Trip Start Jul 25, 2012
136Trip End Ongoing
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Where I stayed
Rapid Bay Camp
What I did
Time just flies when you're having so much fun...so the saying goes.
After an extended stay in Adelaide after a regular service turned into a new starter motor and all the trimmings, a night parked on the footpath outside the workshop and a hefty bill...yet again...after a week, I finally made it out of town and on the road with the intention of going to Kangaroo Island.
However, having done some shopping and sightseeing along the way it was late afternoon before I knew it, so I decided to cut my trip and stay at Rapid Bay for the night. The area approaching this lovely spot is quite hilly and I thought the van was rather sluggish up the hills and left it at that, as what goes up must come down and therefore my speed improved as I descended into the camp area
Wow! People everywhere, I had forgotten it was a long weekend and all the 'locals' were out in force. As I slowly drove around the camp searching out a spot to camp the van was becoming slower and slower and I thought I must have pulled the hand-brake on as it wasn't moving. I finally reached the entrance and that's where I 'conked out'. While criss-crossing the camp I saw a rather large bus and thought Mmmmm, he should know something about motors...and made my way over there. I explained my plight and he admirably followed me back to the van to 'have a look'. He squeezed himself under the chassis and looked around for a few minutes and then, to my horror looked like he was stuck. At this stage I was thinking ' what went in must come out', no?. Hallelujah! He finally squeezed it all back out again and said he wasn't quite sure what the problem was but to leave it for a half hour or so and then try again. After waiting I started the motor and was about to go when a lovely lady came over and said there was a place right next to them and to join them as it was obvious I wasn't going any further this weekend.
Maureen is her name and she introduced me to her friend Des and their 'neighbour' Chris and finally John who had squeezed under the van and his wife Jen
The next morning Chris and John had another look under the van and Chris comes back out with a lump of wood 40cm long, that was jammed up against the transmission. WTF?
It's now Sunday and Monday is a public holiday so I was in for a long haul.
BUT, Wow! These people were absolutely fantastic they treated me like they had known me for years, sharing their food and most of all, their compassion.
Maureen was missing her dogs and she just loved Lola and Luana...needless to say they where at her camp most of the time as she kept on feeding them treats and leftovers. Jen and John also gave them the odd treat so they made themselves at home there too.
Chris phoned friends and organised a tow truck and a transmission mechanic for me and by Thursday I was finally towed to his workshop in Lonsdale
Friday was my birthday, but I wasn't in any mood to celebrate as once again I was going to be hanging around a workshop for the weekend...or longer. Dave (the mechanic) lent me a car, had one of his guys clean out the shower and toilet so at least I had a 'bathroom' during my stay, for which I was deeply thankfully.
Sunday was a glorious sunny day so I drove in to Adelaide to have a look around, wasn't very impressed, came across a park filled with families enjoying the good old Sunday ritual of snags and chops on the Barbie, god it smelt so good, I tucked into my bland cheese sandwich and took the dogs for a much needed walk, then drove to Glenelg, took a few shots by which time it was late afternoon and time to make my way back to my smelly oil infested dungeon
As the battery was disconnected in the van I had no way of watching TV and to avoid another night of silence I stopped at a video shop on the way home for a DVD, and ended up buying 'Grey' that I could watch on my computer ; for which I had power.
Monday the guys worked all day on the van and around 4.30 Dave said it was finished and would take it for a test drive. Whooooo!
He came back ten minutes later only to tell me he wasn't happy with the result and would have to take another look at it, tomorrow. Noooo! But at least he didn't just send me off pretending all was OK and for that I am indebted.
Tuesday followed the same pattern as Monday and by later afternoon Dave was finally happy with the repairs. I got the plastic card out and was waiting for an enormous bill as they had worked on the van for three days...but his generosity was overwhelming and he wanted to charge me less than he had quoted but I said no, so we finally settled on the original quoted price.
We say our good-byes and I jump in the van and start it up, strange noise coming from the starter motor
Yes it is. Dave calls the guy from Adelaide who replaced the starter motor two weeks prior to explain the situation but he's not there. So I am shuffled out into the parking area for the night, well at least I won't have to breathe in oil fumes tonight.
Wednesday morning Dave rang the starter motor guy again and explained what was going on and he said to go straight there and he would replace it. This should be fun, nothing like peak hour traffic to get the adrenaline going.
After a couple of hours I was finally back on the road again driving along minding my own business when suddenly I hear a continuous horn beeping and immediately thought something was hanging off the van or worse. Then I look to my right and with relief and then excitement as I see Maureen and Des in their van. Wow! Unbelievable!
After a few minutes of chatting a decision was made to phone John and Jen to meet us at Mannum on the Murray River on Friday and then Maureen insisted I go back to her place until then.
She showed me to my room where... A REAL BED awaited me! And my own bathroom and toilet. Bliss!
Downside...she has 4 dogs and mine are anti-social, this is going to be interesting. She just said 'let them fight it out amongst themselves'. Your house, your rules, but not a good idea. Lola was the worst offender, but it all worked out reasonably well in the end.
Friday morning Des packed their van while we took her dogs to her daughter's place then it was back home and off we went to Mannum.