We're in Hot Water
Yesterday after our hike amongst the bubbling streams coming out to the mountains in southern Iceland, we headed back home to pack and move. It is a common occurrence for us and we're very quick at it. Even faster when we have traveled by airplane rather than our vehicle because we (again, the queen's we, meaning I) pack much lighter.
Why can't I travel lightly all the time. We, and this time I mean almost all of us, especially in the U.S. expand to fill the spaces which we have. I don't want to get all preachy here, but for myself, I have to wonder why I need all the "stuff" that is filling garages and a storage room in our absence. I might need "it" someday. Truly, I might. And how am I to know what I will need and what I will never use again. I don't want to have to re-buy it, so I keep it all.
Back to the story, so I'll have to think on the question above some other time. That's usually what happens and then I conveniently forget to think about it again until we're back home in our garage looking for something stored away.
We had looked at some of all of the many options of destinations to visit in Iceland. We're only here only for eight days, so how to choose? We only wanted to drive 3 - 5 hours and we wanted to stay in a place that would have options for a day trip or two. We also needed to be able to find an Airbnb (or hotel, but that is always the last option for us) that fit our budget. When you are living on the road as we are, versus vacationing, at least a rough budget has to be considered unless you are infinitely wealthy, which we are definitely not.
We found what looked like an interesting spot in the small town of Hólmavík, It was the right distance and according to Wikipedia it "is a small town in the western part of Iceland, by Steingrímsfjörður. It is the largest settlement in Strandir County and it serves as a centre of commerce for the county. Hólmavík is part of the Strandabyggð municipality and has 375 inhabitants. Get that - largest settlement with 375 people AND, it is the center of commerce for the county! Much like New Zealand, there are more sheep in the area than people.
These sheep look ready for winter. They are spread far and wide over vast landscapes, and they are usually only in groups of 2 - 5. Where could their shepherds be?
Hólmavík is by the way, absolutely charming. it has one grocery story, about five choices of guest houses and hostels to stay, one gas station, one church, a marina with fishing boats, a whale watching boat which goes out twice a day, and one state liquor store. Also of note is that it has a small museum on Icelandic Sorcery and Witchcraft. Not my cup of tea so I'll skip that one. However, one interesting fact I read about it is, that contrary to many countries, the sorcery hunts which happened for about 50 years in the 17th century, and the subsequent punishment of those found to be guilty were mainly men - only one woman is documented.
The lovely spacious guest house we are in has five rooms and surprisingly, last night only two of them were occupied - it was just us and a couple about our age from Nurenburg, Germany. They were very good people to meet as this is their 9th visit to Iceland. We learned a great deal from them and we had a lot of wonderful conversations We spoke about motorcycles (he was riding the same BMW 1200 GS bike that Ky has, and she had a problem with a small crash and damage to her Honda 1000 Fireblade on this trip, so it had to be shipped back to Germany.) They love to travel too, and had many interesting stories. We also spoke of stressful things about the U.S. health care system and compared it to Germany's system since he works in the financial administration of a hospital and he was curious about how things worked for us. Our two systems are night and day, and I understood and agreed with his assessment that he was rightfully proud of Germany after he heard how it works (or doesn't) in the U.S. We, could learn so much from them! Which is definitely one of the best reasons to travel.
Here were a couple of highlights from our outings today. We should sleep well tonight!
Which way do we go?
Up of course!
Ignore the fact that it was in a children's playground and only 5' off the ground -
it was tough!
To be rewarded with a view of the entire village and fjord!
And later in the day a short drive to hot tubs filled and refilling continuously with natural hot springs which overflow in to the ocean. It rained on us but we were already wet! Did today's title make you think we were in trouble - nope, just in hot water ;-)
Hugs from Hólmavík!