US tourist makes spelling error, gets lost for six hours in Iceland

A jetlagged US man has become the most famous tourist in Iceland after he got terribly lost from a GPS mishap.

Noel Santillan had planned to drive from Keflavik International Airport to a hotel in central Reykjavik – but a spelling mistake sent him six hours away to a remote fishing town in Siglufjorour, North Iceland, reported theIceland Monitor.

A Siglufjorour resident who answered the door at midday was astonished when a weary-looking Santillan held out a piece of paper and politely enquired if he was at the right address.

The woman wrote in a post on Facebook: "I asked where he was driving from. He told me he was driving from KEFLAVIK INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT! I just stood there, speechless."

It soon emerged that Santillan had typed in an extra R to his destination – a rogue letter that caused the GPS to direct him on a 430km route to Laugarvegur, Siglufjorour, instead of Laugavegur, Reykjavik, which was only 45 minutes from the airport. 

"I invited the man inside, called his hotel in Reykjavik to change his booking and then sent him to Hotel Siglo where he was well received," wrote the resident, according to the Iceland Monitor.

Santillan, from New Jersey, told Icelandic news website Visir that he suspected something was amiss during the endless drive over icy roads, when he observed signs indicating Reykjavik was in the other direction.

But, feeling tired after his flight from New York, he decided to keep the faith in the GPS.

The 28-year-old said the misadventure was worthwhile, as he got to experience the hospitality of the people in Siglufjorour, reported the Iceland Monitor.

He also raved about the epic views he saw during his long drive north.

"I did enjoy the scenery on the way," he toldVisir. "I've never seen anything quite like it."