The weather in Iceland is very unpredictable. One moment you’re enjoying a sunny, blue sky afternoon and the next you’ve got a storm brewing overhead. For the first three days of our trip, we lucked out with amazing weather. However, our luck ran out the moment we woke up on Day 4, realizing we’d overslept.
After running from our hotel room to the building that served breakfast, in the pouring rain, we were told that Route 1 was scheduled to be closed by noon due to high winds reaching 90mph (40m/s). We were advised to stay where we were for another night until the winds died down, but it was anybody’s guess as to when the roads would be passable again. It could be one day, or seven days, and we couldn’t afford that much time. We ultimately decided to keep moving forward, sticking to the schedule we so diligently planned in the months prior. A little bit of bad weather wasn’t going to stop us from seeing Iceland!
We jumped into our tiny rental car and headed straight to our next destination: Svartifoss. This waterfall is one of the only in Iceland that you can walk behind. It involves jumping a fence and keeping your balance on slippery rocks, but was worth it! Just make sure you know your capabilities before intentionally putting yourself in harms way 🙂
The weather had cleared up a little bit on our drive to Svartifoss, and no rain fell on us during our hike, so we figured we were ahead of the storm. We were wrong. At noon, just like we’d been told, we came across a Road Closed sign. Conveniently, there was a hotel right at the road block, which was where we were advised to spend the night and wait out the storm (hmmm…). After careful consideration of the heightened danger we were going to put ourselves in, we decided to drive the road anyways, assuming all risks. Being from the Midwest, we figured this storm couldn’t be much worse than any of the tornadoes we’d lived through, so onward we went to Jökulsárlón (the Glacier Lagoon) with the warning that if we got in trouble on the road we wouldn’t receive help until the storm was over! Yikes!
I can’t speak for how hard driving was, because Jacob was the one driving, but being a passenger was scary! We (thankfully) made it to Höfn unharmed, got a free upgrade at our hotel, and bunkered down for the night!
Stay tuned for next Monday when Jacob will retell our adventures from Day 5!