- 3 January 1999
- (blizzard forced our return) Hotel Herad
- 78 KM
- 939 KM
I did not bargain for this! Jim warned me of Russian bandits and malaria in Africa but not a drive over a towering mountain in a horrible Icelandic blizzard. I nearly panicked facing white blindness so dense that even with my face plastered against the windshield, I could not see the front-end of our yellow Mercedes. Driving steeper and higher, we crept along, as thick snow darted and pelted our car. No snowdrift markers led the way around the winding road. A slight turn too far right would take us off the mountainside, too far left would have us hit the massive peak, and no matter how we veered, we stood a chance of hitting oncoming trucks. Driving perfectly was a necessity.
“No!” Jim screamed, as we sank left into a snow-bank, which rose to mid-thigh when I jumped from the car wearing tennis shoes, like a fool. “Get the shovels,” I yelled as we moved towards the trailer against fierce wind. Shoveling frantically to clear the tires, with new snow replacing old faster than we could shovel, we realized we could not salvage this situation as darkness fell almost instantly in the middle of the afternoon.
A rescue squad arrived for us in a few hours. By now, I feared I had frostbite. We secured our car before riding back, shivering in blankets, to Egilsstaðir. Jim and I held hands in silence, sorting through the last five hours. We had a powerful machine, but we were not experienced drivers. To make it around the world, we would need much more than luck. Looks to be one hell of a road trip.