Ásta and Pino (KH)

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Katharina Hauptmann's picture

The tragic case of two women in South Iceland leaving one dead and the other one still missing has been the talk of the town for the past two weeks and has shaken the Icelandic people.

The two women, Icelander Ásta Stefánsdóttir and her Spanish spouse Pino Beccerra Bolaños, were spending the weekend of Whitsunday in a summer cottage near Bleiksárgljúfur, a little, narrow gorge with a waterfall in the area of Fljótshlið in South Iceland.

Once the women didn't show up for work on Tuesday, an organized search began, discovering the body of Pino Beccerra Bolaños in the canyon. Ásta Stefánsdóttir is still missing despite an extensive search for over two weeks.

Now we know that Pino Beccerra Bolaños died of the 30 m fall down the gorge whereas initial reports claimed she drowned in the river.

The Police chief in Hvolsvöllur, Sveinn K. Rúnarsson, said that there is no indication that the woman’s death is anything other than an accident.

The search for the missing lawyer has been cut back, but around twenty people have been out looking for her this week, including an area along the shore and down along Markarfljót.

This story is just sad and tragic and we will never know what really happened that terrible day at  Bleiksárgljúfur. I can't even imagine what this must be like for families and friends of Ásta and Pino.

It is not the first time, though, that people lose their lives in the Icelandic mountains while hiking or going for a walk, which is mostly due to being unfamiliar with the terrain or being inexperienced etc. but that doesn't make their loss less sad, of course. Ásta and Pino, however, knew the area well and were both fit and experienced hikers.

Anyhow, we can only speculate.

Pino's brothers have since arrived in Iceland to take their sister's remains home to Spain and they also visited the site of the accident.

A lot of people here talk about this story. Everybody is just shocked and touched by this terrible accident and the fact that Ásta is still missing.

I first heard about it in the news, when the search for the women began and Pino was found dead, thinking it was such a horrible, horrible thing.

Then the names were released and I saw their faces on the front page of the newspaper and it hit me. I knew those two women.

I have been serving them a couple of times a week for the past months at the bar I work in. I cannot say I knew them well but I always had a little chat with them when they came to the bar. They were a very lovely and sweet couple and seemed totally at ease with one another and very much in love; Ásta being quite soft spoken and low-key, whereas Pino was very communicative, friendly and open. Pino always took the time to ask me how I was doing and telling me I was working too much.

It is unbelievable to imagine that something so utterly horrifying happened to these two lovely ladies and it makes me very sad.

My deepest condolences to their loved ones.

Ásta and Pino will be missed.

Katharina Hauptmann – katha.hauptmann@gmail.com

Views expressed here are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Iceland Review.