... continued from Hvitur: Iceland Blog Post - Part 2...
... The car leaned further over to the drivers side. As the contents of the car started falling across the car my girlfriend gripped the door with one hand and braced herself with her other on my shoulder. The vehicle shuddered to a standstill. I told my girlfriend to get out of the car before it rolled further, and after struggling to push the door outwards, she jumped out. The door fell back down with a huge bang. Looking out of my window I looked down into nothing but snow. I lifted the handle on the door and attempted to open the door but it barely moved. The snow now was up to the bottom of the window, so I attempted to open it again, this time using my legs to force the door into the snow. Once I'd made a sufficient gap I swung my legs around and went to slide out. As I slipped out of the car, I fell into the snow up to my waist. Using my hands I dug myself a trench around to the front of the car and climbed up onto the road. Again, there we were in the silence. Stuck.
After a few minutes I decided to call the owner of the chalet we stayed at during the previous night. He had come to meet us at the chalet in a tractor that looked like Optimus Prime, so I hoped he would be able to get us free. It turned out that he couldn't help us because he himself had gotten his car stuck in the snow but he promised he'd come as soon as someone had come to free him. Although this wasn't the best news, I took some comfort in the fact that even the locals were struggling in this weather.
A number of people drove past on the road, most stopping to see if we were ok, even though they had no ropes to help us. We aimlessly waited for our host for a couple of hours until a bright yellow SuperJeep rolled past. By this time I had resigned my hopes onto the host saving us as no one driving by seemed able to help. The SuperJeep stopped just past us, then reversed. Out of this mutant-like vehicle stepped a middle aged Icelandic man, well built, with platinum hair and a red, weathered face. He was dressed in all weather gear but obviously wasn't accustomed to hats and gloves. With him was another guy, again Icelandic, but younger, fresh faced and bright eyed, this time with more suitable clothing. Out of the back the the car, they were followed quickly by a beautiful white husky. Without even saying a word to them, the elder gentleman started lining up the SuperJeep up with the front of our 4x4, the younger nodded to say hello and started looking for the tow hoop on the front of the car.
They gestured that my girlfriend should stay out of the car, indicating that it may well roll completely; then advising that I should get in to help steer it out. The older man got into the SuperJeep and the other indicated that I hit the accelerator as soon as I felt the jolt. I heard the SuperJeep's engine scream before the driver lifted the clutch. It jumped forward and wrenched me forward, spraying my windscreen with snow from the road. Our car slid forward but leaned further into the ditch, things were getting pretty hairy and it looked like my position was worsening. As heavy snow started to set in, we repeated the jolt three or four times, making no progress. After a few minutes deliberation, our rescuers decided to try pulling the 4x4 out backwards and manoeuvred their cars towards the rear. We tried freeing the vehicle another few times, the powerful SuperJeep seeming to almost rip the underneath out from our car. On the fourth attempt, they crunched forward, gaining enough traction to drag our car along the verge and then up onto the roadside. With the snow now driving down on us, I jumped out of the car to say thank you. The two men were just untying the car as if this was no big deal, all in a days work. I told them I had no money to offer them, but I could give them some of the beers from our boot that we'd been working through that week. The older man politely declined but I insisted they take something, anything. The younger of the two graciously took a single beer and they went on their way. We had done nothing to deserve their help, and their kindness was unrelenting. They were just doing it out of the goodness of their hearts and weren't prepared to give up at any point until we were out of that ditch. Then, just as they had arrived, they disappeared into the whiteness, heading off to get on with their daily business.
After a stressful start to the day, we made our way along the road at a slow and steady pace and decided to take a look at the nearby Gullfoss.
Our host from the previous night had told us of the famous Lamb and Veg Broth that was served in a restaurant at the top of the falls. After the morning we had had, a hearty meal was just what we needed. We drove slowly to Gullfoss; the weather was foggy and incredibly bright which meant it was hard to distinguish the sky from the land, and everything was just bright white. We wound our way over to the waterfall and weaved up the roads to the carpark near the top. Walking down to the side of the waterfall, we could see why the Icelanders love Gulfs so much. Although it didn't boast the height of the other waterfalls on the island, it made up for it in width and power. As you stand level with the crest of the fall, the water speeds its way directly toward you, widening more and more until it reaches you. Just as it does, it drops away: roaring, then falling into a creviced calm flowing away. After taking a few photographs, we decided to try out the Broth and take it easy for the rest of the day. The Broth was well worth the trip.