Impassable road in Iceland. Hitchhikers face much the same these days in Iceland. PIC Trey Ratliff

Impassable road in Iceland. Hitchhikers face much the same these days in Iceland. PIC Trey Ratliff

It is a truth universally known that all folks have not equally deep pockets. That does not mean those same folks do not harbor the same desires and hopes.

Enter the hitchhikers. Those headstrong daredevils thinking nothing of visiting a foreign country regardless of the red-level amount of dough in the bank account. Our hats off to them.[blockquote type=”blockquote_line” align=”right”]Worse yet, the weather here in summertime is no walk in the park[/blockquote]

There was a time in Iceland when one could hardly drive a kilometer on the Icelandic Ring Road without seeing hitchhikers by the roadside. This was when Iceland was more or less off the international tourist chart and even more expensive than nowadays. Tourists were also a rarity and locals did not mind offering rides.

Today, hitchhikers are a much rarer sight by the roads and team Total Iceland thinks it knows why. You see, hitchhikers are not really very welcome here and they feel it too. Indeed, tourism authorities and the Iceland government wants nothing to do with poor tourists. We want only the well off. Ditto that attitude from tour operators which back in the day did generally make a stop for hitchhikers drenched from rain and winds by remote roads. Not anymore. You either fork out for a special trip or take the consequences.

Thus someone looking to hitchhike around the island for example would be well advised to have infinite patience. While not impossible to hitch a ride it is so much harder than it was and especially in or around the largest city or towns. People simply do not bother as much around those parts.

Worse though is the fact that hitchhiking in Iceland is not a very smart idea. Even if folks find rides to and fro by the Ring Road there is not too much to see by that road. For serious sights and experiences one has to make detours all over the place and for this hitchhikers are ill equipped. Worse yet, the weather here in summertime is no walk in the park. What may start as the best day ever could turn into blazing winds and hammering rain in minutes. In some places on the Ring Road this summer were recorded temperatures around zero degrees. Not conductive to hitchhiking. Not to mention anything about wintertime.

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