one set of tools and tire-repair-kit ect.
We wore Gially jeans with extra protection and heavy (cat c-d) hiking boots; these are more
functional then other mc-gear when you combine riding and hiking.
But still the bike was quite heavy, because we had to be prepared for all kinds of weather.
There are not many (cheap) places to sleep on Iceland, so we decided we would camp all the time.
But camping all the time, combined with unsteady weather, demanding off-road rides and some
daylong hiking trips means you have to bring quite some extra waterproof or fast drying clothing,
a stormproof tent and warm winter sleeping bags.
Besides this we always brought at least a one-day ration of food and water for the four of us,
because we could never be sure we would reach civilisation at the end of the day,
and if we reached it, if it was a civilised enough place to buy food....
Among the other Iceland travellers, with whom we were on the ferry, we grew quite famous;
on the most desolate places they encountered the four "unprepared Dutchman with their to heavely
packed bikes", enjoying another copious picknick...

948232-M.jpg


Most of the camping places on Iceland are quite basic, toilet and cold water, so we tried
to camp near villages with a swimming pool once in a few days. There we could take a shower
(which was mandatory before going into the swimming pool) and warm up a bit; some nights the
temp went below zero and combined with hard winds it was really winter... in august...
Except these neccesary items as extra clothing and winterproof camping gear for two, I brough
some luxery : my fishing rods, some books, photocamera with extra lenses, a lot of film,
some hiking jackets, foldable camping chairs, a small BBQ, one liter of peanut butter
and some bottles of whisk(e)y.

1063097-M.jpg


Luckely I managed not to drop my bike during our trip, I only got stuck several times,
because I don't think I would have been able to lift it up alone...

have you got one of those "Tardis" panniers?

No, I used
a set of Hepco and Becker Junior 2 panniers, 35 and 25 liters,
for my photogear, cooking gear, books, clothing and fishing rods
1 Ortlieb 90l bag,
for the tent, chairs and sleeping bags,
2 10l coleman bags,
for some fleece pullovers
2 20l coleman bags,
for our hiking jackest and trousers
an original
BMW tankbag
for the 2person airmattras +pump
and 2 10 liter sidebags.
for food, water and whisk(e)y
 
Geert,
I'm the other GS going with Richard next year...
I have to say, I'm really impressed with what you achieved given the state of the roads, temperature, weight of the bike (with gear and pillion) and the length of your stay.

Waht did you do for getting petrol? Did you take jerry cans with you too, or could you buy petrol easily enough?

Speaking to Richard today, we were discussing coming over to Holland to meet you and to look at your maps and discuss your trip in *fine* detail!

I really hope you get a chance to scan some of your photos in soon, I'm *really* looking forward to seeing them!

All the best,
John.
 
Bugger! Hopefully going in June

I'm another one with the Iceland bug and was planning to get there 18th June untill i was told the 17th of June is Icelands 60th anniversary of independance from Denmark. Always one not to avoid a party, i now plan to get there 11th June do a week and try to get somewhere inhabited for the party.
Don't take this as gospel but doesn't someone do a service were you can just shove your bike in a container and ship it there, while you can get a flight to meet it in Reykjavik. Something to be considered if time is a factor, and certainly something i aim to do if poss.
HENRY :beerjug:
 
I'm the other GS going with Richard next year...
John, lucky you!

I have to say, I'm really impressed with what you achieved given the state of the roads,
temperature, weight of the bike (with gear and pillion) and the length of your stay.

We were very lucky with the weather, only had some serious rain on arrival,
and near Myvatn and on entereing the Westfjords it was a bit stormy, but most
of the time the weather was great! Although cold at night sometimes...
The weight of the GS with pillion was a problem sometimes; when riding through
deeper sand and gravel you normally accellerate to keep in control of the bike,
but two-up the bike was too heavy to correct; only thing I could do was riding
Leopard II style... just keep going in second gear...
After one week of constant off-roading you get used to it more and more, and after
two weeks it really starts to get funny!

Waht did you do for getting petrol? Did you take jerry cans with you too,
or could you buy petrol easily enough?

Petrol was never a problem, there are enough gas-stations when you keep near the ring-road;
even on the Kjolur- highlandroute there's one halfway... Only in the Westfjords
there aren't many; once came across a sign next station 90km, so always fill up when
you can...

