May 29th was our last day in Akureyri. We had packed the night before because we needed to get on the road early for Dalvik where we were, once again, going to look for the elusive Humpback Whale. Maybe three times is a charm. When we arrived in Dalvik it was a beautiful sunny calm day.
As we sailed out of the harbor there were some great views of the Eyjafjörður and the surrounding mountains.
We hadn’t been out long when the captain sighted two male Humpback Whales straight ahead of us. He knew they were males because the females were down off of South America with the calves.
We spent quite a while watching the whales swim around and under the boat. The scenery in the background was spectacular.
Once again we stopped on the way back for some fishing. We both caught a couple of “big” fish. I had forgotten to mention on an earlier blog that we had some cookies and hot chocolate on each of our trips. It was Swiss Miss chocolate which is made in our home town.
The gulls were calm while we were fishing but once the guide started cleaning the fish all hell broke loose. As I mentioned in an earlier blog the best location is in the back of the boat behind the cleaning station. This gives you a great view of the birds chasing after the scraps.
This was our third shore lunch. You can’t say we didn’t get our money’s worth.
After shore lunch we headed headed down to catch the Ring Road. We were heading Vatnsnes peninsula. These are some scenes from the drive from Dalvik over to Blonduos.
I stopped to take a photo of some horses. When we stopped I took a photo of the farm sign. Almost all of the roads to farms have the family name on a uniform sign along the road. If there are more than one family with the same name there will be a I or a II after the name. The last photo is the farm nestled back among the mountains.
We finally arrived at North West Hotel and Restaurant located right on the Ring Road. We checked in and then asked the young man what there was to see. He pointed out a waterfall and suggested a drive around the Vatnsnes peninsula. He said we could do it all in a couple of hours so off we went.
We drove down the Ring Road for a short distance before turning off on a farm road which led to the Kolugljufur Waterfall. It was overcast and a bit dark when we arrived. The waterfall was impressive but relatively small by Icelandic standards. Just as impressive was the canyon below the falls.
For some unknown reason my wife wanted to start taking photos of road signs that she was finding on rural roads.
As we drove down the farm road toward the waterfall we has seen quite a few horses. I put my big lens (Tamron 150-600) on so I could photograph the horses as we drove out toward the Ring Road. For some reason we had not seen many foals so far on our trip. As we drove through northern Iceland we saw many more.
We turned off of the Ring Road onto highway 711 which is a dirt road that goes around the Vatnsnes peninsula. We turned off of 711 onto a smaller much rougher road to reach Borgarvirki Fortress. Apparently it has been used as a fortress and the Icelandic sagas mention that in earlier centuries it was used for military purposes. It dominates the surrounding countryside. Just as I was leaving I noticed this Ptarmigan on the edge of the cliff. It still had its winter colors.
At this point it was starting to get dark out with all of the cloud cover. Our two hours were up and we had just barely started the drive around the peninsula.
Our next stop was the Hvítserkur Troll Seastack. There are trails down to the beach where some good photos can be had but given the late our we stayed on the cliffs overlooking the stack. As we walked back to the car the fog started moving in.
It turned out that the Hvítserkur Troll Seastack was our last stop for the day. We hoped to see and photograph some seals along the west side of the peninsula but we couldn’t see any. Either they weren’t around, or they looked like rocks in the dark conditions.
As we drove through Hvammstangi we noticed that everything was closed. It was late and it was Sunday night. Our two hour drive took five hours. Either our host drives much faster than we do or he underestimated the time it takes to drive around the peninsula. Probably the former. We were starting to wonder if we would get dinner. Fortunately the North West Hotel has a Restaurant and it was open. Better yet the food was good.
More photos and a complete listing of my Icelandic blogs can be found on my website.