The day started off with a terrible scraping sound underneath the camper. It looks as if it was coming from behind. Rudy put on his overall and gloves and went under the car to investigate. As usual everything looked fine. We drove a bit on but the noise remained. A bit closer to town we saw a small garage. The owner’s 17 year old son was there. He jacked up the rear of the camper and took off the tires. There was nothing unusual to be seen. He phoned up his boss who came and had a closer look at the front breaks. “Come back after lunch and we will investigate further.” We drove a bit around town with the noise. Suddenly there was a shutter/vibration and the noise disappeared. The conclusion after the lunch break was that one of the front break pad had dirt around it and did not fit anymore in the groove of the worn out break disc. The rear break discs are new.
We continued our journey around the bay and over the peninsula to the bird cliffs at Latrabjarg later than plan. But no need to rush to the free campsite close to the cliff. That had been closed down. It was relatively busy at the cliff. Looking over the side downward, you could see lots of nesting birds. Only very few puffins were there. I am glad we saw them closed by on our first day in Iceland. We spent the night at the official campsite at Breidavik. The campsite is next to a large simple hotel with dorms, rooms and cabins. It was full with tourists. The wind settled and we had a beautiful sunset at 23:10 in the Atlantic ocean.
On the way out of the peninsula, we stopped at a small private museum. Besides the obvious US navy airplane wreck and some old trawlers the museum had a nice collection of all types of old tool used for fishing, spinning and other household items. Also a movie was shown about the rescue of stranded fishing vessel of 1948. But what missing is a short video showing how the items on display were used in everyday life, to make the stopover more attractive.
We drove over the mountain to the south coast of the Western Fjords towards the ferry at Brjanslaerkur. There was nobody there, just a phone number and website. We worked out that the ferry departs on weekdays at 18:15 (we were there at 13:00). However for the next 2 days it was fully booked. We had no choice but to drive around the large Breidafjordur. The road meanders again around several fjords and occasionally it is cut short by driving over the dam/bridge. Part of the road is graded and bumpy. At one stretch it has a 15% incline. There was quite some traffic (relative to local conditions) on the road. When we reached the next peninsula (Vesturland) we took the first turning. Again a 65 km graded road meandering though a beautiful landscape. The mountain we passed are round and high with a steep slope at the top and a graded slope of rock falls which is covered with grass. Upon reaching the surfaced road again we fully appreciated the silence, even of our noisy 4×4 camper with offroad tires. At the town of Grundarfjordur we camped. Most of the campsites are next to sport facilities. Mostly next to a swimming pool. At one of these sites we must make use of the pool and its hot tubs.
This peninsula has some dramatic scenery. It is dominated by the snow covered extinct volcano Snaefellsjokull. When driving around it, there are several side tracks over lava fields to nearby cliffs with birds, seals or small volcanoes, lava tubes and gorges. When we were climbing the steps of the 300 m high Saxholl crater the wind was super strong. Jamaliah had to hold on to Rudy in order not to be blown away. The birds at the cliff are Ok but not impressive (we are spoiled!). Maybe we should make a study of the different type of seabirds and it would be more interesting. What did stand out is the small road over the lava field and large campers driving it. At one point a huge “Beluga” camper wanted to squeeze past us. The side mirrors had to be folded in and the ladies had to guide the men slowly past each other in such a way that nobody tilted off the raised road. Jamaliah had found the coordinates of a site where there are seals to be found. Again we drove off the road towards the sea. Again many cars on the car park. In the distance we saw something shining. It appeared to be a beached Sperm whale. Two locals were busy cutting away its teeth for age determination. They think it died of old age. Further along the beach over a long very rocky split we come close to a family of seals. First they were 5 of them but later another 5 popped up out of the sea. For the night stay, we crossed over the peninsula again to stay in the ferry town of Stykkisholmur. It is said that the town has some nice old building. Tomorrow will tell.