2011-10-09

Stuck! (Hveravellir)

Ewelina, Einar and I, are stuck in a car.

This is the fourth or fifth time we are stuck since we left town on Friday evening, but the first time we need rescuing. An ambulance stopped by a few moments ago, but didn't rescue us - it was rescuing some broken-legged tourist. Our own rescue team is leaving Reyjavik right about now, so we should be home in oh, five hours or so... they are bringing a spare tire to replace the one we shredded.

I've never seen such a sad looking tire...

The other times we got stuck, were solved by shoveling snow and letting air out of tires, things like that. In a blizzard! I think Ewelina was pleasantly surprised to discover that her geeky boyfriend actually knows how to wield a shovel. The letting out of air, combined with rough terrain is probably what eventually resulted in the shredded tire which has us stranded now. It's been quite an adventure!

Aside from car fun, we have spent the weekend hanging out in Hveravellir, playing plumbers and electricians at a house belonging to the Meteorological Institute.

We installed two big 12V batteries and reorganized the wiring so we could install little LED lights in all the overhead fixtures. The whole system should, when complete, be able to run indefinitely on spare power from the solar panels and windmills the house is outfitted with. We made enough progress that almost the entire house had working lights when we left.

Einar's plumbing problem was similarly sustainability-minded: the house is heated by a big geothermal hole-in-the-ground. A closed system of pipes carries cold water deep into the hole, where it heats up and rises up a second pipe and eventually ends up in the heaters that warm the house. The weekend improvements involved fitting most of the heaters with thermostats so the temperature would be automatically regulated and nobody would be tempted to turn them off on warm days - because if they get turned off and not turned on again, the cycle stops and pipes might freeze and burst on a cold night. It's happened before.

We had tasty scrambled eggs for breakfast (thanks Ewelina!) and left over mexican Devil Shrimp with a nice bottle of Malbec for our Saturday dinner. We also played a bit of Set...

It's been a pretty amazing trip!

Tiring, but amazing. :-)

Tags: life


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