Well today was ‘interesting. Up and going with breakfast at 0820. No one around to pay for last night, ran out of bread, ran out of coffee. The owner had to into Reykjavík early this morning and left the Guesthouse to his son who we never saw. Oh well. After breakfast, we headed to the birding site – 27 km of dirt road! The West Fjords of Iceland seems to be the stepchild of the country. Not many people, most of the communities are small, under 2,000, a lot of dirt roads – but a beautiful part of the country. People from Reykjavik do own summer houses in this area.
Got to the birding area and started looking and did not have long to wait. First bird was a puffin – just sat there and let us and several other couples take pictures. The location is on the cliffs at Latrabjarg and stretches for about 14km. Is one of the largest rookeries in the world. Spent about an hour walking the cliffs (about 100-150 meters high). Many different types of birds nesting together but mainly grouped with their own kind. The puffins were the easiest to photograph as they would just sit and ‘pose’.
After this, we headed on the Isadorfur for our stop this evening. Had to retrace the 47km of dirt roads and then started climbing up and over one of the many passes we would encounter today. After an hour or so we hit some more dirt roads – 57 km this time but somewhat better than the road this morning. The countryside is spectacular. There are no trees but have large vistas of snow speckled mountains for as far as you can see. As you climb the passes looking back at the valleys really appreciate the diversity of the landscape. There is a lot of hay farming with the bales in rolls and wrapped in plastic, white, green and pink – I guess to identify who the owners are. Sheep are ALL OVER the place, two or three here, 6 there – no idea as to how they keep track of who owns which. Fences – NOT! They just roam so watch for them on the roadside if not the road. Horses seem to be the next most popular animal followed by cows. For lunch we stopped at Bildur, only about 1,150 people, that does salmon processing. They get the salmon from farms, process them and most get sent to LA and San Francisco, also Europe and, of course, Iceland. They process about 20 tons a day. For lunch had a salmon pieta. The salmon was perfect and the pieta was tops! On the trip this afternoon did stop at the Duriy waterfall. Beautiful waterfall – see the pictures. Finally made it to Isedorfur about 1730 and went to check into the hotel – NOT. We had been changed to another hotel – only about two blocks away and got an upgrade – worked out quite well. Rooms are nice though small as compared to American hotels. Went out to a local restaurant and had a very good pizza. That kind of wrapped it up for the day so back to the hotel and sack time.
Today you will head to the largest town in the West Fjords, Ísafjörður. The route to Ísafjörður is characterized by stunning scenery with narrow and deep fjords. After crossing Dynjandisheiði Pass, stop by the impressive, 100 meter high Dynjandi Waterfall.
Continue through a road tunnel from Flateyri town to Ísafjörður town and get acquainted to the quiet lifestyle of the locals in this charming town. Ísafjörður is host to many festivals and cultural events making it a vibrant, yet quiet, place to visit. Kayak tours on Ísafjörður Fjord are available during the summer and the Natural History Museum of Bolungarvík is also worth a visit.