And meeting Iceland’s best friend, water.
Gatklettur ||Arch Rock||
Don't go there !
A small map, of what we did that day.
We must now, take the road at dawn for the Snaefellsnes peninsula, the sunrise hours being reduced in November, with eight hours of “direct” sunlight. The wild side of the peninsula has something unique, even mystical. Natural gems are scattered all along the territory.
2 hours driving through fields of moss and meadow. The weather was little indulgent, and the rain gave us little respite.
Only one stop, to get a closer look at the sheep (the wool that bounces when they run, make them look like small flying clouds). We missed the exit to Budir on the left, and decided to go a little further down the road, making an extra stop to take some pictures of the many surrounding waterfalls. Best idea ever …
By the time we came back to the car, the floor had become soft and damp. We were told that the car could go almost everywhere … Almost … We are unfortunately more used to driving in the sand than in the mud.
- Procedure if you get bogged down : The next time it stops, we should not insist, and put the vehicle in reverse. (and we are not going off-road with a SUV anymore). Make sure before going off road that you have the right tires and cengine for it.
In that particular case … We did not show much judgment. But, it is better to learn 500 meters away from a road, than at the top of a mountain without any path nearby (cf. Kazakhstan).
We tried to dig and to surround the tire with rock, nothing happened, every inch of mud that moved, finished filled with rainwater falling abundantly. We stopped several cars for help but none possessed the equipment to get us out of this damn mud. One thing to understand, “several cars”, in November, means waiting more than an hour in the rain near the road, the traffic being very limited.
One man finally stopped, after trying to bypass our car to tow us without success, at the risk of being stuck himself. We resigned, to call the police. Number : 112 . A tow truck could be there in less than 30 minutes, it would cost us 40 000 to 50 000 ISK ($350-440) …
We preferred to wait for another car in search of another solution. A man with his grandson, then stopped and told us about a friend of him being the most competent in the area. Which could come to help us, from Olafsvik, within 25 minutes for more or less 20 000 ISK.
35 minutes later, a few holes, and few euros lighter, we are on the road again. More cautiously this time.
That Escalated Quickly …
The setting around Budir church is beautiful and the unusual black church is very photogenic. In winter, the snow offers a striking contrast. When visited in summer, it is surrounded by tall grass. When we came, it was wet and foggy … A small path takes you along the cliff through Icelandic moss field.
We do not know how the Icelandic religious system works, all the churches we found on our way were closed, no possibility to go in. Have you ever had the opportunity?
The heavy storm didn’t make anythings easy and we had to suspend our search for the Gatklettur arch.
Iceland is a small country with a small population. Nature is wild and we would like for it to stay this way. Culturally, there has never been any entrance fee for national parks, natural tourist sites and security measures at these sites. Small narrow paths are sufficient to approach waterfalls or hot springs.
Kirkjufell is one of the most photogenic mountain, it is in all the guides, and is part of the inevitable of the peninsula Snaefelsness. Standing out as a majestic landmark. It’s easy to get to the waterfall, only 3 minutes walk from the roadside parking lot.
The perfect pointy shape has become one popular viewpoint, with the Kirkjufellsfoss in front and kirkjufell in the back. This place is also the place, where the beginning of “Journey to the Center of the Earth” story took place.
Well, we almost saw it … After the rain, the fog joined the party.
You might also be lucky enough to spot the largest predatory bird in Iceland, the white-tailed eagle took sanctuary in Grundarfjörður.
Driving back to the hotel was really surprising, the sun went down early, but the light remains mystical for a long time. With a little stop on the way to exchange money, refuel and go to the supermarket.
FYI : Bonus Supermarket is probably the best known budget store in Iceland, they are everywhere.
It was a small storm that had arrived on the west coast of Iceland, 80 Km/h winds and an icy and pouring rain.
So we finished the day as any person would have done in such a condition. We put on our boots, our wind-proof jacket, a beanie, and went outside before jumping into the hot tubs.
In a nutshell:
Hotel : Glymur Hotel
Adress : Hvalfjardarsveit, 301 Saurbaer, Iceland
Telephone : +354 430 3100
Website : www.hotelglymur.is
Car Assistance : This is the car assistance contact, located in Olafsvik, you might give it a try in a similar situation as ours. The official Police number is the 112.
Bílaaðstoð og flutningar
Telephone : +354 895 4558
Email : [email protected]
Rental Car : Lagoon Car Rental
Adress : Keflavík : Smiðjuvellir 3230 Reykjanesbaer Iceland Reykjavik : Sundagarðar 8104 ReykjavikIceland
Telephone : +354 515 2220
Website : www.lagooncarrental.is