In the morning Steve foraged for food and came back with some left over baked potatoes found on the barbecue downstairs. This with some porridge and dried egg made for breakfast and a special mention must go to 'hero' Hugh who cleaned the pan afterwards. On the way out of the hut we eyed up some nice off-road touring motorbikes but were happy to beat them into the campsite at the end of day. Before that we had100km of rough track and road to negotiate. The first 20km were uphill with mainly a side wind which proved taxing but after this the track gently started to slide down the valley. By the time we had reached this monumental tipping point Colin 'Optomist' Bolton had already celebrated several false dawns but this time we deemed it worth breaking open the remaining Maryland cookies.
As we dropped height the track became steeper and the surrounding countryside greener. Sadly for me it also became rockier. With an unstable load on the backand a heavy one on the front I didn't quite share the smiles of glee that seemed to be infecting the rest of the group. That is with one exception. With Steve in the lead he came to a small stream first and went through the routine of taking shoes off, pushing bike and was just putting his shoes back on to see the rest of us simply bikethrough the stream. While I was praying that my pannier took the punishment with a stiff upper lip Hugh found some wobbling in his front head set - always a sign of a good downhill. Sadly later we were to discover some more signs of rocky downhills with various containers being punctured - tomato puree (Colin), suncream (Hugh), puncture glue (Duncan).
Just prior to making it to the tarmac the track became very smooth mud, but still maintained a decent drop which with a back wind propelled Hugh to a confirmed 66 km/h.Meanwhile we were starting to see civilisation again, well sheep at least. Eventually we made it to tarmac and only just restrained ourselves from kissing the flat, smooth ground. The km's were getting too easy now but when a tractor passed by Steve shot off to try and gain another 10% efficiency from the slip stream. Hugh, knowing he can reel in almost any lead just commented on the dog genes compelling Steve. We had a moment when all four of us biked abreast, imagining ourselves to be in the final day of the Tour de France. Soon the natural order returned and Hugh lead us into town at a steady 29 km/h.
The first campsite was some way out of town and we abandoned it in favour of one in the center of town. Having installed the tents we got a key for the showers and were told we would find them in the sports hall opposite.So armed with towels we walked across the road to start the most surreal journey to a shower I've ever had. Firstly we went in the back of the sports hall where an obvious entrance tricked us into thinking we were in the right place. Inside we found somehard core gyms and what looked like a series of almost cell like rooms lining the corridor. Our key did not fit any of them. Steve commented that if we hung around long enough they might start pumping us full of much needed steroids. Upstairs we found several doors and tried the key in all of them and then headed into the basement where a more regular gym was found.We asked the receptionist if she knew a door that might make a home for our key but with no luck. On the way out of the building a lady was coming in asking us for directions and we had to explain that we weren't too well qualified to help but she didn't look like the hard core gym type so probably hopelessly lost like us. Our next move was to head over to the swimming pool next door but we got similar blank looks there when we presented our key. Slightly frustrated we headed back to our first choice building and started a lap of the exterior. At last! A door with a shower sign on it and a door which accepted our key. Stepping inside we were presented with three doors, the first a toilet and the second a shower room. Curious to see what door number three held none of us would have laid money on the glamorous topless photo shoot that was in mid-session.
With clean bodies we hit the town in search of food. The restaurant of choice was full so we put our names down on a list and spent a while wondering around the town. After checkingout a rather nifty motorbike and side car we headed back to the restaurant just as our names were being called out and walked smugly past the queue and straight in. Feeling we deserved a good feed we ordered with our eyes rather than our wallets and Steve demolished his in minutes and had plenty of time to sip his beer as Colin took an hour and a half. While we were people watching a couple of guys sat opposite us and gained our full attention. We eventually ungenerously summed them up 'didn't check out the waitress, must be gay'.
To help digest our food we strolled up to the church to inspect the very modern design. Other than the rather plain stain glass windows avery nice place. Moving on to the botanical garden which had more flowers than I thought were native to Iceland. Of more interest was the globe like monument we saw on the way. Being climbers we were soon debating which was the quickest route to circumnavigate it but with our heavy stomachs no one tried to demonstrate. Back at camp we played a lengthy game of poker which Steve eventually won before turning in for the night.