Day began very wet and windy, after a night of rainfall onto the tent, with the camping ground starting to develop puddles.
The recent weather forecast had been good for our last few days in Iceland, but todays weather turned out to be the worst we have encountered on our journey – and it doesn’t look any better for the rest of our time here now……
After breaking camp, we drove up to the top end of Heiðarvegur to the Icelandic Wartime Museum in Reyðarfjörður, where during World War II around 3000 Allied soldiers – about 10 times the local population – were based. The building is surrounded by mines, Army Trucks, aeroplane propellers, etc..
The museum is tucked behind a rusting set of army barracks, built as part of a hospital camp in 1943 but never used for that purpose. No Icelanders actually fought in World War II; however, many locals were killed at sea bringing large shipments of fish over to the UK. Unfortunately the museum was closed in the morning, so we only had the opportunity to walk around the base. Apparently, a Norwegian Air Force team formed part of the Allied Troops stationed here – pity we could get inside to find out more.
We then drove via Eskifjörður to Neskaupstaður, which apparently is a twin town of Stavanger, Norway – so we just had to go there and take a closer look. The weather on this relatively short drive was atrocious, with driving rain, very low visibility / low cloud, very strong / significant gusts of wind (26 m/s).
However, we didn’t find too much in common between Neskaupstaður and Stavanger – other than the pouring rain and driving winds !!!!
We then drove to Egilsstaðir, where we first called at the Information Centre, to gain details of local accommodation options. Luckily, we gained the very last room in the Edda Hotel, which was a great relief to all, as the weather conditions outside had not really improved, and we really needed to get clean and sorted. Neil is also still not fully recovered, so he was also looking forward to a good nights sleep.
After securing accommodation for the night, we eat lunch in town, before moving into the hotel room. Strangely enough, we eat at the same restaurant café “Salt” and sat in the same seats – strange déjà vu coincidence.
The rest of the afternoon / evening, was spent in the hotel room, reorganising, washing, cleaning, sorting, resting.
For everyone, it felt quite strange to be back in Egilsstaðir, where 3 weeks ago, our Iceland adventure began. I think we can’t believe we have just driven the whole way around Iceland, including where possible some of the central highlands. I think we all feel the same way, that this is not the last time we will be in Iceland – further future Iceland adventures awaits….