It was about 11 am, and Jacob and I were walking toward a two lane road, the ring road that goes around all of Iceland. Filled with trepidation and weighed down with packs, we stuck out our thumbs and walked backwards facing traffic, trying to look happy, or harmless, or whatever it is people look for in hitchhikers. Not two minutes had passed when an 18 wheeler pulled over.
The driver´s english was good. When he realized where we were going, he called a friend of his (also a trucker) who would take us onto the ferry and into the westfjords. Great! As miles of flat fields and rocks zoomed by out the window, our conversation turned to the politics and economies of our countries. Our driver told us that the Icelandic people blame the bankers for the economic crash, and that [the CEO´s, I think] are going to be tried soon, and if they are found guilty, they will be sentenced to 10 years in prison. Wow. Our bankers just got bonuses..
The next day we woke up in the tiny town of Patriksfjord. There were no busses there until June, so we headed again to the road out of town, thumbs out. We had a couple rides from fishermen who told us that we were heading even more into the middle of nowhere, but the road was still paved, and we hoped to get rides.
But the road soon turned to dirt and we were hiking alone in a huge fjord. It was beautiful. The ocean was a bright blue and the cliffs rose sharply out of the water and almost disappeared from view in the clouds. We passed by a farm and saw one or two cars as we walked. Finally, several hours later, a truck appeared in the distance.
The driver was bringing a load of fish to the ferry, and could leave us at the intersection where we wanted to go. He said trucks didn´t normally take the small dirt road since it was very dangerous. No kidding. I don´t think another car could have passed by us, and as we went higher into the mountains, a thick fog obscured everything but maybe five feet of road in front of us.
The driver left us at the intersection and we started walking through a totally foreign landscape. All we could see were patches of snow and rocks and the dirt road in front of us. A car went by. We had our thumbs out but he motioned to the one seat left in his tiny car and kept driving. Understandable.
About five minutes later, we heard a car coming from the other direction. The driver rolled down his window and said, “Well there´s only one seat, but one of you can sit in the back.”
So we finally made it to Isafjord, safe and sound, and only a little carsick.