Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Our (Mis)Adventure

Yesterday morning the boys and I left for our trip to Adelaide. The plan was to try and get into Adelaide and through the Adelaide hills before dark so that I didn't have to drive at night (something I really dislike doing).
All was going well and good. We stopped near Ballarat (approximately 2.5 hours from home) for a toilet break and to get some fuel. We also stopped for a quick toilet break in Ararat. The next stop was planned for Horsham (the half way point between our home and Adelaide) so that we could have lunch. 

Oh we stopped there alright. In fact Emmy began chugging about 15 kilometres (around 9 miles) out of Horsham and she scared the pants off me when she was doing that. We made it into town and I had just turned the corner at a set of traffic lights when she stalled. Uh oh, not good. I start her up again and think on lets find a petrol station. I was begging the car to not stall again so that we can make it 100 metres down the road. We pull into the service station and she stalls again. Crap. I start her again and make it a few more metres to a car park at the petrol station and turn her off. 

The next thing we do is phone Mark. HELP! Not that he can do much considering we just travelled 4.5 hours & we were 400 kms [248 miles] from home. We open the bonnet as directed and Brodie notices that the gas converter (LPG converter) has frozen. Mark tells us to wait a good 20 minutes or so for it to defrost. He suggests we go somewhere that's shaded (it was quite hot in the sun) so we can cool off. Plus the boys were hungry so we used that 'defrosting' time to have lunch. I can tell you I was no longer hungry after the stress of this but I forced myself to eat something any way. 

Rather than risk driving all the way to Adelaide with a car that was now misbehaving mark said turn around and come home. You have no idea how relieved I felt when he said that. So before we took off to find a park Brodie and I phoned Dad and Julie to let them know about our car troubles and that we were turning home. I did spend a little bit of time having a cry. Mainly because I was letting family down for not being able to come over and help out with Dad but also because I was stressing over how on earth will we get home safely AND how on earth will we make it through the city, especially through citylink and the domain tunnel, without stalling.

After lunch and after making sure the car has cooled, Mark instructed us over the phone how to safely open the radiator cap without getting splashed with boiling hot water. We had hardly used any water. That was a good thing. While we were still in Horsham we found a SupaCheap store (they sell stuff for cars) and purchased a very large 20 litre [5.28 gallons] water container just in case. The guy that served us was also kind enough to fill it with water for us. I was so grateful for that. 

Once we were on our way home we stopped every hour or so to check the gas converter to make sure that it hadn't frozen. We also checked the radiator again to make sure there was plenty of water in it.
It had taken is 4.5 hours to get to Horsham in the first place and it took us a little over 6.5 hours to get home. Boy was I so relieved to see Mark in the carport when we got home. 

Even though the trip back home was a long one it was pretty uneventful. Apart from that stretch on the Western Highway near Ballarat where we have to drive through some pretty thick smoke. That was kind of eerie. Taking it easy on the road returning home made all the difference. Well that's my thinking anyway.

I do have some photos of our travels that Brodie has taken. I'll share them with soon I promise.

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