From Jim’s Casa in Gosforth to Arcturus Guest House in Reykjavik
By Car-Icelandair: Boeing 757-SkyBus-Taxi
7:45 AM to 5 PM
From 15 C to 11C, Sunny
Wednesday, June 15, 2016
Since we had assembled and repacked our belongings last night, we were not long with our morning preparations and breakfast. We were in Jim’s Ford Focus fifteen minutes ahead of schedule. In spite of a tractor that did not want Jim to pass on the first part of our journey, we still arrived at the Manchester airport in two and a half hours.
The first forty-five minutes were the most interesting on curving narrow roads banked by dry stone walls and eight foot high hedges, often those same hedges disguising a stone wall. The fells rose to the west of us and the Irish Sea was intermittently visible to the east. Sheep and cows ignored our passing. Limestone houses, churches and inns in small villages often had cornerstones and doorways made of red sandstone. Since this two way route is more like one lane in Canada, the driver has to be ever vigilant on curves and wherever someone has parked on “the side” of the road, there are no sides! Jim knows these roads and its drivers.
For the next half hour the road was wider and even gave notice of dual carriageway stretches. This means a passing lane. After that we were on the M6 and Jim was able to zoom ahead, until we got closer to Manchester where we slowed to queue for no apparent reason. Jim said that this is normal where the junction of the Liverpool and Manchester motorways meet. Our queue did not last long. Those heading north would be more than an hour breaking out of their queue. So glad not to be them. Although four lane.motorways get you to your destination faster, the scenery leaves me thinking I could be in England or in Ontario or Indiana. Pretty similar.
We hugged Jim good-bye and thanked him for his hospitality. We look forward to seeing him at Cobble Beach in a few weeks. At Manchester airport we were once again in the noisy world of people on the move except where we were waiting in line to get rid of our bag. Once again at security I was taken aside for an extra scan whether this was again random or a certain eau de cow emanating from my boots, I do not know. The checker ran her scanner all around my boots and hands and let me carry on.
I chatted with a young woman from Minnesota. She was amazed that I did not have to remove my hiking boots. She had to remove hers and have them dipped in a liquid. She also did the Coast to Coast. She looked suspiciously at my boots and asked, “Are you sure you did the Coast to Coast? I do not see any mud on your boots.” Brian did a good job with beeswax on Hadrian’s Wall and those puddles yesterday were good for cleansing as well as splashing. Our Minnesota friend started the Coast to Coast to Coast five days after us, did it in thirteen days and had rain a few days with lots of mud on the last day. We live a charmed life.
We lunched on half a New Yorker baguette, enjoyed our cappuccino, and had an oatmeal crumble cookie I still had in my backpack.
I checked us in online last night and was able to move us from row 25 to 9. We do not have extra leg room seats but we do have aisle seats and row 9 is a definite improvement. We are kept waiting in the noisy food area until half an hour before boarding. Several gates use the same lounge so not enough seating otherwise. The lighting is dimmed in the lounge and it is thankfully much quieter.
Life gets better and better! We just boarded the plane only to find that row nine is the extra leg room row. Yeah for the “utgangur” row! And no one is sitting beside us!! The flight steward welcomed us and told us that we are in for fabulous sunny weather for our five day stay!!!
Our flight arrived ten minutes early at Kevlavik Airport, a two hour and twenty-five minute flight, then a one hour time change; so, still time for today’s adventures. We were the first ones off the plane and first through Customs, a snap, and almost the first to get our bags and first Skybus to leave for Reykjavik. Large patches of mauve lupins line the runways.
We believed we were buying the correct bus ticket to get us within a block of our accommodation. We were wrong. The bus terminal is not as central as we were led to believe. Okay if you only have a backpack each but with our supply bag walking an extra fifteen minutes was awkward; so, we took a taxi and have arrived in our basement room in a house that has been converted to house eight guest rooms. The bed is comfy. The window opens sufficiently to give us air at night. We are within walking distance of central Reykjavik and the harbour.
Bus view going to Reykjavik