Ilaria and J's Photo PageIlaria's Page    J's Page
Iceland in winter Day4 mountains, wind, and storms
(Click on the images for a larger version.)
IMG  8307
We woke up to learn that Snæfellsnes peninsula was covered in bad weather. Ilaria slowly drove us to the point where we were supposed to cross the mountain and reach the south of the peninsula, but when we got to where the road sign was, we couldn't see any road because the violent wind was blowing snow and ice so hard. I volunteered to walk outside and see if I could see the road on foot. Ilaria said no, but even when I tried I couldn't get the door open because the wind was so strong.

Ilaria drove us to closest town of
Map of Iceland day 4  1

At the gas station, one of the workers told us the weather was only going to get worse and we shouldn't drive. But Ilaria called the travel agents again and they said all of the roads were open and that the wind was going to get worse later, so we should go now if we felt we could make it.
IMG  8312
I didn't want any part of trying to manage the manual transmission on all of that snow. But Ilaria said she wanted to try again. As we left the town we saw two SUVs that had just slid off the road (one of them containing some people we'd just meet in the gas station), we almost slid off at the same spot, but the Suzuki stayed on the road. Ilaria drove us back to where we could see the mountain road. And once again it was too windy to see the road. But she decided to just turn the Suzuki towards where the road should be and once she did, we suddenly could make out something road-like in front of us and she drove on.

Before long we encountered the first patch of deep snow. Since we were still inexperienced at this sorta thing, Ilaria slowed down to carefully drive over the deep snow, only to find she didn't have enough power to drive through it and we were stuck in the middle of the mountain with so much wind that we could only see a few feet in front of our window.

Before long there were a few trucks behind us, and we were glad to not be alone; Ilaria also got more confidence to put it in 1st gear and hammer the gas a little more and after sliding and getting all turned-about, we made it out of the snow and learned never to slow down and lose too much momentum in deep snow.
IMG  8314
For about 40 minutes, we crossed the 16km mountain stretch with me helping Ilaria figure out which way the road was going even though we could hardly see it. Ilaria just kept driving, and I was really proud she made it through without having a complete breakdown.
Map of Iceland day 4  2
Ilaria's nerves were completely shot, so after we passed the worst of it
IMG  8317
we switched drivers.
IMG  8347
Because of the bad weather we had to stay on the Ring Road, which we meant we had to travel all the way back to
Map of Iceland day 4  3
IMG  8350
before we could head back north up the Ring Road.
IMG  8352
The Ring Road had a few mountainous stretches of bad-weather, but nothing like we'd experienced in the morning.
IMG  8357
We made pretty good time, arriving near our destination of Viðidalur early enough that we stopped to see the village of
Map of Iceland day 4  4
IMG  8358
and then drove north up a gravel road
IMG  8359
trying to spot some
IMG  8365
seals at one of their hang-out spot.
IMG  8372
We didn't have any luck finding seals.
IMG  8373
So we head on to
IMG  8376
Viðidalur to stay at the Dæli farmhouse.
Map of Iceland day 4  5
IMG  8377
Dæli was one of the larger farmhouses of our trip with standard rooms and cabins.
IMG  8379
We had a cabin and a kitchen.
IMG  8380
I fried up what I bought for lunchmeat the previous day, only to discover that it was probably raw bacon, which even though I like meat, I just couldn't handle on a sandwich.
IMG  8381
We were really happy to cook some hot food after what had been a long day.
IMG  8383
Tortellini with fried bacon really hit the spot.

We didn't see much on this day of extreme weather, but we gained confidence after having survived by far the worst weather Iceland had thrown at us.