Posted by: jeanne | March 16, 2014

unplanned time to spend

i didn’t anticipate having quite so much time at either end of my residency. i will land on a thursday morning, and won’t have to be at the residency until the tuesday, which is 4 days. and at the end, i am there 6 days after the residency is over. so what to do?

the first thing is i think i’ll leave for akureyri the day before i need to be there, which means taking the bus on sunday. is that possible (yes)? that’ll give me only 3 days and nights in reykjavik. i’ve booked my first night in a hostel, i did that before buying the tickets to make sure i had somewhere to stay at the end of the cheapest flight i could find.

if i’m going to get there with a day to spend in akureyri, then i can afford to take the longer, more sightseeing bus thru the middle of the country that gets in way late. 0800-1830 on the sba bus, 15.000isk versus sterna‘s (from the harpa concert hall) running 0800-2030 for 14.200. the sterna trip takes in thingvellir (information center) while the sba trip goes to hveragerdi and selfoss. there’s a decision.

so that’s 2 nights in akureyri. i looked it up on a map, the hostel closest to the two bus stations (the one on hafnarstraeti and the one to olafsfjordur on strandgata) is the backpackers hostel, so i’m booked in there the night before the bus ride to my destination. i can extend that. straeto is the bus service to olafsfjordur, which runs at 0815, 1315, and 1630. so 8 in the morning, the trip takes an hour. 350isk

it’s a balance between what the plane tickets would cost on any other day (and we’re basically talking about $200 more expensive each day away from what i chose), and what it will cost to be on the ground in iceland per day.

i can find a million things to do and people to talk to in reykjavik for 3 days. t hat’s not my issue. the problem is that i have from the 1st to the 6th of august to do something with. what to do that’s cheap?

i was planning on flying back to reykjavik from akureyri. there are 7 flights a day, 4 of which are discounted to roughly 12.000isk. but  maybe i could fly to some other part of iceland for awhile. or i could take a bus around the rest of the ring road and stay somewhere for a couple of days. i have all my luggage, but i don’t intend to go hiking with it and will plan that part carefully.

or i could rent a car. they’re 77.370 for 5 days. for a small car. a land cruiser is 269.628isk. renting a car i could drive to reykjavik and drop off at the airport would cost me 99.480isk. how much is that in dollars? almost 900 bucks. hmmm. no.

how about flying off to isafjordur for the time i have? or taking a passenger ship around? first off, there’s the luggage problem. there are funny rules, and their limit is 20kg per item. you basically buy excess luggage allowances. but then, all flights end or begin in reykjavik, so i can leave my luggage there. i think there are storage lockers at the bsi terminal. i can go from reykjavik to eglisstadir for 23.000isk. i can go to isafjordur and back for 25.800isk. and then stay at…well, never mind isafjordur. the hostels start at $240 and they’re running out of rooms. how about eglisstadir? just as bad. and reykjavik? shit, i’m screwed. it’s way expensive.

i can take the east circle sterna bus route thru the kjolur region for 42.600isk, and stop several times, say…i don’t know. i’m too tired to figure it out now. i’ll have to get to it maybe tomorrow before all the $600 a night hostels are sold out.

the next day. okay that wasn’t true. the prices i was getting were for the multiple day stay. when i went back this morning, i found all the hostels at their usual prices, and so, spurred on by last night’s panic, i used booking.com to reserve hostels along the east circle route. so i can buy one bus ticket, never mind the plane, get off to do my residency, get back on to continue around the island, and stay at a different location every night until i’m back in reykjavik and ready to go home. so that’s great.

trouble is, if any of my several invitations to others is going to happen, they will have to act fast, because the rooms are quickly selling out, 3 months in advance. yay iceland. and it looks like i’ll be on my own anyway, which is fine. i can see more scenery and talk to more strangers that way.

at the moment i am compiling all the bookings and arrangements into an itinerary, which will have all my confirmation numbers, which connections where, how to get from the bus stop to the hostel, what to do and see while waiting for the next day’s bus, all that.

a dizzying amount of research. i have learned to write it all down instead of going from tab to tab on the computer.

and my itinerary is complete. all day spent compiling it. i had to change several bookings when i realized how far i was going to have to walk with my baggage. i had to think it all thru. i hope i didn’t make any mistakes.

altogether, the non-residency travel and accommodation is going to run $100 a day. not including food. that’s not bad.

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