HFG Norse Bound – Gareth’s Photo Diaries – Days 8-9

After a couple of days confined aboard, watching the snowfall in the eastern port town of Seyðisfjörður our schedule for the early part of the expedition was in tatters, we had initially planned upon disembarking the ferry early on Tuesday morning and taking a northern route across Iceland with the plan to arrive in the capital in the far west at Reykjavík on Wednesday evening, whilst visiting some key areas in the North of the island along the way. However, come Wednesday afternoon we were still sat waiting in a convoy outside of the port town, the Icelandic emergency services organising a convoy of vehicles to follow a Snow plough through the mountain pass and out onto the clearer highways.

Finally underway around early evening and nearly 48 hours behind schedule a tough drive through driving snow and ice ensued as we finally managed to clear the worst of the wintery conditions and leave the pass that wound up and out of the port town behind. Once clear of the convoy we drove on ever cautiously as the weather had cleared ever so slightly. Keen to get the trip back on track we soldiered on along the Southern coastal route in the hope of covering as much ground as possible, as the ARB Solis iQ lights took over as day turned to night, concentration was a must, with sheet ice, thick snow and bends without barriers appearing out nowhere driving condition seemingly hadn’t improved at all. Eventually after what felt like an eternity somewhere around 10:30 pm we arrived at our hastily planned stopover in the small town of Höfn. Time to erect the ARB Esperance Roof Tent and crash after a gruelling few hours behind the wheel.

A new dawn and a fresh outlook, with the bad weather behind us we awoke greeted to clearer skies and a hint of sunshine. Time to hit the road, Martin our expedition photographer was due to join us this morning (Thursday) for 4 days and his flight was set to arrive at Keflavík airport at 11 am. Only a small matter of being 8 or so hours and 300+ miles away from our current location. We had planned to be there to greet him on time but plans changed, and we had a pretty good excuse for being late. The long drive was pretty uneventful, just mile upon mile of stunning Icelandic landscape to gaze at as we headed west, constant gasps of amazement as we rounded countless bends in the road which unveiled yet another vista of wintery wonder.

We eventually made it to the airport around 2.40 pm only 3 and a half hours later than initially planned, a great effort considering the distance away we found ourselves at the start of the day. Martin luckily had managed to keep himself entertained in the confines of the airport and as he loaded his gear aboard the AT35 was rearing to go and explore the land of Ice and Fire. With all of the team together, it finally felt like HFG Norse Bound was all systems go! In hindsight we should have changed our plans, trying to get back to our planned itinerary meant another 3 hours driving back along the same road eastward to the town of Vík situated upon the Southern Icelandic coast.

But clear of the Reykjavík suburbs we were soon back among the empty rural vastness of this frozen landscape, the ground starting to morph from rocky terrain to snow-covered wonderland as we headed further east. Keen to get some footage of the AT35 off the road and among the terrain it was built for, we pulled in at the first waterfall we could find at Seljalandsfoss. Although the time of day was well into early evening, the car park was full of visitors as they crowded the short pathway from the car park to the falls. Our hopes of footage faded fast, but among the throng of people, we spotted a road heading up into the mountains behind the falls. Back into the truck and onto the mountain road, 4-wheel drive engaged as the gradient increased dramatically. We climbed higher and higher up into the mountains as the road (gravel track) wound around crevasse and outcrop deteriorating the higher we travelled. As the track eventually reduced to stone and ice we stopped and looked back revealing the epic landscape of rock, river and sea we had just travelled through.

Off-road adventure in the bag for the day we made another pit stop at the larger and more impressive Skógafoss Waterfall before finally making it to our base for the next 2 days at Vík around 8.30 pm. All exhausted from a long day travelling we enjoyed a cracking dinner and a couple of beers in a local restaurant and reflected upon the trip so far. We thought he had earnt a decent bed for the night so booked into a local hotel and handed the keys to the AT35 over to Martin (still fresh). The combination of an exhausting drive, good food and a warm bed meant we slept in a little, and whilst Darren and I enjoyed a lie-in in our comfortable twin room, Martin had been up at the crack of dawn exploring the town of Vík at sunrise. Visiting the church of Vik I Myrdal which stood sentinel on the clifftop above the town and beach, it also made a very photographic backdrop as the rising sun rounded the mountains in the east.

