Travel Diary

Online Journal for the 'Right Around Australia' project.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Day 91 - Montville to Brisbane

Our last day and the weather has not let up at all. In fact it's worse.
Most of us arose quite early to the sound of Pete's Austin Healy warming up as Pete had to head off at the crack of dawn. This was followed soon after by the sound of Pete's car stalling which has us giggling. One by one we got up, had showers, breaky and got ready for the ride in.

Still raining we carefully navigated the driveway (800m dirt road) and made our way to the meeting point in the villiage to see if anyone was going to join us for the ride in. I wasn't hopeful as this was definitely 'stay in bed' weather. We waited til 9.30 and there were no arrivals so we headed off down the mountain back to the highway. That was until just out of the villiage, my bike cut out. No splutter, no kick, just off as if someone had turned the key. I pulled over to the side of the rode and tried to start her up again. The started motor was turning but nothing. It didn't even sound like it was trying. It wasn't looking good.

We tried rolling her down the hill, clutch out, nothing. Dead as a doornail.

The rain was coming down hard and everyone was getting soaked so we sent them back to Montville to get a cup of coffee and I would try and sort it out with Ulick and Bens help.
Pulling the side off it appered that the earth wire from the CDI unit I had installed in Alice Springs was broken. Not cut, just snapped. Very odd. We bandaged this up and tested - no change.

Swapped the sparkplug - no change.

This didn't look good. We tested to see of there was a spark coming from the plug at all... Nothing.

This was terminal. By now we had been standing in the rain for about 45 minutes. People were expecting us in Brisbane at a certain time as well.

I had no choice but to call the RACQ (Breakdown Service) They said a tow truck would be here within 45 mins. An hour later we still hadn't seen anyone so we called again and were assured someone would be along soon. Eventually a patrol car arrived. I explained the situation to the guy and he said I'd need a towtruck. I said that I had established that already with the lady on the phone and he just shook his head giving the impression that this was a regular occurrance.
He then made all the calls to get the towtruck here.

The rest of the group couldn't wait and had to get going, so off they went. My heart sinking as I watched them pass me one by one. My last day and here I am stuck in the rain waiting for a towtruck. Then the patrol man dissappeared. What the hell? I was made to believe that he would look after things so I could get going.

Back on the phone to RACQ - 'oh no, you have to wait with the vehicle'. 'Well how long till the tow truck gets here?' I asked. 'I don't know, i'll find out and call back.

15 mins later I get a call for the contractor who will be picking up the dead scoot. 'It'll be about an hour, is that alright?' By now it's getting to the point where i'm feeling totally defeated. 'You don't have to wait with the vehicle though'. That's reassuring, I can leave my bike on the side of the road and hope someone collects it. Back up the road there was a house that looked like there were people home, so I asked them If I could leave my bike in their driveway til the tow company picks it up which they kindly agreed to. So back in the car, wet, tired and quite upset we drove back to Brisbane.

Not far out of Brisbane I got a call from Ulick asking where I was. He had stopped short of arriving at Aztec. 'I'm not arriving without you mate'. I could have cried. That sums my brother up.

Soon after I let him know we were around the corner and all the scoots pulled out for the final 500 metres, pulling into Aztec. I jumped out of the car and ran up with them.

We made it!

21,000 kilometres

Right Around Australia


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