Offroad in den Westfjorden | Mein härtester Tag auf Island (S4/E5)
The Westfjords. Definitely one of the highlights of my trip through Iceland. Grandiose nature. The feeling of unlimited freedom. And puffins! Honestly, I won't be leaving here until I've found the Western Cape's famous puffins! But they want to be hard earned. The way to the cape is long and exhausting, because the endless gravel roads along the fjords and through the mountains await me on my way west. and I just dare to say that this will be my most beautiful but also hardest day in Iceland
hello everyone I have now left the ring road and am on my way towards the Westfjords, I would like to go in search of a very special bird that always made it to get out of my way when I was somewhere near where it occurs be it in England be it in Ireland or be it somewhere on the Swedish coast I'm talking about parrot diver as I always call him the puffin and I really want him at least once in my life and now I'm in Iceland, the country with the largest colony of parrots, 3 to 4 million animals are said to live here, it's probably possible to find one or the other and it's remarkable how much they are here landscape has changed while yesterday morning I felt like I was driving through the Scottish Highlands, so I'm now driving through an area wi I know them from the Rocky Mountains on TV and today is the first time I've been in Iceland for five days this is the first time I've been driving without heated grips the sun is out it's 12 degrees it doesn't feel so wonderful Iceland if it stays that way then we will become really, really good friends and once again you should n’t underestimate the distances up here from the ring road it’s almost 300 kilometers to the Western Cape why because, just like in Northern Norway, you have to drive around every single fjord Westfjords stop The big goal of the day is the headland Látrabjarg with the cape Bjargtangar lying on it, the westernmost point of Iceland and the second westernmost point in Europe. It takes 4 hours driving time from here to the cape. Assuming you drive through one, and also assuming you can pull through at a brisk pace. The Westfjords are exceptional in many ways. They are so criss-crossed by water that 30% of
Iceland's entire coastline falls on the Westfjords. And with just under 7,000 inhabitants, they are very sparsely populated, even by Icelandic standards. On today's stage I occasionally pass a small settlement, but most Icelanders live here in lonely houses spread across the mountains. Hardly anyone has real neighbors! But if you think you can hit the Western Cape at 100 km/h, I have to disappoint you. You have to earn the right to puffins. Up to here I was on asphalt
along the fjords, but from here it continues on gravel roads in the middle of two mountains. I'm lucky with the weather in two ways. On the one hand, because I can finally experience the sun, ride dry and no longer freeze. But mainly because I would have a big problem in rainy weather, because parts of the gravel roads on the peninsula are considered impassable in bad weather. Look at this landscape! Would you still feel like you are in Iceland here? I feel more like I'm in south-eastern Europe here, because the sun is now beating down and heating up the ground. For the first time I experience how quickly Iceland
can transform from a freezer to an oven. It was only here on this day that I noticed that I probably only meet so few other drivers because of the gravel roads and that mobile homes or the campervans that are omnipresent in Iceland are suddenly no longer on the road. I'll only meet one brave caravan driver on the way today, and of all places on the worst part of the road just before the Western Cape. Everything I've ridden up the mountain up to here, of course, I have to come down again on the other side. Unfortunately, that's not quite as much fun as the
ride uphill, such a fully loaded GS pushes quite a bit behind with its weight. In addition, there is significantly more debris on the road on this side of the mountain. I'm curious to see whether the contents of my suitcase are still well sorted at the end of the street, or whether everything has been mixed up all over the place (laughs). But that first episode, Gravel Road, wasn't anything. My personal favorite section of the road is yet to come. 15 percent gradient sends you over gravel roads over two mountain passes and I'm glad to have all my material with me because I had considered leaving my tent where I stayed last night near the ring road that would be 270 kilometers to the Westcup that would have been 270 kilometers back tonight yes and since I am moving forward here at an average of 30 40 maximum 50 km/h no I am very glad to have all my stuff with me and, if necessary, to be able to pitch my tent somewhere along the way These Street. Is. Of the. Hammer! A 15% incline on loose gravel
doesn't look like much here on the photos, but if you ride it on a motorbike, especially downhill, then this road with the many loose stones on it inspires enormous respect! And it impressively shows me why some roads here are impassable in winter and during storms! This remoteness combined with the poor accessibility via endless gravel roads have led to a particularly strong rural exodus in the region in the last 25 years. A few kilometers later I reach the paved part of the road again. From here I can accelerate again and have the naïve hope of increasing my average speed a bit. (laughs) oh here are the latecomers, ladies, please leave the road, all the best . If there's one region in Iceland that I want to visit again and explore in peace, then it's the Westfjords.
