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In 1977 we hired our first narrowboat from Anglo Welsh at Market Harborough.From that moment our destiny was set. In 2006 we finally purchased our own brand new 57' narrowboat which we named 'Free Spirit'. Our aim is to travel the length and breadth of all the navigable rivers and canals of the UK. This will be our story as it unfolds.

Friday, 25 November 2016

Oops or should that be........ Oh Sh*t!

Thursday 24th
It rained again last night and it's still blooming cold at only 8°. Definitely not shorts weather although Ian refuses to put on long trousers or wear a jumper! In the Aussie meteorological calender summer starts next week!!!!! I'm beginning to think the UK's winter has followed us here. But the sun did come out when we headed off to the Apostles by 9am and what a difference a day made. No hordes of tourists, buses hadn't started to arrive and only the few hardened early risers were out to admire the view.

12 Apostles

Back to hitch up the van by 10am, last minute checks of the lights and make sure all windows and doors shut and we were once again on our way. Lots more of the coastline to see on the 60km to Warrnambool so we stopped often. Luckily most of the lay-bys are caravan friendly so pulling in wasn't a problem.

This is called London Bridge. An arch made up the bridge until it collapsed in 1990 unexpectedly on 15 January leaving two tourists (Kelli Harrison and David Darrington) stranded on the outer span before being rescued by helicopter.  No one was injured in the event.
Photo from Wikimedia

The Grotto

Bay of Martyrs
The Ocean road heads inland after the Bay of Islands, long straight flat roads towards all the way to Warrnambool. It was on one of these sections that Ian heard a strange rumbling sound. Slowing down suddenly the car juddered and the caravan became a dead weight. We stopped rather suddenly and rushing out of the car found this..... 

 Oh 'eck....now what do we do. Ian phoned Michael the owner of the van, who gave some sound advice. Try to jack the van up and pray that it was just the bolts that had come loose and not something more serious. The wheel could then be put back and we could at least get ourselves to a caravan repairer in town. In the meantime we had a night in shinning armer turn up. He too was on holiday with his family, passed us, seen our plight and turned round to try and help. He had all the tools needed to get the wheel back on. and yes it was the bolts that had come loose. I was convinced it was all those potholes in the road that had caused this but our Samaritan thought otherwise. Whoever gave the van a once over hadn't checked to see if the wheel nuts were tight and, over time, they had loosened causing them to come undone. Would you believe that all 5 bolts were caught in the wheel trim! Without those we would have been stuffed. But that isn't the end of our trouble.The wheel had damaged the wheel arch liner and there was a big hole straight through to the cupboard housing all the pots and pans. No utensils lost but there was now nothing to stop the spray from the road getting into the wood. Having got the wheel back on, offered our Samaritan 2 bottles of beer as a thank you, we limped into Warrnambool. At the garage all they could do was patch up the hole with some plastic. Not brilliant as he attached the plastic sheet to the inside rather then the outside. We may have to buy tape and silicone to do the job properly or....don't travel if it rains! As for the bolts...they need replacing because some have been damaged but this caravan is a European model and the Aussies don't have those in stock. So it may well be that Ian has to check the bolts every time we travel.

We had the tyre changed as well. Cost us  $75 but the good news is Michael will pay us back. Think we may stay on this Holiday Village site in town for a few days to recover from the shock.

And wildlife,

Long Billed Corella

Singing Honeyeater


Tom and Jan said...

I thought one of the Apostles collapsed into the ocean several years ago meaning there are now only 11?

Ian and Irene Jameison said...

It did but they are still referred to as the 12 Apostles

Halfie said...

A similar amount of damage happened to a caravan we were towing about 30 years ago after a puncture. I managed successfully to repair the wheel arch with fibreglass.

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