robertisenberg

The Iceland Saga: 2

In Iceland on July 7, 2009 at 12:00 am

Iceland Arkipelagos

The road has turned to pure silt, now dissolving altogether. It’s barely a road at all – more like a crumbled path, festooned with tiny, squared-off boulders. The car struts and frets, bouncing along, slower and slower, until we’re crawling at five miles-per-hour, listening fearfully as the rocks crunch and flip away from the wheels. Suddenly we hear a grinding along the bottom, and we both cringe, hunching into the dashboard. “Oh, wow,” says Jorge. “That can’t be good.”

For a moment I reconsider my fantasy of driving in-country – far from even these tiny villages, where water and electricity are unknown. I imagine gasoline shooting from the gashed oil-pan, spewing across the rocks. We are a continent away from the nearest AAA. Our cell-phones are thousands of miles from the nearest friendly signal. We have no flares or knowledge of Icelandic. This road seems not only primitive, but post-apocalyptic. There is no wood to build a fire. Our tourist map states, Not to Scale. I have never felt so isolated, so far from safety and civilization. We are really that close to the Arctic Circle. We really could be stranded in the middle of nowhere. At last, I have found nowhere, and the fear is titillating. Nowhere looks like this – vast stretches of black rock, lonely cliffs, treeless, waterless, devoid of power-lines or even birds. Distantly, another plane specs the sky. It is the only sign that human life persists.

Rooftops peak over the hills. A seaside town emerges. We veer left, away from the comfortable roads. We are heading for another volcanic cloud, pluming from the ground. Blue Lagoon. The most famous day-spa in the nation.

 

Excerpt from The Legend of Pangkor, ©2008 by Robert Isenberg

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