Capturing Kirkjufell in Iceland was a difficult task. On the evening of our journey, six of us were stranded in the dark as our 4X4 got swept into the snow due to a major snowstorm. Our truck could not budge in the heavy snow alongside gale winds, 30 km away from Kirkjufell. Struggling to manoeuvre our 4x4, four of us had to leave the truck to offload weight and face the blustery snow. With phone lines down, we were losing hope.
Then, the good people of Iceland awed us. The first truck approached us after some 15 minutes, although it felt like hours. Other cars and trucks followed suit to stop, each genuinely lent a helping hand. Finally, a farmer came to our rescue with huge packages of salt to melt the snow around our truck, while others used larger 4x4 vehicles to pull us out. After hours of struggle, we were free on the road again.
We stayed in a hostel nearby, sheltering us from the cold winds and heavy snow but the occasional clatter and rattle reminded us of our precarious situation. The next morning we headed off to Kirkjufell.
The snow blanketed everything. Roads disappeared, paths blocked; so much white, everything in contrast seemed black. We hiked up beside Kirkjufellsfoss waterfall, each step taken like guesswork.
Dimmed skies, wet and cold; we could only see Kirkjufell's shadow.
A handful of hikers started to trickle behind us using the pathways we chose, adorning emotions of hardship. Feeling beaten, we readied to head back.
However, as if mother nature lifted her wand, light started to filter through, the winds stopped and the skies lifted. Then came the display, Kirkjufell in all its glory, reminding us of humility, the love of giving and the utmost respect for nature.
This was Christmas Eve, 2016.
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