With a high vantage point already utilised, Martin then headed down to the beach, the Black Sand Beach at Vik is renowned for its volcanic black sand and with the dramatic rocky outcrop of Reynisdrangar just offshore it proved another great location to go off the beaten track in the Isuzu D-Max Arctic Trucks AT35.

Refreshed from a good night’s sleep and with a clear blue sky above us we headed east again towards the Glacier lagoons of Jökulsárlón an area we had passed the previous day that had looked stunning. With no real-time constraints for the day, we took our time to enjoy the landscape and the sunshine. Although around -7 degrees Celsius the sun had real warmth and coats were not necessary. We found a couple of great side routes off of the main highway to explore, with the snow-covered ground and deep royal blue rivers snaking through the scene.

If one thing this trip had already taught us is that best-made plans often go awry, you just don’t know what Iceland is going to throw at you next. As we rounded a bend in the road, we were presented with a vehicle stuck deep in the snow having drifted off of the verge. We stopped to see if we could offer some help, the passengers two American ladies celebrating completing their medical training had tried a 3-point turn in the middle of the road, we had already come to discover that the Icelandic roads are built up a little and the verge each side drops off dramatically. With snow ploughs constantly clearing the road network, the ploughed snow fills these voids, creating an illusion of level ground where in reality there is a drop off of 2-3 feet in places. As the Jeep’s tyres had hit the verge the vehicle had got itself embedded deep down on the passenger’s side in some pretty hard-packed snow. Keen to help two damsels in distress and to put the whole host of ARB accessories to use in a real-world situation, something we hadn’t expected to do, we jumped out to lend a hand.

Armed with the Bushranger Revo winch we made an early attempt at pulling out the Jeep, but the harder we pulled the more it bedded in against the hard-packed snow. It was time to get physical, and the first use of the shovel we had packed. We all got to grips with digging around the tyres trying to make enough clear space to wedge in the ARB Recovery Track boards to add extra grip on the tyres. Even though the temperature gauge remained firmly below freezing, it was warm work digging in the snow. Ready for another attempt the tyre gained traction and the Revo winch pulled the Jeep back out onto the road.

Successfully recovered and back on their way the Ladies left us to get back to exploring. Mid-afternoon found us make it to the Glacier lagoons, and although absolutely breathtaking they where currently being visited by every other tourist in Iceland. Which made getting great views and the AT35 involved impossible. We had good walk around and at Jökulsárlón and on the Diamond Beach where the glacier lagoon joined the sea, where huge chunks of ice wash up on the shoreline. Back in the truck and another pitstop at Fjallsárlón a small lagoon but with a more impressive panorama.

We seemed to race the setting sun as we headed back west towards Vik, detouring again at the same location we had found earlier in the day. With the road to ourselves and the shadows lengthening we just took a moment to enjoy the incredible place, we found ourselves in, the setting sun reflecting a kaleidoscope of colours off of the frozen ground. An extremely memorable way to end an eventful day.

Catch up with the HFG Norse Bound journey so far here: HFG NORSE BOUND

Days 1-6 of the expedition featured a lot of motorways and empty seas but as the ferry docked in Torshavn on the Faroe Islands things started to get a lot more picturesque. So, we thought we would share a few photos from the Faroes and our first couple of days in the land of Ice & Fire.


Please let us know what you are enjoying about the expedition so far. The truck, the landscape or even the people we look forward to your opinions. 

Big success for Hunt Forest Group at this week’s Isuzu dealer awards held at the Hilton, Wembley Stadium. HFG Isuzu Sales Manager, Gareth Thomas was present to bring home 3 huge awards on the night.

  • Isuzu New Dealership of the Year Award 2021 – for our Blashford branch
  • Event of the Year Award 2021 – for our off-road event at Thruxton Motorsports Centre
  • Hero of Isuzu 2021 – Gareth Thomas our Isuzu Sales Manager

Huge congratulations to Gareth and all the team involved with the Isuzu brand at Hunt Forest Group, having launched two new dealerships and the new D-Max during a pandemic and the ongoing issues surrounding it, It is great to be recognised on a national level.

Here is to building on 2021’s success throughout 2022!