June 30, July 1: We are in picturesque Husavik, the “Whale Watching capital of Europe”.
Everyday we learn more about Iceland. The population of Iceland goes like this. First are the sheep, second are horses and a distant third are people, tourists outnumbering Icelanders by a huge margin. I have nothing to back this up but we have dodged free-range sheep and no people.
We drove through the densely forested area of Iceland. It took 15 minutes. That’s an exaggeration, 10 tops. So here is an Icelandic joke.
What do you do if you are lost in an Iceland forest?
Answer: Stand up.
If you have visited Iceland, you’ll get this, if you haven’t you need to know Iceland with all its vastness has almost no trees. No one has been able to give me a definite answer why. Perhaps the regular volcanic eruptions and ash, maybe the glaciers, maybe the long, dark winters, maybe Vikings or Trolls.
Next, we were under the impression (I’m sure I read this somewhere) that Highway 1 is asphalt all the way around Iceland. Well, it’s not. I turned the driving over to Ed and we had several hours of gravel-make that muddy- road. We also detoured onto 87 to get to Husavik on a shorter route which turned out to be a slower route because of the road conditions. But we learned something else. All the gas stations we have encountered have free self-serve car wash. It’s needed now in summer and I am sure this is worse in the winter. We have already washed the mud off our car twice! Not so worried about the car, but every time we get in or out, we get mud on ourselves.
So Husavik. It was primarily a fishing town, but now, the main economic support seems to be a perfect tourist destination for whale watching. It was windy, cold, and misty but I decided to go. Ed, being the smarter, stayed in the hotel. This was the restored wooden boat I went on.
I was hoping to see Puffins since our trip went to Puffin Island. The Puffin part was a disappointment. We saw hundreds of Puffins in the air and in the distance on the island but we were never close enough to get photos. I may end this trip with no Puffin photos. Whales on the other hand performed beautifully, my photos were not good because I was so excited to see them, that I was too late with my camera. You’ll have to trust me. I saw a lot of whale and got wet and cold from waves breaking over the bow of the boat. Define fun.
The day ended with dinner at the charming, water front Gamli Baukur restaurant made of driftwood. I can only say the atmosphere was better than the food.
Tomorrow across the top and on to Skagafjorour.