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Through the Vast Plains of Iceland on the Yedoo Ox Scooters

Italian David Ceccarelli has a spirit of adventure. After his last expedition on a skateboard round the Berlin Wall, he set off on a journey through the vast plains of Iceland on the Yedoo Ox scooter. He managed to overcome the difficult and over 800km-long journey in only 13 days with his friend Andrea Gesmundo.

David Ceccarelli (on the left) and Andrea Gesmundo in front of one of the most spectacular Icelandic waterfall, Godafoss (the fall of Gods).
David Ceccarelli (on the left) and Andrea Gesmundo in front of one of the most spectacular Icelandic waterfall, Godafoss (the fall of Gods).

Land of Fire and Ice

“The best adventures are those that you are only dreaming of,” says David Ceccarelli, sports instructor and children books illustrator. “I had been contemplating visiting Iceland for years; it is a land of fire and ice, vast wastelands and endless views,” David explains why he has heard the call of the North.

Reykjavik – the capital city of Iceland welcomed the two-men team by heavy rain on 28 July. “We spend the whole day riding in wet weather conditions, we thus felt in a bad mood and sad, but it suddenly all changed,” the experienced sports instructor describes the first day of the journey.

National Heroes

The scooters captivated the Icelandic journalists who were passing by; they did an interview with the young Italians which was published the following day in the national newspaper. “All of a sudden we gained a number of fans; people were recognizing us and welcomed us as national crazy heroes. The weather also cleared up, the sun was shining from the second day on, and that even at night,” David remembers the long days of midnight sun with a smile on his face.  

Tough Ride

 The adventurers chose a difficult route. They set off from Reykjavik, rode through the area of geysers towards the Iceland glaciers Langjökull and Hofsjökull, and then rode 200 km across the typical lava desert following the legendary route No. F35 heading to the north, where they joined the road leading round the island. The road led them to the picturesque fishing town of Akureyri and from here it took just a couple of days to get to the final destination of their expedition, to the village of Eskifjorður.

“The lava fields and plains along the legendary route No. F35 were the most beautiful natural phenomena I have seen on Iceland,” says Andrea Gesmundo, who had set off on such an expedition for the first time in his life. “I have never experienced anything more extreme in my life; and although I had been preparing for the journey carefully under David’s supervision, I did not know what to expect,” the 25-year-old deaf and dumb accountant from the Italian town of Prato describes his experiences.

During the ride Andrea and David communicated by means of special gestures made up to be used mainly in case of emergency. Otherwise, they understood each other even without talking. “People do not understand each other only if they do not want to understand,” David claims.

They carried rather heavy baggage – they cooked from their own supplies and slept mostly in tents. They spent just a few nights in local hotels or hostels with modest facilities.

Tour in numbers
– 800 km
– 13 days
– 60 km per day on average
– 9 hours of riding per day
Level of difficulty: very difficult

 Potholes and Flowing Asphalt

The surface of the terrain was varied. The stony routes in the wastelands, where only lichens, moss or thin grass grow, were pretty much broken here and there. The deep potholes looked liked a tank training area; there were places where the water flew in the middle of the road. Asphalt roads were melting under the hot sun, so it was more comfortable to ride on the verge.

Wind, Flies and Whirlwind

What did make the journey so difficult? “We did not worry about physical strain or the difficult terrain. The worst of all were the Icelandic flies that followed us mercilessly mainly in the plains. And the wind made it extremely difficult for us, sometimes it was so strong that it even prevented us from going downhill. What also made us nervous on the journey were the dangerous wind whirls raising dust, sand and small stones,” David describes the hardship in Iceland.

Scooters Stood the Test Perfectly

“In spite of all the adverse conditions our scooters had to face, they stood the test perfectly. The Ox scooter stood up to the unusual challenge as a truly strong and tough ox. Its small and at the same time wide wheels can cope with any terrain; we could rely on the brakes even when going downhill on steep slopes. Of course we took adequate care of our Ox scooters, we checked its state and balance every morning, so that they could keep good riding properties,” David describes.

Virgin Nature Beauties

What will the young Italians remember most about their trip? “We will never forget the pure, virgin landscape, the majestic Godafoss waterfall, whose crystal clear water we drank after an exhausting day, feeling totally amazed by the pure nature. We will always remember the day of midnight sun in the town of Gil on route No. F35, where we slept in a former amphitheatre rebuilt into a hostel and I was so much enjoying the wide spaces that I played my whistle for more than four hours,” David describes the experiences that will remain forever in the hearts of the two adventurers. “And of course we will never forget the scooters,” they say unanimously: “They have exceptional and unrepeatable charm.”  

The map of Iceland with the marked track of the expedition. In order to travel the distance of 800 km in the originally planned 16 days, they rode at least 9 hours per day. They carried rather heavy baggage – they cooked from their own supplies and slept mostly in the tents. They were absolutely amazed by the Icelandic virgin nature. The surface of the routes was varied. The stony routes in the wastelands, where only lichens, moss or thin grass grow, were pretty much broken here and there. Geothermal area in the canyon of the Hvítá river. The Strokkur bubbling geyser which erupts every few minutes throwing a column of water to a height of approximately 20-30 m. The Gullfoss waterfall located on the Hvítá river only 10 km far from the geothermal area tumbles in a double cascade. The water falls from a height of 10 and 20 meters. David and Andrea in front of the Gullfoss waterfall. The stony wasteland extending to the horizon – that is the landscape along the legendary route No. F35, which is – as well as all the inland roads - passable only in summer. The route No. F35 meanders between the Langjökull and Hofsjökull glaciers and then leads through the dull, stony desert to the north. A moment of relaxation Andrea Gesmundo had been preparing carefully under David’s supervision for the expedition to Iceland. Shared experiences and extreme situations made them become true friends. The Yedoo Ox scooters endured the unusual loading as well as the difficult terrain without any problems. Words just cannot describe how beautiful the Icelandic landscape is…

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