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Iceland Trip - Day 6 - Iceland

N 65.13657°, W 15.65443°

http://maps.google.com/maps?q=loc:65.13657%2C-15.65443

We were stopped for a check on entry but the customs officer was very polite and only had a cursory look around the truck. This has happened a few times now, the truck seem to outwardly attract attention but once officials see inside they don't perceive any need to continue.

After fuelling up, mainly to check our cards worked at the automated filling stations (mine didn't, Barclays blocked it - saga ongoing) we set off for the first of our tick-list places, Askja caldera.

In summary, our initial conclusion is that Iceland is jaw-droppingly awesome. The good weather no doubt helps but the scenery is just stunning. Majestic waterfalls, snow-capped peaks, glaciers, crystal clear rivers, verdant outcrops of vegetation and  vast expanses of tundra were all to be seen within literally the first 15 minutes.

We had a great view of the highest non-glacial peak - Snæfell - as we left tarmac and hit the first of our 'F' roads (4WD vehicles only allowed). By the time we reached our overnighting spot (pictured) we'd hit sensory overload.

The flora is extraordinary and I'm working at identifying a few new-to-me species. The more unusual birds en-route in out first few hours have included snow bunting, harlequin duck, red-necked phalarope and a sandpiper type wader that I haven't yet pinned down.

The F roads we've so far seen are pretty challenging - they are no more than rock strewn tracks across vast expanses of primary and utterly unspoiled landscape with many deep and long fords to negotiate. These are, so far, no problem to us but they are an issue for many regular 4x4s and bikes. We stopped and offered to help one Norwegian pair of bikers, one of whom had killed his clutch on a pretty average crossing.

Happily, they recently passed us at out camp, all was sorted after a bit of a strip and rebuild.

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