4 September 2023

Our Icelandic Adventure 2023 – Part 4

Road 622

A leisurely start today and Ingo (our Icelandic guide) does his now daily map briefing. We’ re heading for the north west fjords and it is a long drive with an overnight stop. We spot sea eagles on the way and a rare Arctic fox. We also continue to have daily stops at other interesting tourist spots. Today we stop at a goat sanctuary at Haafell. These amazing goats, unique to Iceland, over centuries have genetically acquired a second coat of high quality cashmere fibre to insulate them against the intense cold and wet. Goat numbers had dwindled over the centuries and by 1962 there were only 70 to 80 left. Johanna Thorvaldsdottir who owns and runs this goat farm is credited with building the Icelandic goat numbers back up and making goat keeping viable by getting government assistance and also getting goat meat into some of Iceland’s top restaurants.

We are heading for Iceland’s most dangerous road as in the TV programme ‘World’s Most Dangerous Roads’.  This is road 622 Svaluogur Road. It is entirely unpaved, spans 31.68 miles running from Pingeyri to Hvafnseri.  Passing through the Daryjordur and Arnarfjodur Fjiords in the mountainous West Fjords Peninsula. The road offers sweeping views of the Icelandic coastline. Locals refer to it as the Dream Road due to its incredible scenery. It is an insanely beautiful route with the road carved into and under cliffs. The road showcases a spectacularly scenic shoreline on one side and the breathtaking West Fjord mountains on the other. It was late on another wild, wet day when our small group reached Road 622. It’s approximately 90 minutes until the high pass drops down to a rocky shoreline best navigated at low tide. For us the beach track was impassable having been washed out by recent storms. A slightly hair raising  360 degree turn and we returned late in the day to our start point.

A howling gale that night saw some of our group seek refuge in a guest house. For us it was a night sleeping on the floor of the Land Rover. Pop top roofs and gales don’t go well together.

And so ended another exciting but very, very memorable day.