Next morning there was snow - and lots of it! It was pretty patchy in places but most of it appeared to drift all around Moglet - I guess she must have done something to the wind in the night which meant that 200m down the road there was only a few inches on the ground, but behind Moglet it was several feet deep :-) Strange crumbly stuff though - I had to content myself with throwing it in the air in handfuls rather than at Jason - snowballs just wouldn’t clump
despite my best efforts to give him a pelting.
and smaller jubilee clips were in place. It seems so easy to write that it just a few sentences, but the reality was about two and a half hours of messing around with cold wet strips of material, interspersed with a few seconds here and there of frantic activity as Jason tried to get the clips done up before the hoses froze hard again.
So with the fuel hoses done up as tightly as Jason could get them, he set back to work to see if he could get out any more air from the system. The filter still had a small collection of bubbles in it, kind of like the bubbles in a spirit level, maybe five or six of them in all.
After ten minutes or so of pumping and bleeding, the bubbles had jiggled around a lot but not really done much else so we decided it was time to bite the bullet and give it a try. I’d already packed up in the camper, in hopeful anticipation of Moglet starting up and Jason saying something along the lines of him not wanting to turn her off, we need to just drive... Which is exactly what happened! :-) She fired up the first time Jason turned the key, chugged once or twice and than sat there running nice and smooth as if nothing had at all had happened. Cheeky mog :-)
We limped along for a few hundred meters, convinced that at any moment we were going to come to a sudden standstill. But nothing like that happened and eventually we were driving along normally, soon with the camp huts coming into view - looking a little more winterised than the last time we’d seen them! We parked ourselves into the wind and dropped into the Rangers hut to let her know were were ok. We ended up having a very nice big chat with her about all kinds of things, and in the end decided to stay there for the day and recover from our adventures. We had planned to continue west through the highlands on the 4x4 trails, but she advised us against it, saying that if there was some snow in Askja there was usually lots more snow where we’d planned on heading. A little disappointed but sensibly we decided that the next day we’d head back towards Herdubreid and then carry on across Iceland on the main Route 1 with detours offroad depending on local weather, but not made week-long forays into the wilderness and potentially get ourselves in a right mess.
Just as we were formulating our battle plan, there was a knock on the door - an Icelandic chap in jeans and a thin jacket was standing there, asking if we could give him a tow - he wasn’t expecting snow and had managed to get himself very stuck!
We couldnt do much about a tow, but we could offer to help dig him out. Jason finished getting dressed and fished the shovel out of the depths of the garage, and set off back down the track to lend a hand. They eventually managed to get the 4x4 free and rolling again, although not without considerable effort, since it was resting on the chassis and it's tyres were still above six inches of snow.
We both woke up feeling much better than when we’d gone to bed. The weather forecast had been correct, the skies had cleared and in places it looked like maybe the sun might even come out. Best of all, the wind had pretty much dropped to nothing more than a breeze. We had a slow start to the morning, mostly being entertained by the occasional traveller who needed to get past Moglet but for obvious reasons couldn’t do so on the track. The sensible ones looked ahead far enough to see the drifting around us and gave the whole area a wide berth. The not so sensible ones practically drove under the rear bumper before they noticed they couldn’t get any further and then had fun wheel spinning for some time to get past us.
It was all amusing in some ways, although we obviously felt guilty about causing a problem. But there wasn’t anything we could do about it until we could see about getting Moglet started.
Back with Moglet, Jason had decided the best and most sensible way to start the day would be to try heating the rubber hoses so they were softer and then crimp them shut more tightly with smaller jubilee clips, if he had any. The clips previously fitted were fully screwed home but not tight enough, just too big. Of course he had some smaller ones - in the tool box, just in case :-)
The hoses had to be heated up where they were as they really didn’t want to come off, so I had the extremely genius idea of wrapping lengths of absorbent material around them before pouring on hot water, so the heat would have a better chance of penetrating into the rubber before the chilly air snatched the warmth away.
In preparation for his efforts, Jason had constructed himself a raised platform made of snow under Moglet, so he could access the fuel filter area more easily. He’d also dug out all around the side and piled it up into a small wall, to give him a bit of a windbreak as well as make moving around easier.
Dishcloth donated and two hot kettles of water later, the hoses were softened