The Yass Misadventure


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So, I’ve been going back and forth from Albury to Canberra to house hunt.  The Canberra rental market is a horror nightmare hell, but thankfully I have found a place now to move into next month.

But to add to the nightmare, this weekend on my way back from Canberra I had a rather large motor vehicle malfunction.

I was driving along the Barton Highway out of Canberra, when thud, screetch, insert horrible grating sounds here.  One of my tyres had completely blown out.  Lucky I was able to steer the car safely to the side of the road and bring it to a screetching stop (last time I had a tyre blow out in the middle of nowhere, I wasn’t so lucky).  So I was stranded in a country field.  Lucky we have NRMA roadside assist, so I called them…. but it was going to be at least an hour until they found me.  And it was really bloody hot, and I didn’t have water.  It was so hot that when I stepped out of the car, my thongs/flip flops partially melted on the asphalt!  Ouch!

So I waited and waited, feeling sicker from the heat the whole time and knowing that I was getting sunburnt, even while trying to take shelter in the sauna of the car.  Finally the NRMA guy came… but then he pointed out to me that I actually had two flats.   There must have been something on the road.  The other tyre had slowly deflated during the wait.  I only had one spare.  Crap.  So he replaced the exploded one, pumped up the flat, then followed me for the drive to Yass, the next town, pumping up the flat tyre again every 10km so I could get there.

I pulled into the first motel I saw in town in Yass… the wonderfully but quizzically named Thunderbird Hotel.  It was a Saturday afternoon.  Little did I know that I would be stranded there until Monday morning.  I tried everything I could to see if I could get after hours tyre repair in Yass, even trying to hunt down drunk tyre repairers in the local pubs, but to no avail.  So I was stuck in Yass for two nights, making it a very pricey inconvenient detour (especially if you include the costs of tyre replacement).

I wandered around Yass a bit taking a couple of photos of the old buildings, but there wasn’t much else going on.  Lucky the Target Country was open on a Sunday morning so I could buy some clean underwear and there was a pharmacy where I could buy aloe vera for my terrible sunburn from waiting in the sun for the NRMA.  But that was about all there was to do.

And my poor sunburned skin didn’t really want to go out in the sun anyway.

But there are some nice old buildings around Yass.  It wouldn’t be a bad place to stop for an hour or two to break up a long trip on the highway.  But I wouldn’t recommend a lengthy stay….

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