Back on the main road my inadequacies were once again made clear.
As I mentioned before, the sheep in Iceland are given a free reign during the summer. This allows them to spend their time eating all sorts of wild grasses or, in a clear imitation of human adolescents, hangout and cause trouble. These wayward sheep decide that the grass on the other side of the road is of such better quality that they MUST cross NOW. Normally this isn’t a problem- see sheep, slow down, sheep cross, speed up. Easy.
Just over an hour after my creek crossing I was passing yet another group of sheep. I slowed down from 90 to about 50, watched them cross, and kept on going. Then one idiot got confused- which side has the best grass?! I need to check the other side again. It turned and started to cross right in front of me! I braked, started to swerve into the other lane, and then- Oh, yeah, it’s the other side that has the tasty grass… The idiot turned back into me! There was nothing I could do- SMACK! My bike jumped, I let it ride out, and stopped as soon as I could. I didn’t drop the bike! I hit a sheep and didn’t drop the bike!! How cool am I?!
Then I looked behind me. The sheep was up and trying to get off the road- one hind leg was a mess, the other seemed to be at an odd angle. Crap. Crap, crap, crap, crap, crap. What do I do now? Okay, first- check the bike. The front forks have some wool in them and there is a bit of blood splatter- shit, there is a bit of blood splatter on my bike! Okay, okay- I can’t just leave, I need to tell someone. Ah, down the road I can see a farmhouse. I ride over to tell them- even if the sheep isn’t their’s, they’ll be able to deal with it.
When I get to the farmhouse a woman comes out, ‘listens’ ( I don’t speak Icelandic and she didn’t speak much English) to my story and then goes back in the house. A couple of minutes later another woman comes out and asks some more details. She seems annoyed, but not angry, calling into the barn and yammering away to the older man who appears. He gets into a truck, pulls around front, waits for the two women to get in, and then drives off.
What do I do now? Wait? No- I did my duty and I really have no clue what’s happening- best leave. Worst case I can just play innocent if I was supposed to hang around or something.
Riding away I consoled myself with the thought that with a good cast and a few weeks on crutches the sheep would be just fine. It was easier than thinking about how much needless pain I had inflicted on it.