© 2015 mikeandbrynne

The Fatal Flaw

Beautiful Skalholt Church-IMG_9298 IMG_9314 IMG_9313 IMG_9310

Our vacation/ adventure had gone without a hitch thus far which really was incredible when you think of the amount of logistics that go into 8 people traveling abroad and the number of flights, bags, cars, hotels and food that has to be accounted for.  Today also started out picture perfect.  We awoke to a beautiful clear morning, the likes of which had hardly been seen all year, and made a definite plan of all the amazing things we wanted to do that day.  We decided that we wanted to adventure to Landmannalaugar in the interior of Iceland to swim in some of the best remote geothermal springs on the island.  The warm geothermic water on the island is piped through large water pipes throughout the land providing an endless supply of hot sulfur smelling water.  Landmannalaugar is one of those areas where the warm water bubbles up out in nature and there are no restrictions or entry fees for enjoying the natural amenities.  The area is also the entrance to the Highlands where hard-core hikers and adventures set off for incredible glacial adventures.  Everyone we saw heading up into the mountains looked geared up like an REI commercial.  Our three hour drive went without a hitch and we experienced beauty and serenity.  Once we got to the hot springs we discovered that many of the people who had parked and were hiking in the backcountry had crossed a river next to the hot springs that offered closer access and parking to both the hiking trails and the springs.  After parking on the far side of the springs and leaving Lily and I in the car for me to get her and I geared up, Mike decided he would love to have Lily closer to the springs so that we didn’t have to hike so far with her.  His compassion was his fatal flaw.   Amid protests from the kids he decided to drive our supposed 4 wheel drive Mercedes van thru the river to the closer lot.  Sadly, our 4 wheel drive car wasn’t really 4 wheel drive and the air intake valve was far too low on the car.  We got stuck in the middle of the river and our engine took in a whole gulp of air.  Long story short-it was much colder in that neck of the woods and in order to keep the middle four children warm and happy while Mike and Taylor worked on the car I stuck them in the hot springs.  They spent a few hours having a lovely time and “go-proing” their adventures.  Lily and I watched over them from the sidelines not having quite as much fun and Mike and Taylor worked with the rescue team that happened to be stationed close by having much less fun.  In the end our car did not start and we were blessed that the area we got stuck in was not just a random place in the middle of the island, but also the starting point for many of these high adventure treks.  As a result, buses come and go to that area even though it is remote, dropping off and picking up hikers.  The kids and I were given a free 4 hour bus ride back to town (thank you sweet bus attendee) where we managed to secure a taxi to get us back to our mountainside cabin.  Mike was not so lucky.  He was stuck at the hot springs, thankfully, with some lovely Icelandic families and was taken care of until a late night tow truck arrived.  Long after midnight (it never really got dark, but you could see the full moon up in the sky), he arrived tired and beat at the cabin.  I was grateful for his willingness to take care of all of us and to solve the snowball of problems that went into effect.  Ah…….so close to perfection.  Each book and character has its own fatal flaws, right?  This was ours.

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Finally back at the cabin after the adventure-IMG_9326