Sunday, June 27, 2010

Greetings from Iceland via Matthew and Eric

Hi Mom and Dad,
Tuesday June 29th, 2010

Right now we´re in Reykjavik staying at the Reykjavik City Hostel. We rode into
town around 9am local time and prepared for a day full of errands. First we each
got a bike box at the bike shop, then we got some food, and then we mailed all
our climbing gear home to Berea in a big red box. We each had a pair of boots,
harness, rope, and other climbing gear that we used on Hvannadalshnukur but won´t need any more this summer. It was kind of expensive to mail but it´s worth it not to have to carry it for the rest of the summer. The post officer said it would take 1-2 months to get to Kentucky. Whenever it gets there, could you ope
n it up?

Tomorrow morning we´re flying out of Keflavik at 7:55am (local time) and
getting to Rovaniemi, Finland at 5:00pm local time. We might stay at a
campground in Rovaniemi or start biking. The reason we chose to fly into there
was because it´s the cheapest airport that gets you close to the Arctic
Circle. From Rovaniemi it´s about a 4 day ride to Norway.

In Iceland here it rained a little bit every single day the past week and never
seemed warm. I don´t know how people live here when it´s 55 degrees and
raining during the warmest time of year. We always started out biking in a
whole bunch of layers and then de-layered. A couple days ago when it was really
windy and cold we found this awesome cave a few miles off the road on the
southernmost cape in Iceland. It was about as big as Devil´s Kitchen. The next
morning we had a huge tailwind and got to 35 mph on flat ground. There were
sandstorms everywhere blowing the volcanic dust all over the pla
ce. We just
closed our eyes when a big gust blew the sand at us. Then of course it started
raining but once again we found a cave to eat lunch in.

It´s been really hard to find a place to camp because there aren't any trees
around here to hide behind, unlike anywhere else we've camped. A few days ago
our luck ran out and we couldn't find anyplace to camp so we decided to stay
at a campground which should cost $9 per night. But the campground host never
showed up and there wasn´t a box to collect money so we didn´t have to pay.
So over the past 7 days the only thing we spent money on was food.

The wind has been pretty hard to deal with around here. Sometimes it will be
blowing from the SW in the morning and then change to NE in the af
ternoon and
that will cut our speed in half. But it´s fun when we have a big tailwind.

The people are really nice around here and everyone speaks English. Sometimes
when we´re dressed normally we kind of blend in and people will talk to us in
Icelandic first. We´ll say ´tak´ and then they´ll go on thinking we´re
from Iceland. It´s weird being able to blend in unlike in China or India or

uhoh, looks like my internet time is about to expire, i´ll send this email and

then sign up for more minutes. Matthew

More news from Eric via Petek
Eric said they have been shopping at grocery stores the whole time. They found dried fish (similar to our concept of beef jerky) - I think it must have been hardfiskur - and had that as a supplement to dinner. Apparently it's pretty good!

It's evening there now, so they were about to go to dinner. As you know they fly out tomorrow, and are probably going to start biking right away when they get to Finland - though it seemed like they were not 100% set on that, they might take a rest day there first. I think they must be looking forward to facing less wind and warmer temperatures.

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