Iceland on an OSSA (1980)
by Mats Nyberg, Sweden

Iceland, why would anyone want to go to this lost place?
When I was a kid in the mid 60´s I had an aunt who worked there for a couple of years and I remember her stories about this exotic place which made me want to go there. At the age of 22 (1980) I finally got there. Also for me as Scandinavian it was a feeling of going back to my wiking roots having in mind that they came from Scandinavia to settle on this island 1000 years ago. The Icelandish  language is almost unchanged since then so they can still read and understand the old sagas from Snorre Sturlaugsson that lived in 10th century. The other Scandinavian languages has developed so it is very hard to understand Icelandish for us.
To get there from Stockholm, Sweden where I live is quite complicated. Most people go by air but me and my friend, Patrik was going by motorcycle so we had to go by boat. The only boat is from Bergen on the west coast of Norway which is a 2 day drive from Stockholm.
I had my 1969 OSSA and Patrik his Bultaco Sherpa, mine fitted  with a 22 liter reservoir and Patrik had 25 liter. We welded the tanks from ordinary 1 mm steel sheet metal. We also had geared our bikes for touring, mine geared for a top speed of 150 kph.
We didn't really trust the reliability of our bikes so to make sure that we would come to Iceland we loaded the bikes in my Transit van and took of to Bergen. We didn't want the bikes to brake down before we got to Iceland. If we had problems there, at least we were there.
The Transit was parked in Bergen and we boarded the ship "Smyrril". To Iceland is a 3 day journey. 1 day to Faroeys where we had to stay 24 hours, something we did not know about. So we had to put up our tent in the rain and had the time to drive  around the main island where Thorshavn is situated. About a 100 km trip. It is very impressive to arrive to the Faroeys. These huge rock islands rising from the see in the middle of the Atlantic. 
Thorshawn may have a few thousand inhabitant but they all had different cars. There was not 2 cars the same. I guess it has something to do with individuality. I am just thinking about keeping spareparts.... 
During this 24 hours Smyrril went to Scotland to pick up more people. Another 24 hours on this tiny ship in the Atlantic made me feel sea sic.
View over Thorshavn
Faroeys, excellent roads but rainy

 Arriving to Iceland

We were not the only bikes on the boat. A dane on a Honda 400F, 2 Swiss with Yamaha DT125 and French guy on a MZ 250 that would not start. Also I remember a german on a 3 speed standard bicycle. This was before the age of moutainbikes.
Waiting at the Customs in Seidisfjördur
We arrived in Seidifjördur which is in the north east corner of the island. Reykjavik is at the opposite. Seidifjördur is very small village,  a few hundred inhabitants. The smell of the whale cookery is something one never forgets. Without this boat coming a few times a week there would be very few tourist in this lost corner of Iceland. 
First night we camped not far from the harbour in the rain. We had expected rain but...Next day woke up, cloudy and only a light rain, duggregn. Well, at least we were here so we hit the road and started climbing the mountain from the fjord into the country. Once we came over the mountain the sky cleared and everything just felt great. Beautiful scenery and gravelroads that really fitted our bikes. My OSSA fully packed behaved much better on the road than when unloaded .
On my homemade tank I could strap a large bag, matrass and some other stuff I stapped on the handle bar so did not have to heavy a laod on the back. The bike was very balanced.
Getting out of the rain in Seidisfjördur

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