|When I embarked on this biking malarkey I started searching for organised trips to holiday as I was on my own and not confident to go away on my own. I came across a company doing trips to Iceland.
MUM'S GONE TO ICELAND
Imagine being a biker in the middle of nowhere in the summer
where it doesn't go dark - I was hooked. It became my biking holiday dream and having learnt the hard way that life is short I wasn't going to put this trip off any longer.
While having lessons I hooked up with a bike instructor (not mine I must add as it would have been doomed from day one). As luck would have it, he also wanted to go to Iceland. So in summer 2010 the decision was made to go. In the meantime, we decided to get married and the Iceland trip would be our honeymoon.
Plenty of research took place, books were purchased, online forums were joined and a large map was bought and adorned the lounge wall where a picture once hung full of small post-it notes of the places we wanted to visit. Road conditions were checked on a daily basis via the web and with just over two weeks to go, we found that most of the roads were still closed!
Our plan was to go across county - we hadn't realised at first that the interior or Highlands of Iceland aren't inhabited and that during the winter months the roads, or should I say tracks are closed. Most roads don't open until late June so our plan to be in Iceland for the longest day on 21st June had to be put off for a week to ensure that the roads were open.
It's a bit of an epic to get to Iceland. It's about 300 miles down to Harwich to get a ferry to Esbjerg in Denmark, which takes about 18 hours and then a further 300 miles up to Hirtshals the same day for a very early morning ferry to Iceland which takes two nights. So before we even get to Iceland we will have travelled for 4 days! It's not cheap either: I checked out the shipping costs for both bikes, and with flights as well it came in at £3,000. The ferries aren't much less but do include a cabin and all meals.
We had no real route organised but we have places we would like
to visit including the 'penis museum' which should be interesting!
We will be camping and taking each day as it comes
(pun intended!? - Ed).
We intend to go into the highlands which will depend on weather conditions as river crossings, which could be difficult may even become impossible. Much discussion took place as to which bikes we should choose to take. Off-road bikes would have been great, but mine doesn't have a large fuel tank and, as we will be out in the wilds, this was a major consideration. In the end we opted for BMW's: my husband's 1150 GSA and my 650GS. The bikes are now fully serviced with new brakes, tyres and other bits and bobs to make the journey a little easier. So, as I'm writing this, we are preparing the luggage, thinking about spares and camping gear and I'm trying to think of places I can hide knickers which has been an ongoing issue since my better half has put a limit on what I can take! I'm still not the most confident rider and this trip is a dream come true but still very scary. I am extremely lucky that my new husband has many years' experience and has travelled to many countries on his motorcycle, not least a three-month touring trip that centred around a month in Mongolia - so I think I'll be ok.
WORDS ANGE PHOTOGRAPHY TOURISM ICELAND
Back in June 2009, having been a widow for three years and missing being a pillion, I started the challenge of learning to ride a motorbike.
As a birthday present to myself,
I booked a CBT. It didn't go well and I had to go back a second day. Six months later and on my fifth attempt I finally passed.
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