The landscape is just formidable, you just feel small and insignificant here as a lonely motorcyclist. And from the road, as always, you only see a tiny part of the area, only the drone shows the full drama of the landscape. I would have been keen on camping for a few days on the dozens of fjords and just watching the animals and relaxing. And of course you can go hiking, especially in the north of the Westfjords, away from any civilization, just for yourself. Splendid! After hours of driving along the sea, I finally reach the Latrabjarg headland, on which the Western Cape is located. The headland is only accessible via impressive gravel roads, which lead directly along the water for the first half. On the right the
sea and the steadily rising abyss, on the left the rugged and also rising rocks. The gravel road is still in good condition, but I'm more or less alone on the road again, if at all, you only see four-wheel drive vehicles here. Later, after a fairly steep ascent, the road leads adventurously through the mountains, the last few kilometers to the cape pump a lot of adrenaline here. You can only move forward here at a snail's pace, fist-sized stones, potholes and confusing curves slow me down. And the road always leads adventurously steeply up and down, like here. What an ordeal for man and machine. The GS looks like a pig, I look like a pig, my wrists hurt, and that was an hour and a half drive for 40 kilometers. It was fun anyway!
With Cape Bjargtangar I have reached the second westernmost point in Europe after the Azores and the westernmost point in Iceland. Incidentally, somewhere 250 kilometers in this direction there is already grassland, so far to the west it is not quite, it is still a good 360 kilometers from here to Greenland. But there is no big fuss about it here, only a lighthouse, a weather station and a few information boards await the tired traveler here. But
thanks to the long and strenuous journey there are comparatively few tourists around . Of course, you are not alone here either. The cliffs of the cape can be hiked over a length of 14 kilometers, the up to 450 meter high rocks are one of the largest bird breeding grounds in the world, several million birds raise their offspring here in summer. This also made the rocks interesting for the Icelanders, because they used to abseil down the rocks here to steal a few of the birds' eggs from their nests. In such a barren country you have to use every food source you can find. But I'm here for a very specific reason... Let's go find the puffins, just follow your nose! you can smell that many birds breed here because it smells very, very unpleasantly of ammonia . It is not particularly difficult to find birds here. There are gulls and razorbills by the thousands. Iceland is home to the world's largest population of razorbills, 40% of all animals living in the world come to Iceland to nest. Razorbills also get along
very well with other birds, which is why they share the rocks with the countless seagulls. well a lot of seagulls all well and good but where are the puffins can you believe that? I've been on the road for almost 12 hours and while the Westfjords are of course a wonderful destination in their own right, I'm really only here for the puffins. And then again I'm not lucky enough to see it in person, even once? Unbelievable... of course it's a shame because I drove this difficult road just to see it but what can you do let's take it with humor as a Swedish campsite operator once said to me whose campsite was almost flooded by meltwater from the mountains - that's nature there there's nothing you can do, but not so fast. Just as I'm on my way back to the bike, I see two puffins perched on a ledge. But they're gone before I even get the camera out. Again I am disappointed. Then suddenly I see
two sleeping birds, a young razorbill and… yes, a puffin! My first! And even if he's sleeping and doesn't show me his beautifully decorated beak, at least I've seen one now and I'm a little less disappointed. And then suddenly it's like someone flipped a switch. Because suddenly there isn't just one, but a whole family of puffins sitting on the cliff edges, which keep landing and flying away. And finally they let themselves be filmed and photographed! By the way, puffins only come ashore to breed, the rest of the year they live completely on the open sea. Specimens born in Iceland typically migrate to Canada, where winters are milder, and do not return to land until the following spring to raise the next generation.
