The trip back from Iceland to Assen went without problems. The disturbing noise was there, but not so annoying anymore if we did not make sharp turns. We stopped over at a nice campsite just after the border in Germany and drove home the next day. 

I brought the camper the next day to our garage to repair the issues we had on the trip. The problem was not the CV joint but appeared to be the rubbers of the arms on which the front wheels were hanging (see Section Passepartout). These were replaced. Also, the diesel heater, which did not survive the river crossings, was replaced by a refurbished unit.

Iceland is a large volcanic island on the middle of the mid Atlantic ridge with only a few large population centres (Reykjavik region 233.000). For the rest it has small villages and many spread out farmhouses and holiday homes. Every town has a covered heated swimming pool. They are essential to give the children and families something to do in the long dark winters. For the adults there are many windy golf courses spread around the country. Often the campsites are situated next to both these facilities. 

The lava plains are either barren black, or covered with moss. The moss growth is very slow. Lava fields of more than 200 years still have little vegetation because of the harsh climate with limited daylight in the winter. That is also the reason why there are virtually no trees on the island. The pine trees which were planted some 20 years ago are still small. The treeline is only at 200 m. Above that there is not enough sunlight year-round for them to grow. It is not so much the temperature. Iceland does not have harsh winters due to the warm gulfstream, which flows past the island. 

Most of the fertile land is covered with grass. You do not see many cows or sheep. The grass is harvested 1 x per year and the countryside is dotted with the big plastic rolls. It is surprising how little greenhouse farming there is. You would think that with all that ground heat and available electrical power there would be a large greenhouse industry. Only in the valley around Reykholt do you slowly see some coming. Maybe the population of 330.000 is too small or the export cost to high. Still all the products in the supermarket are expensive. 

We drove all around the country (4700 km) and made 3 excursions into the interior where a 4×4 was necessary. You see a lot of 4×4 vehicles because Island is one of the few places in Europe where you can do extensive 4×4 driving. From the small Suzuki jeeps with roof tent to the large expedition trucks. They all converge on the few ranger huts in the middle of the country. You are never alone. Good to know for when you get stuck in the fine volcanic ash as we did once.

We took some 1500 pictures and over 200 videos. I have compiled them into a 52 min Youtube video which you can see here.


Rudy and Jamaliah Welling