Confessions of a Dangerous Driver 13-19/04/11

Posted: April 20, 2011 in Oz

I have a bit of a confession to make: it’s something that happened in Perth and has been on my mind ever since, and the time has come to get it off my chest. Although it will make me look foolish my hope is that others will learn from my mistake and, in time history will judge this as the correct course of action.

On the way to get the car tested the rear left hand wheel fell off the car.  Well, when I say fell off I mean all the nuts fell off and it was seconds from detaching itself from the car and rolling off down the road all by itself. As you may remember in Bangkok I took all the wheels off to clean the wheel arches in preparation for the quarantine folks in Oz and it seems that when I put them back on again I didn’t do all the nuts up. Whilst on the way to the test centre on the freeway and at 100kph the car became very wobbly. Pulling over, thinking I had a flat I was confronted with a wheel with only a few bolts on it and only a few of the studs poking out from their correct holes. Whilst I was trying to think of who to blame a slow, sickening realization crept over me that in fact it was my fault and if the wheel had fallen off that would have been the end of the trip, no doubt a couple of months spent in hospital and worst of all, no more blog! So I hope this will be a warning to you all, never let me near the wheels of your car… Well it hasn’t helped, I feel more stupid than I did already but I’ve already typed it and can’t be bothered to think of another way to start this blog, so in it stays.

Anyway, we are still in the land down under, all the wheels are currently on the car and Megan is still talking to me, despite the fact we have now been in each other’s company every day for 24 hours a day for the last 8 months. Even though conversation officially ran out in Turkey somehow we are still going and with very few arguments. Saying that, we did have a disagreement a couple of days ago about which way up the cutlery should be stored in the cutlery jar, so things may take a turn for the worse any day now.

 

After leaving the Adelaide Hills and the comfort of David’s farm (thanks again David) we were a bit naughty and upon seeing a sign for Ikea popped in for meatballs and an hour of browsing in an effort to delay the inevitable night under canvas. In fact we stayed a bit too long and got a bit too comfortable because when I went to find Megan I found her curled up with a book, pretending to live in one of the sets.

 After failing to convince her it wasn’t real I gave up and had a snooze.

 

Camping is beginning to lose its charm. It’s not the camping itself, more the UK like weather we are experiencing in southern Australia. Overcast days followed by bloody cold nights and the lovely smell of damp on everything. We didn’t drive all this way so we could wrap up in puffer jackets, wooly hats and thermal underwear, sexy though it is.  We realized it would be cool in this part of Oz but we were not prepared for just how cold (7 degrees one night!). However the scenery we have been driving through does more than make up for the need of a hot water bottle at night.

 

So we have been pottering down the coast for the last week, stopping at the charming little towns and coastal villages along the way.

 

This stretch of the coast has been beautiful and totally different from the vast empty beaches of Western Australia. Also, as we get closer to Melbourne the number of people and fellow tourists is increasing, which is a bit of a shame as we are not used to sharing views or queuing for ice cream with others.

We should be in Melbourne in a few days time and then as we head north hopefully the weather will get a little warmer, but not too warm mind as we have no AC. Oh and whilst we are on the car you will be pleased to hear that this week nothing has gone wrong! I’m joking of course; the extra rear lights on the two spare wheels that allow fellow road users to see my signals have stopped working. We have to wait until Melbourne before we can get the spares we need so we had two choices: firstly my suggestion to simply never brake again, which has the up side of better fuel economy, but in Megan’s words was ‘just stupid’. So we had to follow her suggestion of taking the spare wheels off and putting them inside the car so that the original lights can be seen. Boring, I know.

 

Before finishing this exciting instalment and setting off to look for a second hotwater bottle I think it’s a timely moment to say thanks again for all the interest, comments and support we have had from all over the world. It’s been a massive surprise (mainly to Megan, I always knew I was a great writer) and the sheer level of interest is simply awesome.

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Comments
  1. Inishmore says:

    We have just changed the locks on the workshop door…

  2. Doug S says:

    I can’t believe this!!

    I have just started planning to do the Pacific Rim as it were in a 130 nearly identical to yours. I must admit this blog has been a great influence but i’m gutted because you guys have not long left Adelaide… it would have been great to have a beer and we have a house you could have crashed at for a day or two.

    Incidentally, I’m from London and i am not liking the fact that i was sent to work in Adelaide at the exact time that it gets cold here and warm back home!!

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