In 1974, route 1, aka the Ring Road was created. This road goes around the island. Before that, parts of the island were very remote. If you look at the map, many parts still are remote. The roads that go through the centre are F roads, meaning only 4x4 can drive on it.
|Map borrowed from the internet to show the ring road.|
For our trip, we were more or less on the Ring Road. It is really all our little Ford Fiesta (the cheapest car we could find) could handle.
|Our little car|
For the most part, the Ring Road (and the roads in the towns/cities) are great. They can be curvy, but are paved, well marked and beautiful. In many places, even on the main highway, bridges were only one lane, so we had to watch out for that. However, we often drove miles without seeing another car or only seeing a few, so that wasn't a big problem.
Here are some examples of the road (not in order from our trip as Blogger is not letting me put them in the way I want lol):
|This was one of my favourites in the East|
|This was the only day we got soaked early in our trip in the south where it rains more|
|Look closely you can see the road curving through the valley|
|We drove through 2 tunnels. This was a short one, but the other was 6 km long|
The adventures of the roads occurred whenever you went off the Ring Road, or occasionally when the GPS had an idea for a short cut. Here are some examples of that:
|A road we decided not to drive down to see the cliffs|
|This wasn't even the worst poor visibility. Driving to see seals in the East near Hofn|
The following is my favourite road story. On my birthday we decided to take a bit of a short cut from point a to point b. The map and GPS both seemed to indicate this was ok. What we didn't know is that this was a gravel road up a step mountain and there would be 0 visibility in places. It was scary at the time. We played the game 'first one to see a car calls it out' because as the driver the Man had a lot to watch out for (like not driving off the road). Locals who know the road aren't slowed down by the limited visibility.
|This shot shows how narrow the road could be and how close to the mountain we were (yes that is snow)|
The moral of the story from this day is, just because it looks like a road on the map, doesn't mean it is a good one! Be prepared!
Besides navigating the roads, one had to watch for wildlife. We were fortunate that because traffic is so light, you can usually stop safety for these things. Here are some of the things we had to stop for:
|Sheep, this happened a lot. They are totally free range because they don't have predators. If you hit a sheep, you are responsible for paying for it.|
|The Icelandic Horse|
|In several spots there were bird warnings. This was one. Look closely, those are Arctic Terns mating. We waited until they were finished to move on.|
|Some sort of baby birds|
What we what we would tell people wanting to drive the road:
-Overall, the Ring Road, it is beautiful and easy
-Fill up when you can and always have car snacks. It can be miles before a gas station and food supply in the east and parts of the north in particular
-Have a map and a GPS (several times GPS tried to get us to go off road when it clearly wasn't a road or to drive F roads)
-Watch out for wildlife
-The landscape can change quickly
-There are lots of safe places (clearly marked) to pull over and look at the landscape. Wait for those! (It was very annoying to see people stopped dangerously to get a picture when there was a safe spot nearby).
Next week we will talk about fire!