Iceland Mag

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Iceland Mag


Chinese off-roaders forced to cover their tracks by hand

By Staff

  • Covering their tracks A group of Chinese off-roaders was forced to spend two hours raking over the tracks they left in volcanic sands near Landmannalaugar highland oasis. Photo/Kristinn Jón Arnarson

A group of Chinese travellers on two 4x4 vehicles were forced to spend two hours repairing damages they had caused by tearing up volcanic sands near the highland oasis Landmannalaugar.

Forced to repair the damages
Kristinn Jón Arnarson, a lodge warden in Landmannalaugar witnessed the travellers driving wildly in circles off-road in sands on the way to Landmannalaugar in the Central highlands. The group had left deep tracks in the sands and nearby hills. Kristinn told the local news site that the tracks left by the group was at least a kilometre (0.6 miles) long, covering a 9 hectare area (22.2 acres). 


Not a pretty sight The travellers had left deep tracks over a large area. Photo/Kristinn Jón Arnarson

After confronting the group Kristinn handed the group rakes forcing them to hide all the tracks they had left in the sand. It took the group two hours to repair the damages they had caused. Kristnn told the travellers were very cooperative when he confronted them, pointing out to them the seriousness of what they had done. The forcefulness of his argument played a role, he argued.

All off-road driving is illegal in Iceland. Sands are no exception
Many foreign travellers seem to believe it is ok to drive off road on barren land, especially sands. However, all off-road driving is strictly illegal in Iceland. Volcanic sands are no exception, as driving on the sands leaves deep tracks which can take years, even decades to disappear if they are not raked over by hand.

Related: Tourist fined 150,000 ISK for destructive off-road idiocy

Travellers can also expect to pay a heavy fine for driving off road. These fines can be as high as 1,200 USD or 1,000 EUR.

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