In the campsite we found a gold mine. Not quite gold but close enough in the circumstances - food. With many people using this campsite as their first and last stop in Iceland a couple of shelves in the kitchen were set aside for people to leave spare food behind for future vultures like us. While taking stock of our fortunes Steve commented that what we really needed was something like porridge for breakfast. Not a heart beat later a lady leaned into the kitchen and place a kilo of porridge on the shelf in front of our eyes. The timing could not have been more perfect, we tried wishing for more elaborate items of food but it seems the kitchen only grants a single wish. With the bags now swelling with food it became obvious that Steve had packed for a more luxurious trip than Hugh with jeans, a book and even two first aid kits. Hugh on the other hand had weighed every item before determining it's usefulness per gram and applying a high acceptance criteria. The difference in size of pannier bags was telling. With Steve's weight on his bike he coined the first of many descriptions of cycle touring: 'You know your cycle touring when even the flat feels like uphill.'
Once packed up we rolled out of Reykjavik on the main road, a busy place to be indeed. Busy enough to have a hard-shoulder thankfully which we made good use of when Duncan had our first and last puncture of the trip. After a quick change of inner tubes we were off again. Where we had stopped there had been an old pair of boots by the side of the road, something we thought nothing of. Our first taste of Icelandic helpfulness came 20km later when acar pulled over and flagged us down to say he had seen us stopped by the road and later had seen a pair of boots there and were they ours? Thankfully they weren't but such random helpfulness goes a long way to endearing me to a population.
With good tarmac, sunshine and a back wind we made good progress down highway number one. In fact it was commented that if Heineken did cycle touring then this was probably it. We rolled into Selfoss, a town the guide books are quite rude about as a destination but did have the twin delights of hotdogs and a supermarket - both of which we took full advantage. The hotdogs were served in a small building next to the river by the second round of hotdog honey's. What they lacked in promiscuous chit-chat they made up for with entertaining sauce pots dangling from the roof which they 'milked' for sauce. Once in the supermarket Hugh carried on his crusade against excess weight and haggled down the quantities of everything. Perhaps he's never seen Steve eat before but he managed to sow enough doubt into our minds that we reluctantly put some items back. The pick and mix sweets stayed of course, but without recognising the types of any of the sweets each one promised to be a surprise, some more surprising than others.
With food stocked we carried on to our chosen campsite. The scenery up to this point had been very green and mostly flat. Near the airport there were fields of lava with characteristic light green moss but mainly it had been a green and pleasant land not unlike what we were used to. As we turned towards the interior the road gradually started to pull upwards. The campsite looked busy with campers and light on people to pay. Sadly the pool was shut so thoughts of a quick splash were snuffed out. While deciding whether we still had a few kms in our legs Hugh and Duncan went to the toilet. With Duncan in a cubicle, Hugh left the other stranger to listen to Duncan detailing his movements. Meanwhile we figured we could move on if we got some food at the cafe round the front. This turned out to be mostly a candle shop which also served fried food. With Duncan commenting that he might buy some candles Hugh quick as a flash asked how many he would buy. Equally fast Duncan gave the correct and only answer - four.
Fish and chips inside us we pushed 20km further to the next campsite. This was busy to the point of bursting. We had arrived at the annual accordion festivals chosen campsite. This made finding a pitch hard work but weeventually shared a little dead end with a fellow biker from Las Vegas and a caravan containing a cheeky dog called Misty. The former had grown up in Colorado overlooking the famous Pikes peak and obviously took pleasure inhome modifications to his bike which soon got an appraising eye from Steve. The latter, despite the owner insisting the dog was just 'curious', successfully tried to eat some of Duncan's dinner for him before running rings around his owner. Duncan was not impressed. With the first two accordion players warming up we thought we could be in for a long night but before midnight everything fell silent.