[Shane – this is another blog by Eric and the last one in Iceland. I hope you have found all the blogs about Iceland entertaining, and if you ever go there, useful in your own trip planning.
I will be starting to talk about my time in Turkey next, so make sure you come back!!!! Better yet why don’t you just LIKE svGuidingLight on Facebook so you don’t miss a single entry?]
As of right now, one unique part of Iceland, is the camping. Camping is legal in the majority of Iceland public areas with the exception of towns and where no camping signs are placed in conservation areas. This came in handy and probably saved us at least a thousand dollars on our trip. We came prepared with sleeping bags, but no tent, so unfortunately there were a few nights where we had to sleep in the car which turned out to be more comfortable than it sounds. The nights that we didn’t have to sleep in the car due to rain, we just threw the sleeping bags on the bare ground and called it a night, which I thought felt pretty amazing. I loved falling asleep and waking up with a front row seat to the Atlantic Ocean. It never got cold enough that I wasn’t comfortable in my sleeping bag. What we would do is try to find a smaller road and take it at least a mile off the main highway before looking for a pull off area to hang our hats for the night. There were road signs occasionally that had a picture of a tree and picnic table, and would then have a nice pull off and picnic spot following the sign. These looked like good spots for camping but did, at one conservation area around Myvatn lake, had no camping signs at them. We camped at one of these picnic spots the second night after having supper at the picnic table. It does appear, however, that in the near future, the camping situation in Iceland could change drastically. The tourism industry in Iceland is growing at a rapid pace. With the increased numbers of people visiting Iceland, comes an increased number of people abusing the lax camping regulations. The bad apples are parking on private land, littering, and leaving brown presents behind. If you do go and get the opportunity to camp, please don’t be that guy. I’m sure, however, that there are enough of those people that at the least, the no camping signs will pop up at nearly all the pull offs on the island, or the law will require you to stay at designated camping sites. We did stay at one of these designated sites one night when we couldn’t find a pull off that didn’t have a no camping sign. It was an OK spot to sleep on the ground because the grass was mowed, but it costed $35, was crowded, didn’t have an amazing view like our free spots, and we had to be quiet to be considerate of other campers, and at the same time deal with people walking around our campsite with flashlights all hours of the night. I would have much rather paid to camp at the dispersed sites we camped at all the other nights than that one. Hopefully that camping experience will not be a thing of the past soon, but I fear its demise may be eminent.
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