My 1st lesson – Car Rentals are Tricky. Travelling Ring Road, Iceland

Now I am not one to bash a company and it really isn’t false advertising when it’s in the name.  The cars were sad.  I knew Iceland was going to be expensive even in the off season – I booked a Hyundai Santa Fe before arriving in Keflavik, Iceland from — affordable and recommended by other travel blogs.  My plan and my budget was to car camp. I had the car, found a camping rental company in Reyjavik, got a cooler, food run to the cheapest grocery to stock up on veg sandwich material and 2-minute-noodles, petrol and off I went for Ring Road – one road around the country.

Iceland is stunning without question.  Every inch of the drive was beautiful, I never tired of the landscape or the efforts to read the signs in Icelandic. It is hard to avoid stopping at every bend in the road for photos Icelandic Road Trip- Driving Iceland’s Famous Ring Road. Accompanying me on my road trip was an overpowering smell of petrol pumping through the air vents.  Northern Iceland in April is very quiet and very cold.  I came across few people and even less garages.  I layered my clothes, kept the heat off and kept the windows down. The choice to breathe while sleeping instantaneously exacerbated my budget when I made the decision to sleep in hostels.  

Travelling West to East I made my way around the country and back to Reykjavik in a quick 7 days. I met my friends Erin and Tuki and backtracked to the Golden Circle.  We explored the Geysers, Black Sand Beach, and waterfalls all in that Santa Fe. As we drove one afternoon the sky opened up and at that point it wasn’t just the smell that was the problem, the brakes didn’t work either.   

We checked into a guest house and called the SadCars company.  A few hours later they came out and brought a new car – it had to be returned shortly thereafter for another person’s reservation.  So here we are, having to head back to the capital sooner than expected. 

We picked up car number 3 drove 5 km, parked and explored the city before heading to the Blue Lagoon and the girls’ flights that evening.  Getting back to the car, it wouldn’t start.  Several hours of them coming back and forth, they got the car started and off to the Blue Lagoon for our plush towels, face mask and complimentary cocktail.

The takeaway: Budget a better rental company, go in on it with a few friends and recognize there will always be issues with rental car companies. 

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