Speaking to Richard today, we were discussing coming over to Holland to meet you
and to look at your maps and discuss your trip in *fine* detail!

Just say when you and Richard want to come over, there's always a place to stay!
My younger sister and her boyfriend went back to Iceland two years ago, this time
on a 80G/S PD and a 80G/S, doing some roads we didnot trust ourselves to do on our
first trip. She wrote two more-page travelreports of her trips for the Dutch
bikemagazine Moto'73 and has a lot of slides, pictures and other info!
My older brother went there in 1990, two up on a 100GSPD, doing a bit more of the inland
with very bad weather; he also can give you some info on how to survive in really
cold and wet conditions....

I really hope you get a chance to scan some of your photos in soon,
I'm *really* looking forward to seeing them!

Halfway november I planned the last camping weekend for this year; next will be a
winterrally in januari next year, so I think I can find some time to scan some
more pics.

Have a good time planning your trip!
(for me reading about a country and scanning/planning possible routes
and must-see places is half the fun of travelling)

Greetings,

Geert
 
Re: Bugger! Hopefully going in June

Henry Mawson said:
I'm another one with the Iceland bug and was planning to get there 18th June untill i was told the 17th of June is Icelands 60th anniversary of independance from Denmark. Always one not to avoid a party, i now plan to get there 11th June do a week and try to get somewhere inhabited for the party.
Don't take this as gospel but doesn't someone do a service were you can just shove your bike in a container and ship it there, while you can get a flight to meet it in Reykjavik. Something to be considered if time is a factor, and certainly something i aim to do if poss.
HENRY :beerjug:

Henry,

be aware that the earlier in the seeason you go, the more chance you have that the inland routes are still unpasseble.
On our trip we went end of july, and came across some dried-up
riverbeds, which would have been unpasseble (for us) earlier in the year when there was still melting water running down...
On our first day we took the route along the northern coast,
and at one point the road turned 90 degrees to the right, entering a riverbed, and followed it some 50 meters downstreams to leave it again with a 90 degree left turn...

For shipping your bike, try

Peet van Dam - Globetrotter Shipping Service
peet.van.dam@mainport-rotterdam.com

Or search this board for Iceland; some months ago I posted some
more handy links....

Greeings,

Geert
 
Here's a few pics I scanned some years ago, not very good quality
because I used a quite ancient scanner, but they can give you an idea of what you can see near the mainroad no 1 ...

South of Egilstadir along route no 1:

1073715-M.jpg


The glacier lake at Jokulsarlon, here the glacier ends in a lake, on which you can make a 1 hour boat tour; we were very lucky, the day started all clouded, but on arrival at the lake, the sun came through...

1073717-M.jpg


The Svarti-waterfall in the Skaftafell national park. IN this park there's a very good campingsite, with a great view on the Vatnajokulglacier:

1073716-M.jpg


This a picture of the Westfjords, where we camped on the "beach" near a hotel in the middle of nowhere...

1073713-M.jpg


And two more pics taken inland, at my favorite place, Landmannalaugar :


1073714-M.jpg


1073718-M.jpg


Greetings,
 
Road No. 1 condition

FYI Road No. 1 is now fully metalled, the whole way round, we were there in Feb 2003. There's still plenty of gravel tracks within spittin distance though....


There is a bus that circumnavigates the Island via Road no. 1, a get-on-and-off-as-often-as-you-like ticket costs around £150.

But that'sa waste of typing 'cos they won't let you on wiv yer GS!

Cogs
 
Dateline 07.06 04

As i sit in front of this computer, the TTR sits in Immingham waiting to be carried off to the Land of Fire and Ice- and Christ i'm excited!!!!!!! It goes on the 10th and arrives on 14th with me flying out on the 15th to meet it at Reykjavik. Then its just pootling around for a whole 20 days. Admittedly around 17 on the bike cos there is the 60th anniv of independance to celibrate, and those that know me know i'm not adverse to a pint if the occasion warrants it.
If anyone else is out there let me know if you fancy meeting up for a pint.
HENRY
 
Just coming back to this Iceland trip, that I've still been unable to get organised. Does anyone know;
1. What would be the latest time in the year when it would be prudent to do a tour of Iceland? and
2. Is it realistic to do it alone and incorporate some off the beten path roads?

Thanks
 


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