Iceland road trip: And so it begins…

screen-shot-2016-11-18-at-14-50-09After literally YEARS of dreaming about Iceland, and crying incessantly while watching The Secret Life of Walter Mitty on repeat, the final place on my Bucket List was about to be ticked off!

Climbing on to the tiny EasyJet plane, my better half and I were excited to reach the land of fire and ice – Iceland!

We had a one-week tour planned out. Our Happy Campers rental van was sorted, and now we were merely a two and a half hour plane ride away from getting the adventure started!

Or, at least this would have been the case if our plane took off on time… After two and three-quarter hours (15 minutes away from being able to claim compensation!), we were finally no longer stranded on the tarmac but flying through turbulent air!

Before we knew it, we were in our cozy van and on the road! We could tell that if we weren’t a close couple now, we certainly would be after a week in this van.

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It was a very well set-up van with great use of space. The seat in the back folds out into a bed, a gas cooker fitted into a space in the cupboards and a sink with running water. The water was stored in a 20L holder beneath the sink that we filled up daily from the numerous service stations along the way. Clean water was free and readily available, but good luck finding affordable food!

Even in the most budget of supermarkets, 500g of beef worked out to be about £14, four chicken breast were £10 and 12 eggs were £7 – ouch! After studying what Icelanders were shopping for, we discovered that this was a land of people who loved cured meats and cheese.

Fresh fruit didn’t seem to last well in the cold (our yellow bananas would turn black after a day of them sitting in the van), and fresh meat was far too expensive. I guess that’s the trade-off for living in an idyllic island miles away from everyone.

We stocked up on tinned tuna, rice and hardy veggies before beginning our six-day adventure anti-clockwise around the island.

Due to arriving midday, we only had five hours to get on the road and find the first campsite, as Iceland gets pitch black by 5pm this time of year. And when I say pitch black, I mean, ‘can’t see five inches in front of your face’ kind of pitch black. Particularly once you get outside of the city’s lights!

We started at the Happy Camper’s complex near the airport, and drove a couple of hours through Reykjavik to our first campsite in Hafnarfirði (near Selfoss).iceland map 1

Handy tip: Since November 2015, it became illegal for campers to camp outside of campsites! Did not know this until we arrived, which threw our carefree travel itinerary out the window into the stiff North Wind…

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Jodie – the happy camper eating crackers on the fold-out seat/bed

Our first night in the van was… For lack of a better adjective, COLD. If it wasn’t for our thick sleeping bags, we would have had to be chiselled out of an iceberg like woolly mammoths. We did not envy the campers crawling out of their tents in the morning. Why anyone would feel the need to feel that close to Iceland’s nature, I will never comprehend.

We were up early because today I would be going horseriding on Icelandic Horses! Day 2 had arrived! My excitement knew no bounds!

*Special thank you to my better half who took all the amazing photos and video on our trip*