For the Australia Day long-but-not-long-enough weekend, myself and 5 other luscious ladies stayed in a beach house in Broulee (otherwise known as Creme Broulee), south of Bateman’s Bay on the NSW South Coast. The next few blogs will be some stories from our fun trip.
Eager to flee the concrete mess of Sydney and its smoggy, hobo scented air, straight after work on Friday we decided to get in the car and drive 300km down the coast.
It was all going so well. The conversation was animated, the scenery pretty, the weather agreeable.
We stopped in Kiama for some food, at a grand place called Sails Family Bistro at the local leagues club. Keen to take in the sunset and avoid the screaming hoards of small children and rainbow coloured chairs inside, we opted to dine on the outside terrace, which gave us a stunning panoramic view over a large carpark and several sets of run down public housing flats. We couldn’t help but chuckle, especially when we saw the sign imploring us to clear our own tables… I think the locals noticed we were city snobs, and we copped some evils. But really, it was too funny.
After a delightful meal of pasta-like substances, we got back on the road and after a couple of leg stretching breaks we were making good time. Until the car tyre blew out, sending us careering into a pole and ultimately, to wandering around the outside of the car on the side of the highway looking confused with the hazard lights flashing. Don’t you hate that!
I knew enough about cars to know that mine was now a bit broken and I should call the NRMA and enough about road signs to know that we were just outside Ulladulla, but other than that we just had to wait. It was very dark now, and my car companions were freaking out about us being dragged into the bushes or something by some evil person, or a disgruntled diner that we may have pissed off at Sails some 100 kilometres ago.
Lucky some plucky local P-platers (who seemed to be rather jolly… I suspect they had a few beers in their bellies) stopped to check out the cars. My companions were quite concerned as they approached, but having known the boredom of country youth, I understood where these boys were coming from.
Though city snob I may be when it comes to my food, country girl I is when it comes to dealing with helpful strangers. Our conversation went vaguely along these lines (all in broad ocker accents);
Helpful bogan 1 (HB1): "Geeze, whaddayadun there luv."
Me: "Bloody pole godinme way ey. Bit of a mess ey. F**kin’ pole got off scot free though."
HB2: "Shit ey. When I hidda pole in me ute it wasn’t that messed up. Shit ey. How’d ya do that?"
Me: "dunno mate. Think the tyre blew out or sumthin’. Scared the shit oudda us though. NRMA is comin soon they reckon."
HB1: "yeah that’s probley wot happened or sumthin’. You sure youse ain’t pissed or nothin’?"
Me: "Nah mate. If I’d had a bloody drink I’d be feelin’ a lot less stressed right now, that’s for sure. I could kill a beer after all this ay."
HB1: "Can you pop the lid for us to ava look?"
Me: "Geeze, I dunno if I should let youse in there, can’t afford to have nothin’ else broken *chuckle* youse know what you’re doin’?"
HB1: "yeah I’m a f**kin’ panelbeater, do this shit every day."
Me: "well as long as you ain’t bullshittin’ me mate, you better have a look then."
And so on…
The helpful and friendly bogans came to the conclusion that I had blown a bulb in the indicator and also had an extremely flat tyre. According to their analysis, I had also had a collision with a pole of some type. Onya boys. The NRMA dude came and changed the tyre, and we were on our way. Not before stopping again to discover that the internal mud guard was rubbing against the tyre creating an irritating and unnerving noise. My futile attempts to bend it backwards or break it off in pitch black darkness were unsuccessful.
The rest of the drive was a rather sombre affair, except for when another group of plucky country lads decided to go fishin’ with their bait and tackle on the Princes Highway. In other words, a line of them dropped their dacks for us. Nice.
We were so glad to get to Broulee, so the holiday could well and truly begin. But not before I did some of my own mechanics work the next day. It involved crawling under the car and cutting parts away from the internal mudguard with a set of garden secateurs I found at the holiday house. I was quite impressed with my work. It meant the strange noise stopped and there was no rubbing on the tyre, hence minimising chances of another similar incident.
I wasn’t so impressed with the unsightly damage done to the car though. Not nice.
But hey, we were in Broulee, so I just had to put it behind me. Cars can be fixed, and it could have been a lot worse.