Over the course of the next few weeks, I’ll be posting a tastefully-edited version of the journal I kept during the time I spent in Iceland. You can find all the entries and more on the “Iceland Transcribed” page.
After I got up and packed a day bag, I made for the pharmacy. Turns out, shin splints need to be wrapped.
The day was cold and foggy and gray, and for several hours I couldn’t shake the weight of depression – because I’m sure that’s what it is – and any kind word or gesture would send me into tears.
As I worked my way to the campground and hiking area, the sun began to shine, little by little. And as I followed the gravel hiking trail, I felt so, so much better.
It was an easy track, not at all challenging. I followed it back to the edge of town, with the intention of following the path along Glerá [glare-ow] river up to the trail head to Súlur mountain.
That didn’t happen.
My hiking boot broke.
On the right boot, the bottom rubber had almost completely torn away from the sole, attached only by the toes.
I decided to head back to the hostel and get some lunch (and a different pair of shoes) before doing anything else.
Mom recommended shoe glue or super glue for my boot, but none of the shops downtown had any glue at all. A convenience store had Krazy Glue, so we’ll see how well that works. (Traveler’s note: it doesn’t.)
It looked like there was some sort of event going on along the main street, so I went to scope it out. Food trucks were parked in a circle in the city square, and games for kids were set up. A band was preparing a stage, and I could hear an announcer from a side street. I found a place serving beer for 500 ISk, so I stepped in and caught the last song of a live band, singing in English about moving away from home.
The beer was cheap and light, but palatable, so I finished it and ignored the amazing smells of waffles wafting from the kitchen. Back at the hostel, I ate frozen pizza after walking 11.7 miles today. Boo.
Also, someone is stealing my food. I had an unopened box of crackers and my remaining bread go missing, and the grocery store doesn’t open until 10 tomorrow, which ever so slightly interferes with my plans to hike Súlur mountain in the morning. I can’t easily do that on an empty stomach.
I’d also like to hike to the hut that’s in Glerádalur [glare-ow-dahl-ur] valley. It’s about six miles in, seven miles back. it would be an overnight, definitely the most challenging hike I would have ever done.
Mom says she would have done it in a heartbeat.
Do I trust myself that much?
Akureyri is very different from Reykjavik. It’s built on Esyafjordur [ehs-ya-fyor-dur], so it’s steep and hilly. It’s a good deal more windy here, too, making the rare sunny days like today feel cold and crisp. The buildings are typically wooden, with pointed roofs and Victorian-era type eaves and awnings. It’s strange seeing them mixed in with the occasional cement block of a building.
The people, while still friendly, are more likely to greet me in Icelandic rather than English, and this city doesn’t seem to be as pedestrian-friendly: it’s more of a “whoever gets in the intersection first gets to go” mentality, whereas in the capital drivers will go as far as to slam on their brakes if anyone is at a crosswalk.
Will I still walk this much when I return home?
Will I always miss home this much?