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Iceland Mag


Traveller exploring roads which aren't ploughed regularly spends five days trapped in remote fjord

By Staff

  • Dynjandisheiði heath The northern shore of Arnarfjörður fjord can only be reached by boat, or by crossing one of two heaths which are known for extremely heavy snow and are therefore rarely ploughed. Photo/Sigurður Guðmundur Sverrisson.

A French traveller spent five days trapped in his car in a remote fjord in the Westfjords after he got stuck between two heaths which are rarely ploughed. The man spent five days in his car in Arnarfjörður fjord where he ws trapped after the fjord was cut off from the rest of the road system by heavy snow. During this time he slept in his car, read, worked on his computer and enjoyed the view as he waited for time to pass and the roads to re-open.

One of the most beautiful waterfalls of Iceland
To get to Arnarfjörður travellers will either have to cross Hrafnseyrarheiði heath, if they are coming from the north, or Dynjandisheiði, if they are coming from the south. The two heaths are not ploughed regularly during the winter, leaving the fjord cut off from the rest of Iceland for several weeks each winter. 

Read more: Video: Meet the friendly falcons of the Westfjords

The heaths had been ploughed in late March, but became impassable in early April, due to heavy snow. The waterfall Dynjandi, one of Iceland's most picturesque waterfalls is at the foothills of Dynjandisheiði heath.

Got stuck on April 1, retrieved his car on Monday

The Icelandic National Broadcasting Service RÚV reports that the French traveller, Thomas Chrétien, drove into Arnarfjörður on the Saturday evening April 1, spending the night in the fjord. When he planned to leave the next morning he discovered that continious snowfall during the night had left both heaths impassable.The man told RÚV that he spent the next five days in the fjord. 

"I had prepared for the trip, stocking up on food and beverages for the whole trip. So that wasn't so bad. I just waited, I read, I worked on my computer, and I let time pass. ... I waited for five days because I didn't know what to do."

On the fifth day the mail boat picked Thomas up, dropping him off at the nearby village of Bíldudalur. He waited in Bíldudalur over the weekend, and finally on Monday he was able to retrieve his car. Despite having missed his flight back home, the French traveller was remarkably upbeat when RÚV spoke to him, admitting that he had nobody to blame but himself:

"There was nothing wrong with the information I was give, It was up to me to actually pay attention!"

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