Djúpavík // La Mecca


When κ, α & I arrived at the car renting agency in Reykjavik to pick up our 4×4, the 2 guys working there looked for a moment at how tiny we were.

They asked where we were heading with a doubtful question mark in their voice. We said that our ultimate goal was Djúpavík, a lost hamlet in the north west peninsula of Iceland. They gave us a bunch of instructions on how to drive on ice, on snow, on pebbles, on mountain roads. Feels like they were worried not to see the 4×4 again.

Off we were to northern adventures in OUR car. We stopped for a couple of nights on the way, visited an ice cream factory supported by volcano energy and adored the poetry of it.

On the last day of Winter (end of April for the Vikings), we stopped in Borgarnes where we were strongly recommended by a lady who was a huge fan of Paul Oscar (the Icelandic equivalent of… Peter Andre?) not to drive further up north. She showed us the official website of Icelandic roads, and most of them were closed due to weather conditions. She called Djúpavík hotel on our behalf to cancel our night.

But the trip wouldn’t feel complete without seeing Djúpavík because we had been fantasising it since day 1. In only a few days, it had become our Mecca, the one place to see before you die.

So on the first day of Summer, we hit the road anyway.

It was the most intense journey we all ever lived. The more north we were getting, the more lost in white.

Nothingness and white. Sometimes after a curve, the insolent green of a far away fjord would blind us as if we had already forgotten about colour.

As the hours were passing, the road was getting narrower and whiter. The snow hadn’t been cleared. We were directly overlooking the cliffs – no security barrier whatsoever. I can’t remember how long this lasted, but it felt like a lifetime, another time/space dimension. We were several hours without speaking at all, just all gathering our meditations not to die, to make it to the next bend, to the next bump on the road. To the safe.

Everytime we were seeing a hut ahead, we were all secretly hoping: Djúpavík? But Djúpavík wasn’t in sight.

There was a point that we lost hope to ever reach it. We thought of going backwards, we thought we got lost. We decided to carry on just a bit more.

And there it was. No possible mistake.

We had reached our Mecca, our El Dorado, our enchanted land. It wouldn’t have surprised us much to see unicorns drinking the water of the bay.

We cartwheeled on the snow and knocked the door of the hotel. A beautiful lady welcomed us: “Your rooms are not ready, I wasn’t expecting you.” We were the only customers in the hotel, and the only living souls in Djúpavík along with the couple of owners and their dog Freya.

That’s the happiest I’ve ever been to arrive somewhere. That’s the most desired destination I’ve ever wanted to see with my own eyes.

It is not until months later that I talked about that journey again with α, and we both agreed that it was the closest to death we ever felt.

But God was it worth the risk.

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