Destination Iceland: Nathan Millward LIVE

Nathan Millward
By Nathan Millward
NateThePostman Round the world adventurer Nathan Millward rode home to the East Midlands from Australia on a 105cc Australian postal bike (he didn’t like flying). He’s since ridden across America to Alaska, writing two brilliant books about the experience. www.nathanmillward.com

It's about the same size as the UK, but there are only 330,000 people living there; Iceland combines paved routes with a network of scenic gravel roads and trails, making it a fantastic destination for adventurous riders of any bike. We've sent overland rider Nathan Millward on a three week adventure, covering it live on our Facebook page, Twitter and here, on BikeSocial. Click here for full details of the planned trip...

Nathan's well known for riding a 105cc postal bike from Australia, all the way home to Mansfield. He later took the same machine across America and up to Alaska, and has written two fantastic books about his travels, becoming one of the leading motorcycle travel journalists; follow his adventure here, and check back every day for updates...

 

Saturday 24th June 2017

Bike packed and ready to go – impressed with this £10 Aldi dry bag! The Ferry from Dover to Calais is tomorrow at 12:30, then to Iceland from the Danish port town of Hirtshals on Tuesday...

 

Sunday 25th June 2017

Nathan Millward Iceland 26Jun

I missed the bloody ferry to Calais! Luckily they've bumped me on to the next one... Top Tip: Give yourself plenty of time!

 

Monday 26th June 2017

Getting there... I'm now in Germany, heading for Denmark – I've stopped in my favourite place; McDonalds! Free WiFi, good coffee – it's what's kept me going on many a trip, and a welcome break to today's 650miles.

 

 

Destination Iceland update: 26th June
Missed ferry, broken camera and a duff sleeping bag. Nathan's update before his 650mile day...

After 1000 miles of motorway, I've reached the top of Denmark. Everyone here at the Hirtshals campsite is on a BMW GS, except one guy on a Royal Enfield Bullet; he was going to Sweden tomorrow, but wants to come to Iceland – trouble is, the ferry costs 1000 Euros on the gate!

Food and camping prices are reasonable in Denmark; I've spent just over 100 Euros on food and fuel to get here from Calais (there haven't been any tolls). I'd have preferred to have come up here the scenic way along the coast, but the bike's gong well – I flew through Germany and into Denmark on a long, straight road. It's windy here; not sure if the tent's going to survive Iceland, and I'm not looking forward to tonight as the air bed has broken. Early trip teething problems.

Now to tuck into a tin of Tesco chicken jalfezi...

 

 

Destination Iceland update: 26th June
If you can hear half of what Nathan's saying, you're doing better than us... it's pretty windy up in Denmark tonight...

 

Tuesday 27 June 2017

On the ferry, but things not going too well with tying the bike down...

 

Destination Iceland update: 27th June
The ferry's straps aren't up to scratch for the bikes... here's hoping Nathan gets across safely.


Wednesday 28 June 2017

After 15hours at sea, I'm in the Faroe islands! All that way to Denmark, and I've looped back to not far north of Scotland. Another 15 hours, and I should be in Iceland... 

The weather's looking good, and have been researching routes and looking at the map... I just want to get off the ship and ride now! 

 

 

Destination Iceland update: 28th June
15 hours on the ferry. And another 15 to go...
Destination Iceland update: 28th June
11pm on the ferry to Iceland and the sun's still up... beautiful!

 

I'm in Iceland! I've driven out of the port and up the hill, and what a great introduction. A bit of snow, but the sun's out – what a great view of the huge valley.

There's been a convoy of bikes, trucks and vans all stopping here. What an amazing place...

 

 

Destination Iceland update: 29th June
I've reached Iceland... and it's stunning!

 

Friday 30 June 2017

I've been in Iceland for a day and a half, and ridden about 400 miles. From the port, I just wanted to cover some distance, so headed west on Route 1. I'd met a guy on the ferry who was riding a Royal Enfield Bullett, so we travelled together for the day.

The weather here is better than everyone warns you – it's been down to about 9°C, but it really doesn't feel bad. It's also not as expensive here as I'd been led to believe; fuel and camping is the same cost as in Europe. Food costs a little bit more, but a daily budget of £40 is possible.

I've been surprised at the number of rental cars from Europe, Asia and the USA – there's a real tourist trail around the island's main ring road. Away from there though, it gets quieter.

I've ridden a mixture of roads – all Tarmac, hard dirt or gravel; a novice rider would be fine.

The emptiness of the north is where I am now, and it's vast! It's like Scotland stretched out. I managed to get the bike to the lighthouse at the northern tip of the island, just four miles short of the arctic circle. Not sure where I'm going to camp tonight; I'm making it up as I go along...

 

 

Destination Iceland update: 30th June
Incredible volcanic activity in Iceland
Destination Iceland update: 30th June
A closer look at the amazing sights in Iceland...

 

Sunday 2 July 2017

Saw some incredible sights today – a hydrothermal reservoir just east of Reykjahlo, a volcanic shower, somewhere that looks just like the Sarlacc pit from Return of the Jedi, and a random white chair in the middle of nowhere at 9pm. 

Iceland is proving to be a stunning, and surprising place...

 

Do I need travel insurance for a trip like this?

Just like any holiday, a trip on a motorcycle – be it in the UK, Europe or beyond – can be ruined by delays, lost documents, illness and more. There are plenty of travel insurance options, but you need to make sure you get a policy that includes riding motorcycles, and if it does, that it's for bikes of the engine size you'll be riding (many only cover up to 250cc). At its most basic, you should look for insurance that provides cover for the following: 

  • Medical expenses
  • Loss or theft of personal possessions
  • Lost or delayed luggage
  • Loss of your passport and other documents
  • Travel delays and disruptions
  • Having to cut your holiday short

In addition though, if you’re taking a motorcycle (or you're renting one while you’re away) be sure that your insurer will cover you for any medical expenses, should you have an accident. You must also think about where you’re riding – some policies won’t cover you if you’re trail or enduro riding, or if you’re on a race track. Remember – this isn’t about your bike being covered, it’s about your medical expenses, should the worst happen.

If you're only going away once, a single-trip policy will likely be all you need, but also consider an annual policy, which could extend to cover your family holidays too (a good insurer should also be able to offer cover for your whole family). 

BikeSocial’s parent company, Bennetts, has a motorcycle-specific travel insurance policy – find out if it suits your needs by clicking here.

You can continue to follow Nathan's trip by clicking here.

 

Destination Iceland update: 2 July
Planning my routes the old fashioned way – with a paper map
Destination Iceland update: 2 July
Some of the amazing sights I've come across already...
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