Hákarl at 65°N 23°W Bjarnarhöfn by Silas Bruun
This was not intended as a confluence trip, and it ended with a stomach upsetting experience for three curious Danes – Silas Bruun, Anders Kritte Nielsen and Søren Silleborg.
The plan was not to visit the confluence in the first place but rather to visit the nearby farm where one of Iceland’s food specialties is produced, namely the Hákarl. Lonely Planet describes its peculiar taste like “a blend between stale piss and week-old road kill”.
When we arrived early at the farmhouse, Bjarnarhöfn, we sought all sorts of excuses not to dive into this particular branch of Icelandic cuisine right away. By looking at the map the 65°N 23°W confluence seemed like an attractive alternative to a Hákarl breakfast.
The confluence looked as being located on a bird-cliff and hence we were not optimistic to reach it. When following the coastline west from the farmhouse the confluence however turned out to be located just below a vertical bird cliff on a steep gravel slope. It took a bit of time to walk up these “ball-bearings” and to traverse a snow filled gorge to finally reach the confluence with 5 meters accuracy!
When arriving back at the farmhouse we had no more excuses… The lady at the farm explained how the Shark (Hákarl) is caught and left untreated for 6 weeks dogged down in gravel at the coastline. This is only a preliminary step in the process though. After being dogged up from its grave the shark is dissected into large chunks and left to dry in the winter wind for not less than six months! Then it officially can be called “delicacy”.
Still having the Lonely Planet description in mind, we were nevertheless determined to try this out – and actually, it is not as bad as it sounds. We even managed to say thanks and drive two kilometres away from the farmhouse before we dogged into our sandwiches to overcome the aftertaste of this local speciality :-)