You will remember that we just posted about how much we LOVED Iceland in the winter. And we do…. we really, really do. But there are some downsides to travel to Iceland in the winter. And one of them in the driving.
We were prepared for many of the roads to the closed during our Iceland in winter trip. But we had read that the main ring road around the country would be open. So that was our plan. Rent a car and spend a week driving around the ring road. It would have been awesome. It was awesome. But it would have been better if we hadn’t crashed the car.
That time we crashed a car in Iceland
Yes… we crashed the car.
But before you get mad at us…. check out the condition of the road at the time….
Under that snow is two inches of solid ice. And under that ice is the highway.
Although our car had winter tires on, it did not have studded tires. And without studded tires we were at natures mercy. Luckily, nature decided to kick us off the highway along a stretch of road where there was no drop off, and where a bunch of bushy hedges stopped our progress pretty fast.
Luckily, there was no damage to the car.
About 30 minutes later a local in a 4WD came by and just so happened to have a tow rope available to pull us out with. Once we were back on the road we decided to take a minute to catch our breathes. As we sat there parked we watch as another 4WD came up behind us. We watched as he began to slide in exactly the same spot as us. And watched in horror as he slid right towards us…… until suddenly the ice swung him the other way and put him in the ditch on the exact opposite side as us.
After that we drove at 40 kilometers per hour until we reached our destination. And from there? Well we decided maybe it wasn’t a good idea to complete the ring road, and perhaps we should stick closer to the more populated areas in the south….. just in case.
That time we drove through a freak 5 minute white out snow storm in Iceland
The day after our run in with the ditch, we decided to make our way back to more populated areas… you know…. just in case. We stopped at the incredible Skaftafell National Park for a short hike (more on that later) and ran into some friends from our guesthouse a few days prior. They warned us about some crazy road conditions just past the park. But we didn’t really think too much on it, I mean… it was bright and sunny where we were.
5 minutes after leaving the national park we got to an open plain area between two mountain ranges. Wispy snow was blowing across the road. I had seen this many times before growing up in Canada, but Dan who is from Australia thought it was pretty exciting. He made me take a video of it. A little while later the blowing snow increased… so I took another video. And then suddenly the snow was blowing so fast and hard that we could barely see the yellow poles which marked the edge of the road. At one point we couldn’t even see to the edge of the hood of the car. It was INSANE! We crawled along at 10 kilometers an hour. The only reason we didn’t stop completely was that we were afraid another car behind us would run into us. After all, they wouldn’t be able to see us until they were on top of us.
After about 5 minutes of crazy storm, it was all over. The sky was clear, and we were on our way again.
I hope you enjoy this video of our progressively worse drive through the wind storm.