Our last day in the saddle! We first biked to the oldest church in Iceland to grab a free tour. On the way out we wished Lisa good luck, each eying up the amount of kit on the bike and thinking that this was going to be a lesson learnt for the next trip she takes. The tour was interesting as it explained some of the history and geology of the rift valley. Our tour guide spoke excellent English but poor Hungarian so a translator was translating each sentence as we went along. At one point the guide said only a few words and the translator went on for ages, at the end of which all the Hungarians laughed - I've no idea what was embellished! The guide had a dry sense of humour, when going over a bridge he said that many people throw money in thinking it is a wishing well and just as we all were reaching for a small coin stated 'of course it is not' and moved on. In fact the stream has some fame in world war two. It is fed by underground rivers and is 3 degrees all year round. The British army arrived in winter and found running water and deduced that there must be anti-freeze properties in the water and started to fill up the tanks. Of course much to the disappointment of England's finest it froze like all good water at those temperatures should.
After a lunch supplemented by the free food box we biked around the lake to the power station, a stop that Steve had been touting as the most exciting moment of the whole trip. We wondered around and smelt the sulphur on the air and gazed at the huge turbines being fed from steam coming out of the ground at 380 degrees - energy too cheap to meter! We were almost the only people at the power station. Almost but not quite, our French friend also dropped in. We knew that there was a steep hill heading up and over the final ridge towards home base which set up the obvious final test of our relative merits of cyclists. Hugh in particular was chomping at the bit to get going after the French guy when he left a couple of minutes before us.
The 15% hill certainly took it's toll but we cheered as our man regained the lead and powered to the top. Eventually we all hit the summit at approximately the same time with Hugh already there to wave the checkered flag. From our view point we could see Reykjavik in the distance and it was hard to believe it was 32km away. Hard to believe until that is you try to bike it against a slight head wind. Hugh put his head down and soon disappeared into the distance. We all caught up with him sat in a bus stop on route one, the road we had left Reykjavik on two weeks earlier.
With our French friend in our group we rolled into town, only getting lost the once. We had forgotten just how busy the capital was and had to stay on our toes on the dual carriage ways but we all made it without incident. Back at the camp site we set up and went to the local supermarket to buy large slabs of protein and a sack of charcoal and set about repairing some of the damage the previous two weeks had done to our bodies.
So the end of another trip, all bar the searching for loud shirts in the flea market the next day for our final night out on the booze, the last minute packing up of bikes and the dash to the plane. But in reality the trip ends when the bum leaves the seat for the last time and hopes it will get a chance to recover before the next trip. Unlikely.