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Published: September 3rd 2016
carefully using the road.
It is possible to get used to anything, even driving on the right hand side of the road. One way bridges and pull over tunnels continue to be challenging, but the thing that make driving in Iceland most difficult is sheep. There are a lot of sheep in Iceland, great wooly mops with curly horns and attitude. There are lots of roads that sheep wander beside, sit on and cross carefully in small groups.
Travelling in Iceland is easy. Very easy. English is used by locals and tourists alike. Even the automatic petrol pumps have an English option. Supermarkets are full of familiar foods imported from Europe. Locals favor chocolate with salty liquorice, sweet cakes lashed with cream, hot chips (fries) and hotdogs. Everything is expensive because it is imported (think fruit in Japan or petrol in Kings Canyon).
Iceland has one of the lowest population densities on the planet, so spectacular scenery abounds, with fine sprinklings of people on farms or in small villages around the coast. Most of our hostels have been on isolated farms surrounded by magnificent landscapes shaped by glaciers and volcanoes. Like Australia, the centre is an inhospitable landscape but requires not merely 4WD
for highland driving
but Super Jeeps.
Summer is fading rapidly. Dark was at 11:30pm
and light at 4:00am
when we first arrived, but three weeks later, dark is at 9:30
and light at 5:30
. We saw the Aurora Borealis on September 1, wafting and swirling across the sky like a gossamer silk shawl. Temperatures have gone from 16 degrees by day and 9 at night to 9
by day and 2 over night. The blueberry season is over. All the migratory birds have set off for warmer climes, mountain tops have been dusted with first snow and a few reindeer have visited the coast from the mountains.
If I had tried to find a landscape more of a contrast to the Northern Territory, I could not have done better. Iceland is equally magnificent, vast, and awe inspiring, but so different.
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