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Iceland: A Stormy Motorcycle Adventure
by Sherrie McCarthy
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It does sound like a disease, but just as you know the ways certain diseases are spread, yet in the heat of the moment you can not resist and fall into something nasty, so is it with the tourist trap. On our trip to Turkey I decided that what I really wanted for my birthday was to visit Pamukkale. And it was heartbreaking in the disappointment it brought. It may just be the only place in our travels that the pictures we took look better than the reality. Not to let experience deter me however (I swear rats have higher learning curves) on this trip I declared it was to be the Blue Lagoon.
Patrick warned me, cautioning me with tales of Pamukkale, and so I concluded that we would check out Myvatin’s nature baths Jarbodinl instead, and if we loved it we would brave the Blue Lagoon – if not then I still got a day soaking in blue water followed by lamb. (Sorry to my vegetarian readers, and also to cute furry animals everywhere, but they are delicious, and I have discovered that when hungry I would in fact divulge state secrets not under torture, but rather after a couple of days with just a little food followed by the scent of bacon frying. Who am I kidding here, after a couple of hours).
At least this time we were allowed to get into the pools. (In Pamukkale this is no longer the case, but they have yet to change the pictures, and so they lure you in with these images). And at least there were not 600 other people frolicking within (which another couple told us is in fact the case with the Blue Lagoon), and finally (I am using a lot of these) at least this was a passing notion, unlike Pamukkale where I had hoped to visit the year previously when I was living in Turkey as a glorified servant to an insane family, and so the emotional wound was not so deep. (So many uses of “at least” makes me think of Montego Montoya) Well sir, I do know, I just blatantly ignore this meaning.
In the end however, that is one of the things with motorcycle travel. The majority of the “must dos” in a country become vague to acute disappointments. This is not one of these rants where a “traveler” complains about the “tourists.” No matter what your intent, you are a tourist. But I personally find it hard to enjoy some of the more touristy stuff when you compare it to the feeling of riding through the landscape. Which is why despite accidents and risks I do not want to give up motorcycle travel. Getting to a place is often more fun than when you actually arrive. Stopping the bike and having a picnic while viewing a glacier as it goes around a mountain stands out in my mind far more than the baths. ( We loved the swimming pools morethan the nature baths in fact.)
Of course once inside the hot baths this began a long rant on how much better the onsens are in Japan, in every way shape and form. They are hotter, more beautiful, more peaceful, cheaper, etc etc, I may have driven Patrick insane with my yearning for Japan.
On the other hand maybe I have spent too long in Swabian land. In the end we skipped the Blue Lagoon. We figured we would save the Euros and head to the Swaben Quellen. Shame on me!
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