After a few weeks of settling into the rhythms of life here in Iceland, the time has come to hit the road and break out of the Capital Region, leaving the bright lights of the big city behind in the rear view mirror.
On a number of previous visits, I’ve been able to cover roughly half of the fabled Route 1, a 1300km ring road that girdles Iceland and binds each region to the next.
To date, I’ve made it as far as Husavík’s whale watching waters and the “second city” of Akureyri in the north, through to the Snæfellsnes peninsula and its gargantuan volcanic region that inspired Jules Verne in the west, all the way down to Vík in the south, with its magnificent waterfalls, glaciers and coastal plains.
That leaves half a country unexplored, including the delights of the Westman Islands, the Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon, the winding roads of the Eastfjords, puffin and seal colonies and a multitude of tiny artistic, fishing and farming communities dotting the road ahead, jostling for the attention of my senses.
To say that I’m looking forward to this road trip is an understatement, of course.
There’s a sense of anticipation, mixed with a little trepidation, as my hopes for the trip depend on a few uncontrollable factors, most notably the capricious Icelandic climate, which has delivered a largely tempestuous and chilly May.
But I have a feeling that the weather isn’t going to be a significant factor after all.
Taking “the road less travelled” is suggested as an important path to self knowledge, grace and spiritual well-being, recognising the benefits of being open to new perspectives and alternative realities.
The Ring Road will provide plenty of new perspectives, although it’s very nature will, of course, bring me back to where I was at the beginning of the journey.
It’ll be interesting to see if I have learnt anything by then.