Woke up to find the knee in much better condition. I could walk around with no pain, which was very promising. The weather wasn’t fantastic and the bar would be closed until evening, so I ate some breakfast, took some ibuprofen, and went back to sleep. You would think that sleep would be hard in a country that has no real night, but I’m finding it quite easy to fall asleep at odd hours nonetheless. When I awoke the knee felt dramatically better. The acute pain was gone and I was left with a mild soreness when completing certain actions, such as bending down to get into the tent.
I decided to hop onto the bike to see if I could feasibly cycle up to Geysir a few kilometres away in order to catch but to my surprise the front tire was dead flat. Upon inspection I found that the patch I had put on the first day had bloated up and underneath the small tear had expanded into a chasm almost 2 cm long. It seemed oddly damp, which left me wondering if rainwater could have snuck in through the valve and softened the patch?
I didn’t trust that I could re-patch a tear this large, so I am giving up on this tube. I use one of my spare tubes and make a note to buy a new tube at the next bike shop I pass. Patch kits are great, but they don’t help if the valve breaks, or a tear appears directly next to the valve.
I find that I can indeed ride the bike without pain, at least for short distances, so I rest some more and make plans to hunt down a bus that will take me back to Reykjavik tomorrow. I should mention that this was always part of the plan, as the mountain road shortcut I was initially planning in taking was still closed. Yesterday I had a quick chat with a fellow Pole on a bike who was about to head up the mountain road. Today around midday I spotted him cycling back up from Gullfoss, clearly defeated by the sodden mud and river fords found on the mountain roads. In any case, the mountain road represents the only truly wild terrain on my trip and with my knee I would not dare take such a risk.