And because I'm so happy about these animals at this point, I forget the time completely... I still have a way back to go! Well then I now have the inglorious task of running back for kilometers in the cliffs , sitting on the planer and driving back this 40 km gravel road plus the two mountain passes on the way hooray but unfortunately there is only one way here and there is only one way out of here that's why that Today was definitely a hard day but we still have a little bit ahead of us I'll show you a couple of things It's already early evening so today I'm going to drive as far back as I can get. But I don't know if I'll leave the Westfjords today. The weather is supposed to stay good for the next few days, if I find a good spot for wild camping I 'll stay here for the night. And because we are just below the Arctic Circle here,
it no longer gets dark at night. So I have no time pressure. And just because I'm not pressed for time, I take another longer break when I'm back on the asphalt road an hour later. There I ignored the wreck of the Garðar on the way there, so of course we'll catch up on that. The Gardar is the
oldest steel ship in Iceland and was formerly used for whaling. Built in Norway in 1912, it connected several eras of shipping. It had both steam propulsion and sails, so it was a hybrid ship, and as an icebreaker it could even withstand the Icelandic winter. However, as the regulations surrounding whaling became stricter
over the years and maintenance was finally no longer worthwhile, the ship drifted ashore here in 1981. Since then, the slowly rusting and disintegrating ship has been welcoming tourists as they arrive at the Latrabjarg headland, before taking the gravel road towards the Western Cape . And with that, my adventure in the Westfjords slowly comes to an end. Well, not really, I still have to trek back almost 200 kilometers. Let's see how far I have to drive today before I find a place to camp. Anyway, I'm in a great mood! That's nice , that's it . And before anyone asks: Yes, there is a “W” for “water” on the canister so that I don't accidentally fill it with petrol in a tide of mental derangement! (laughs) And while I'm driving here, two words on my own behalf: This video is very close to my heart, the editing really made my heart melt and I was back in the Westfjords for a few days. I would therefore be happy if it became the most successful video in the Iceland series . So if you want to do me a favor, then please share it in your networks, show it to your friends, leave a thumb or a comment. Thank you very much! so I didn't drive too far anymore, but then I got tired and along the way a really fantastic spot for wild camping appeared and of course I don't want to miss that in Iceland, that means I've set up my tent now I'm going to call it a day I'm about at the height of the second pass you remember those brutal gravel roads from this morning, that means I have to take them again first thing in the morning but I'm back in training a bit now the Westfjords have worked wonders in the end you have to always warm up a bit with it and then it's actually where I stayed here I'll show you of course but only in the next episode because of course I have to encourage you to come back in the next episode we'll first drive over the Pass roads to Olafs Wiek set up our tent there and use it as a starting point for a bit of the half there island and I tried to find out with Google translator how it is actually pronounced schneifels NES Jokel no idea I tried it but double l is apparently pronounced like sch here in Iceland so no idea if I find a local I'll ask him how this name is actually pronounced And although the peninsula is still a good 80 kilometers away as the crow flies, you can already see it on the horizon and even better with the telephoto lens. By the way, the island is pronounced
"Snaifellsnes", what causes me such difficulties in pronunciation is the eponymous volcano of the peninsula. We'll see how it's pronounced in the next episode! And in this video I deliberately didn't say anything about Kaasseler's honey whiskey liqueur, the 10% discount code "GS10", or that it tastes particularly good in front of such a great backdrop. Because some of you have contacted me about this and are absolutely right, as a nightcap it fits much better at the end of the video than at the beginning. So at the end of the episode I'm going to play a short commercial I stuttered myself, love goes out to Jürgen in the comments on Episode 3! No, seriously: Have a drink after a long day on tour, but don't drink and drive! However, the video analytics tell me that most of you are older than me, so I don't think I need to tell you that anymore. I am very grateful to you for constructive criticism, such as the one about advertising alcohol in a video about motorcycle tours and which belongs at the end of the video, as long as it is constructive. But with the statement that my videos are shit and yes, there are also many great comments, I can’t do much. So if you have criticism
for me, then bring it on, but then please tell me how I can do it better! And that should be it for today! You already know where to go next , so look forward to two great days of touring on the Snaefellsnes Peninsula. An impressive volcano, black sandy beaches with raging surf, rough lava formations in the scorching heat, lots of gravel roads and a lot of grandiose impressions from a region that is also known as Miniature Iceland . All this awaits you in 14 days, I would be happy if you join us again! thank you for coming, see you next time