Over the past 36 hours I spent about 20 of them in a Mazda MX-5 Icon, the latest special edition of the sports car, and first to be applied to the lesser powered 1.5-litre engined variant.
The point of this extended journey was to get a close look at this fourth iteration of the Icon special edition - think jazzy looks and an extra kit list for a moderate price rise - and to reappraise the MX-5 through prolonged exposure against one of the world’s most spectacular backdrops.
Here's how it went:
Apologies for the long gap: the weather turned and the run in to Reykjavik was foggy, wet and a bit more difficult than expected. But we're here, having travelled 828 miles in 36 hours, having spent 24 of those hours in the MX-5.
It's a great feeling, but perhaps not one of elation - but purely because this car on these roads, ably supported all the way by stunning, regularly changing scenery, have made light work of it. I should be exhausted, but right now that's not the case.
Earlier today I posed the question of whether the MX-5 can truly be considered a sports car when it's powered by this dinky 129bhp 1.5-litre engine. The answer, emphatically, is yes. I can count on one hand the number of times it felt breathless on this trip - and then always on long uphill runs when I'd ballsed up and lost momentum beforehand.
Yes, some will want more and be able to handle more, but the MX-5 has enough. Enough to thrill, enough to make you feel alive and enough to teach you a few driving lessons about delicacy, precision and thinking ahead to get the most from what you have. Valuable lessons, all of them.
To wrap up, this has been an educational trip on two fronts. The first was to reaffirm just how good the MX-5 is in every guise. If you own one or plan to own one, I am very jealous. The second was to remind myself that there is no substitute for taking a long drive in a car to learn all about it. That I got to do so in somewhere as stunning as Iceland was an added bonus. If you get the chance, I heartily recommend it - ideally with an MX-5, but also in one of the Dacia Dusters so beloved of the hire car companies out here.
Finally, do read our first drive of the car for a more succint summary of its merits.
6.30 - motorsport potential