It's our last day on the road! It looks like it's going to be another nice day, so we're hoping to get another look at Þingvellir without the rain and fog. We debated about taking 745 around the Skagi peninsula, but after consulting with the proprietor of the hotel and a number of other guests, we decided to forego that opportunity in favor of the Vatnsnes peninsula. It was pretty much a consensus of the group that if you had to choose, Vatnsnes would be the best choice. So, we proceed south on 75 to the Ring Road, highway 1. We pass through Blönduós, where the road turns south. We turned right on 716 and go north until it connects with 717, and on over to 711. We stopped at Hvitserkur and a couple of other spots. At one point we stopped to watch a pair of Golden Plovers guarding a nest in the grass along side the road.
Hindisvik turned out to be a much longer stop than anticipated. Looking across the small bay we could tell there was something on the rocks. It was a rather long walk out there, but about half way out we were able to determine that we were seeing seals lounging on the rocks. As we were making final approach we had to pass through an Arctic Tern nesting area. There were six or eight other people making the trek with us, and several ended up with bloody heads from the Tern attacks.
The seals were further out that it looked from the road, but we were able to climb out on the seaweed covered rocks and get close enough for decent pictures with the telephoto. On the return I remembered to put my hat on to avoid attack. We were passed by a small herd of horses on our way back to the car. We didn't read the sign, actually we didn't find the sign, until we returned to the car and discovered that Hindisvik is known for its seals, horses and a famous Icelandic nature lover reverend Sigurður Norland who lived there until 1971.
After that adventure we pretty much headed straight back toward Reykjavik. We did stop to take pictures of some Arctic Poppies along the roadside at Svalbarð. 72 connected to highway 1 just south of Hvammstangi. From there the road became wider and the traffic increased all the way into Reykjavik. The tunnel under Hvalfjorður is quite impressive. From the overlook on the north side of the fjord you could see the tower of Hallgrímskirkja quite clearly even though it was some 12 miles distant.
By the time we reached Mosfellsbær and the turnoff to Þingvellir the traffic was bumper to bumper and we had a difficult time making the turn. It was worth the side trip because the sun was shining brightly, in contrast to our previous attempt, and there were no more people there than before. We didn't have much time to explore, but we captured at least a taste of what it's all about.
We hurried to our hotel and made it by 6pm, only to find that our room had been given away as the hotel was overbooked. We were re-routed to their sister hotel at the Reykjavik airport. While this was not a total disaster, it was a bit disappointing, because the airport hotel is not nearly as nice and we found that breakfast service was abysmal. We had dinner reservations at Perlan, so we rushed across town, checked into the new hotel, changed and barely made our dinner appointment on time. Dinner was everything we had been led to believe it would be. It was a remarkable experience (remarkably priced, I might add) that I would not have missed.
Next: Reykjavik - The Return