An Icelandic Plane Crash

An Icelandic Plane Crash

40 years ago, a U.S. Navy plane crashed on the south coast of Iceland. Fortunately, everyone survived. This wreckage has been left in Solheimasandur's black sand beach. It a popular photography location, but is off the beaten path and can only be accessed by 4 x 4. Also, it is a pain in the butt to get to. 

SOLHEIMASANDUR PLANE CRASH - ICELAND; No the background is not an oil painting.

SOLHEIMASANDUR PLANE CRASH - ICELAND; No the background is not an oil painting.

So is it worth it?

In our tiny Kia, we were determined. When we pulled off the Ring Road on the gravel path, we noticed a sign indicating a distance of 4 km. Another sign stated off road driving would be reported to the police. 

We stepped out to walk the distance, but were immediately met with a sharp blast of cold wind. We saw a few passerby cars give up because the path was too rocky, but we were determined.

At a speed of 2 mph we started driving on a rocky path. 

After 10 minutes, we started hearing scraping at the bottom of our rental vehicle and we paused to contemplate our options. 

Is it worth it? Should we walk? Do we continue driving? Our car is going to be so messed up. Should have gotten that insurance..

The landscape was rocky, flat, and very desert-like. Objects in the distance were either in a haze or not visible at all. Most importantly, the plane was no where in sight.

Walking to the SOLHEIMASANDUR PLANE CRASH - ICELAND

Walking to the SOLHEIMASANDUR PLANE CRASH - ICELAND

We started to walk when we saw a large SUV approaching. Impulsively, I waved them down and peered inside the vehicle. 2 friendly-looking girls and a guy. 

"Can we pay you to take us to the wreckage? You can say no- don't feel pressured! Really- you can say no." I sputtered.

The group of Canadians took one look at us and shouted, "Yeah get in!"

We quickly regrouped in our little red Kia:
"Should we go?"
"It's fine. If anything happens, it's 4 of us against 3 of them- let's go."

For the price of 3 Icelandic beers, we were on our way.

The harsh sun over the dessert landscape made the site chilling. It was like a scene in Lost. 

Solheimasandur Plane Crash - Iceland

Solheimasandur Plane Crash - Iceland

Solheimasandur Plane Crash - Iceland

Solheimasandur Plane Crash - Iceland

SOLHEIMASANDUR PLANE CRASH - ICELAND

SOLHEIMASANDUR PLANE CRASH - ICELAND

In the distance, you could see the open water of the Norwegian Sea. Carvings of names and countries were etched all over the outside of the plane.

After exploring and taking many selifes, we decide to head back but the Canadians were nowhere to be found. 

We try to look at other options for a ride back. Hm. A car full of Viking-like men. No thank you. 

We began our trek back. The wind was a strong, dry bone-numbing cold. We had to actively make sure we were following the marked path to make sure we didn't get lost. Everything looked the same in all directions. Maybe we should have waited for the Canadians.

We hear the gentle roar of the Canadians' SUV behind us. 

"I bet they're taking pictures of us and laughing."
"Do you think we can ride back with them?"

All of a sudden, we hear a voice from the car, "Get in, bitches!" 

Wiping our runny noses and pink faces, we piled into the back seat and trunk of the vehicle. After 10 minutes, we see our little red Kia in the distance. 

Is it worth it?
If you're walking, no.
If you have a 4 x 4 vehicle, yes.
If a group of random Canadians humors your hitchhiking get attempt, definitely. 

SOLHEIMASANDUR PLANE CRASH - ICELAND: This is plane Green or white? #ThePlane

SOLHEIMASANDUR PLANE CRASH - ICELAND: This is plane Green or white? #ThePlane

Lessons Learned
Canadians are great.
Say yes to adventure, but be smart about it. 
Take a camera.
Go with a fully charged GPS device.
Drink water before your trek. But not too much because there's not a lot of coverage out there if you have to pee.
The coordinates of the crash are  (63 27.546-19 21.887). Use Maps.me to help navigate you there.
Dress warm. Windproof gear is a MUST.
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