Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Driving Misadventures (part 4) (in which we get stranded in the middle of nowhere)

So a couple of weeks ago my friend Sarah, my sister M and I decided to go to the ice rink that was in town for a couple of weeks. It had been forever since M and I had been skating, and what better way could you spend the afternoon than in ice skates? 

We showed up to the rink and to our horror, the door was locked. We banged on it for a little, double-checked the website then wandered around for a little to no avail. No one was there. Just as we were about to leave, a truck pulled up and a guy stuck his head out the window. 

"You girls here for the skating?" We nodded, probably looking pretty confused. "Can you come back at three o'clock? More people usually show up then." I checked my phone. It was ten o'clock, and it was a forty-five minute drive back to the house. Hmmm, not likely then. 


We bought smoothies and tried to decide what to do, and eventually driving to the top of a nearby mountain came up. Seeing how none of us had ever done it before and we suddenly had lots of time on our hands, Sarah plugged the route into iMaps and away we went in my old reliable car, without telling anyone where we were going. 

The drive there was absolutely beautiful, with gum trees dotting swaying fields of grass and the road stretching out in front of us like a pair of faded jeans. M blasted the music and we all sang along. 

Eventually, we hit a dirt road. My car could handle it without too much difficulty, so onwards we went, winding deeper and deeper into the Australian bush. The ever-present symphony of the Australian insects surrounded us, with patches of sky peeking through the canopy above. 

After a little while, we came across three men in a truck. They were loading leaves and branches into the back of their ute, and looked like complete bogans. Two of them were wearing the typical Australian tradie uniform, which was a thick yellow button-up jacket with reflective stripes across the chest. I had to do a double-take with the third one. He had a mullet. An honest to God mullet. Pair that with a muscle shirt, board shorts, a pair of flip flops and a cigarette and it didn't take long before I was locking the doors. After all, three young girls alone in the middle of nowhere with three bogan men? It was just a little scary. 

We passed them without too much difficulty and continued on our way, still laughing about the mullet guy. Eventually, a sign reading "Private Property" marked the end of the road. We glanced around, the mountain rising from the ground to our right. iMaps had obviously told us to take a wrong turn, and we had gone around the back of the mountain. 

We shut off the car and, laughing, took a few pictures to sum up this spectacular fail of a morning. First the skating, then the mountain climb. But hey, it was an adventure, right? Adventures always made for good stories. 

The truck with the three men rumbled over the road, and we squealed then hopped back in the car and locked it, stories our moms had told us of the girls who never made it back home running through our heads. They passed us without a word. Our photo session wasn't quite finished, so we shut the car back off and posed for a few more pictures. 

Once the mosquitos and the heat had become too much, I slid back into the driver's seat and turned the key. The engine sputtered then died. I blinked, then tried again. The car struggled, then was silent. We all stared at each other, the full reality of our situation suddenly clear. 

"We're all Christians, everyone start praying," said M as she pulled out her iPad to record our crisis. I frantically turned the key again and again to no avail. It had to be the battery. 


"Is there signal out here?" I whispered. 

"No!" Sarah laughed, which I found a bit inappropriate, considering our situation. Then again, I often decide to laugh instead of cry, so I could kinda of see where she was coming from. After all,between the three of us we had very little experience with mechanics and it would take us a good forty-five minutes to walk back to the main road, and another few hours to get back to civilisation. 

There was a roar as the ute with the three bogans rounded the corner. Completely terrified, we climbed out of the car and waved them down. 

"Could you help us? Our car... stopped starting." Sarah offered a weak laugh at her inability to string together a sentence. I wasn't going to judge as my own lips were sealed. 

Bogan #1 and Mullet Guy jumped out of their ute and started poking around under the hood of my car, and eventually declared that the battery had died. They had jumper cables back at the house, so they headed back in their truck and left Bogan #2 with us. What followed was the most awkward situation I've experienced in a long time. After all, what do you say to a stranger while you're stuck in the middle of nowhere with him? We made a few passing remarks about the strangeness of the situation, of the car, of the weather. The buzzing of the insects filled in the gaps. 

The men came back after a while and plugged the cables into the batteries, and before long the car was gasping for breath but was at least alive. We thanked them a million times and headed off, barely able to contain our laughter at our adventure. 

Has your car ever broken down in an inconvenient place? Has a dodgy person ever helped you out of a scrape? 

4 comments:

  1. Oh my! That sounds like quite an adventure! Thanks for sharing Victoria, it was really fun to read. :) And I'm glad everything worked out in the end, Mullet Man, Bogan Guys and all.

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    1. Hahaha, it was fabulous! I'm glad you enjoyed reading it, Jessica.

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  2. Thanks for sharing! That was quite a bit of fun to read.

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    1. Thank you for reading, RM! I always appreciate you sticking around to read and comment, even when I can't always get to your blog :)

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