Iceland: Day 15

Our last morning in Iceland, and I am sure that it has not been enough time. It never is, really. There are still great swaths on the map that have the yellow “beautiful scenics” markings, and we were too early in the season to go anywhere in the highlands — so much more in this small island to see! We are definitely going to have to come back mid-summer to see things in their green-and-colorful glory, and hike up the rivers to see the dozens of waterfalls that aren’t accessible until the roads open in June.

Ok, probably not this summer, but Iceland II is already on the list of future trips.

We have been living in the Durango for two weeks, and it’s time to scrub things and head back to Kuku for them to check things out. We will be dropping it off at the airport, but they want to get a look at things beforehand. It’s easy enough – the office is less than a mile from our hotel.

Larger gas stations have a bay to wash your car, for free. We were a bit surprised, car-washes at home are not cheap, even if you go the self-wash route at one of those stations where you feed in coins and have a high-pressure sprayer. At the N1 station just up the road, there were four spots with free sprayers and brushes to wash off your car. Considering that the outside of the truck is caked with dirt and we can barely see out the windows, it took quite a while to wash things. Mark handled the spraying and I sat inside and scoured the contract to make sure we weren’t expected to return the truck in pristine, super-clean condition on the outside, just that we needed to vacuum out the inside really well and make sure all the bits and pieces were in place.

The lovely folks at Kuku took a a very quick look at the truck, re-purchased our unused stove fuel cans, and sent us on our way with instructions on where to leave the vehicle at the airport. It was the easiest car return we’ve had in a while!  We were a bit nervous about it. Posts online and reviews of various car-rental companies in Iceland had myriad complaints about finding scratches or dings after the car was checked in, or counting existing damage and charging hundreds of dollars to repair things. We had all the insurance — seriously, if we’re going to spend a few thousand to rent a vehicle and live in it for two weeks, the extra hundred or so bucks for insurance isn’t going to break the bank. Normally, we don’t take any of the insurance covers — only when required, like in Italy or Ireland. But with gravel roads, the risk of ash and sand damage, and the horror stories of cracked windshields and paint chips equalling huge fees, we just sucked it up and went with it. And, when we picked up the truck, we carefully photographed everything. As it happened, we had zero sand storms, no ash, and no gravel that did any damaged that we could see. Yippee!

We stopped for lunch at Vitinn, in Sangerði — fresh fish and our final plate of icelandic Lobster, and then trundled off to the airport to laze about in the Saga Lounge until our flight.

I think I miss Iceland already. It was even better than I had hoped it would be — friendly, astonishingly beautiful. What more could I ask for?

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