Day 14 – Laugarvatn to Reykjavík and bike drop-off – 60 miles
Beautiful day today. Perfect for the ride back to Reykjavík and dropping off bikes. The lack of rain makes it much less complicated to change to street clothes for the ride. Taking the long way back, we stop by Kerið on the way, a volcanic crater of some depth. I finally dump my bike in the parking lot in full view of an Edelweiss tour group. Some badass.
The ride into Reykjavík was easy. A simple pick-up of our stored luggage at Reykjavík Motor Centre and then back to the hotel to rebalance our gear. We parked on the sidewalk in front of the hotel, no legitimate spots being available, and drew lots of onlookers and questions. It really felt like we’d completed something. Then we were off to the port, exchange paperwork, and ride into the open container. We switched to civilian clothes at the port, took the bus back to the hotel, and then embarked on more souvenir shopping. It’s easier to pick up items now since we don’t have to haul them on the loaded bikes. Warren and Steve hang out at The Drunk Rabbit, awaiting reunification with David and Danny. I make a last-minute stop at the 66°North store to buy the puffy jacket I should’ve purchased at the beginning of the trip and some windproof touch-screen friendly gloves for Christina.
When I meet back up with the group at the pub, David and Danny are there – with a full ace bandage around David’s torso. Turns out his fall off the trike broke a rib. He’s much better now, a week and a half later, but had some very difficult days. Good thing he had so many light travel rest days built-in and Danny to help. Sounds like he went from the bike to bed many of those days. And he wouldn’t have survived some of the washboarded roads we were on, even if they didn’t destroy the trike in the process. It was great to have the entire group back together and share stories of our respective journeys.
We enjoyed a final celebratory dinner at Lækjarbrekka (http://laekjarbrekka.is/), a highly rated classic Icelandic restaurant in one of the oldest buildings in Reykjavík. Absolutely fantastic and a wonderful end to an epic trip. I loved the smoked lamb to start and enjoyed pan-seared lamb with langoustine for the main course. Others enjoyed comfort foods like slow-cooked lamb shanks or pork cheeks. Be sure to check out their Icelandic spin on classic cocktails too.
Warren and I are off tomorrow. The others have rented a car and will explore the Golden Circle as they don’t depart until Sunday.
I notice another saying on the elevator door. Like the earlier quote, it’s from the 1,000-year old Hávamál, or Words of the High One, a collection of Viking-era life tips and sayings attributed to Odin and the second book of the larger saga, the Poetic Edda. It resonates deeply after our two week journey together.
He is truly wise
who’s travelled far
and knows the ways of the world.
He who has travelled
can tell what spirit
governs the men he meets.
- The Hávamál