Paradise ... after the storm
Laugafell Travel Blog› entry 14 of 27 › view all entries
July 3rd, 2008 – by: dl4plm
We follow the F208 down to the small village at Kistuada.. where we meet up at the local hotel with Ivan and Yara.
We manage to persuade the owner to "sell" us breakfast only and we tuck into a breakfast buffet while retelling our story of the nights fun!
After breakfast we spend alittle time drying out the tent ... the sky is now blue, its still windy but the sun is out and its getting warm.... a perfect drying day.
Todays plan to is head up the famous F26 road across the Sprengisandur to a small mountain hut at Laugafell....
Would today bring any surprises?? of course.
Taking the F26 we head north across huge sweeping hills. This road is only just open ... its still early in the tourist season... the road is open and empty ....
Some way up we take a no name track that runs closer to the Hofsjökull glacier. We need some better fotos!
The road we take we have to follow on the GPS ... its marked on the maps ... these tracks are marked with small wooden posts usually yellow in colour ... but they are old .. some are missing and some have faded and the paint gone.... this is fun!
Ivan is out in front ..... guiding us across the rocks and lava fields ..... the dust flies up from the landrovers and makes it difficult to see in front ... I drop back further so I can see his tracks.
More fotos and a stop for tea .... the scenery is stunning .... blue skies and amazing clouds.... the green tundra landscape leads across black and grey lava fields to the ice ....
continuing on we make good time across the landscape which if your interested in 4x4 driving is some of the best in the world I can say!
We find some rivers here ... melt water from the Ice leading to the bigger rivers to the east.
Suddenly I see Ivan stop.... he gets out and climbs on top the landrover ... what is he doing ?!
I get closer and suddenly stop sharply .... Ivan has missed the track .... posts between two areas are missing and he has driven across what he thought was the road ...... water pouring from a snow bank has turned the ground into quick sand ... he is bogged down to the axels.
We are only travelling this route because we have two vehicles .... I would never have come this way alone...
OK ... I throw my tow rope out to Ivan we attempt to pull him backwards.... he does not even budge an inch!
next ... winch ... I throw him the winch hook and wire.... using my vehicle as an anchor ... even with wheels full locked we still cannot drag him out!
OK time to dig!
We try digging him out ... two of us up to ankles in soft quick sand.... water fills in the holes just as quick as we dig .....
we are getting no where fast and we have been here 2 hours.
I back track and find another route round.... I head to the local ranger station to try and find help.
The ranger station looks empty but their huge monster truck with balloon tyres is parked out front.
I go round the back and find the two rangers in the sun ... with a BBQ going and a plate of steaks! Summer BBQ huh!
I explain and they quietly nod and ask a few questions... we will be along later .... please call it in on your mobile to the police and we will come down.
I call the police and inform them of the problem .... the officer answering the call laughs.... the guys will be down shortly... but dont worry ... enjoy the sun ... its a lovely day! So much for concern!
I head back to Ivan who has found a way to dig a trench and drain the water off....! Great ... the ground round him is solid now....
We dig more until the landrover looks clear...... and then suddenly we hear the roar of a powerful engine and the rangers come across the ridge.
They are interested how we get there of course.... its worth noting that any kind of "off track" driving is strictly prohibited ... we explain the mistake and show them the track and missing pegs..... Ivan is pulled out and they take some photos ..... once they realised we are not locals the mood changes....the smiles break out and they inform us to fill in the hole to a good way and that would suffice.
Breaking out the shovels again we fill in the hole we made and return the place to its original condition.
Once the hole is filled we decide not to double back but to follow the now broken snow the rangers left on the track ... Ivan ploughs across ... I follow.....
We stop in at the ranger station and inform them and thank them for the help....
We continue on the F26 and then follow the F752 to Laugafell.
There is a beautiful cabin here and a lovely warm hot spring .... a welcome relief to tired muscles from a few hours of difficult digging!
We share a bottle of wine in the hot spring ... enjoying the companionship with our new found friends......
I sleep soundly this night ... no wind ... no storm ..... just the silence of the mountains and trickle of the spring .......
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