John’s wheels, Benji and the WaWa

Took the dogs to the Wetlands this afternoon. The rain we have had over the last week has had  a reasonable effect but it still needs more to bring the ponds back to capacity. The boys were very good and walked well – like old pals, in fact. Pity they could not behave like that at home.  Still to be fair, it’s not the fault of Max – Benji is the culprit here and as I said, for some reason he does not like Max. On Sunday, Max went home.

I have just returned from a trip to Adelaide. My son’s car has “given up the ghost”so he needs a new car. He asked me to take him to Adelaide since there was nothing here that he liked.  There is only one car dealer here and private buys are a bit “dodgy”  I took him to a decent dealer, “Adelaide Auto Sales”at Mawson Lakes. We spent some time there looking at various SUV models and he finally settled on a Ford Territory. Personally I preferred the

John’s new Wheels

Sliver-Blue one, but he settled on the Black.  The reason for the SUV is the high clearance which on the back roads could get him out of any trouble a lot easier.  I had booked two hotel rooms but having got his vehicle, he decided he wanted to go home, so I led him back to the Port Wakefield Road and after a stop at Bolivar when I asked him to call me from Wakefield,  any other stop and to call me when he gets home. I went back into town and did some shopping before heading off to the hotel for the night. John called me from Wakefield, Tin Man and when he got home. I had intended to head out to Bunnings this morning but decided I would follow John and head for home. I started out at 6am expecting to be in Wakefield by  sunrise and continue the rest of the way in the daylight.  I did, of course, but it was not without its interesting moments. There is a lot of reconstruction and road works  at the bridge where the Northern Express branches off. It was dark, I was unaware of  the situation so I followed what I thought was the right traffic cone-lined lane and ended up on the Northern Expressway. My GPS, which I had programmed for home led me off the Express to the Penfield Road, exit then to Virginia and back to Highway A1 – The Port Wakefield Road,  and all of this was done in the dark and I don’t like driving at night. Still the Port Wakefield Road if a fairly large, well divided  four lane highway from Gepps Cross in Adelaide all the way to Port Wakefield and I generally  drive this in the dark to be in Wakefield for the sunrise  so that I can  continue by daylight. Wildlife on the Port Wakefield Road is unusual.

After my unscheduled  detour I drove directly to Port Wakefield and stayed there for  breakfast before heading off to the Tin Man.  I decided, since I had sufficient fuel,  not to stop and drove

Benji and Bowtie

directly to Port Augusta, did some shopping there and headed for home.  Crazy Benji went gaga and I eventually had to sit on the floor with him for a bit until he settled down. You would think I had been away for weeks instead of just a day and a half,.  After I emptied the car and sorted out my case, I took Benji out for a walk. That made him happy, just him and me together.  I actually do miss him when I am away. However, all being well, I wont be away again until August and then only for a day and a half.

I have been looking through some old photographs and I came across photographs of Kongsoon ( the WaWa) and oddly enough, I do miss her and wonder how she is. We never hear from them

The WaWa

so we’ll probably never know. Sad, but there you are.

Travels And Breakdowns

The Adelaide Hills
The Adelaide Hills

I was going to quote Robert Burns again about the best laid plans and such like, but decided not to. You probably know it anyway. My plan was to drive to Adelaide, stay two nights in Adelaide then drive to Mount Gambier, visit the sailing ship The Lady Nelson, then  out to the Umpherston Sink Hole Gardens, then the Englebrecht Caves. Busy day planned, but none of that happened.  Left home on Wednesday morning and drove to the Tin Man and the stop for fuel and food. From there I drove to Lochiel. The reason for Lochiel was simply that I had been up since 5:00 to take Benji for his walk before driving off at 7am, so by Lochiel I was a tad weary and wanted some air (rain) and some coffee . Got back to the car and it wouldn’t start. I had brought the charger with me so after a bit I was able to get the car started and continue on my way. A short while later, at Port Wakefield I had a similar problem. By this time I was getting a bit concerned and began to notice things, like the way the car surged when I put on the lights. I decided not to go shopping as I had planned but drive directly to the hotel. Driving through the city of Adelaide was a nightmare for me and I was scared that the car would suddenly stop at one of the many sets of traffic lights. Booked into the hotel then came back out to get my cases. I called Annabell to let her know what was happening and that the battery had really cut out and I could not get the car open – pressed button – boot would not open – pressed button – car door would not open, so I could not even get to the charger. Was talking about things when Annabell cut through my rant with the words “have you tried using the key?”  You can imagine how disappointed I was when the ground below my  feet did not open up and swallow me to hide my embarrassment  nor protect me from the hysterical laughter that could be clearly heard coming from my phone.  You can bet your very last penny that she wont let me forget this in a hurry.

In the mid afternoon I walked into town and did some shopping.  The evening was fairly quiet and I spent much of it watching a movie. Thursday I left the car and took the train and bus to Norwood – most of the storm damage had been cleared. I spent  a few hours there, had lunch and  made my way back to the city center. Friday and the car refused to start so I was forced to call out the RAA again.  The mechanic examined the battery and that was good and the alternator seemed to be good, but something was draining the battery and we had no idea what. I did have a battery charger with me and  decided that if the need arose I would use that, but driving through the center of Adelaide was again scary and I feared at every set of traffic lights. I was glad to reach Gepps Cross, which is the northern boundary of the city and leave the traffic lights behind. Fortunately I had enough fuel to get back to Port Wakefield where I knew there was a good garage if I needed it. I expect there are good garages in Adelaide but I have no idea where. All that surrounded me were FFOs – Fuel and Food Outlets.  I used the charger at Lochiel and Port Wakefield on the way down but I did something wrong in Adelaide and drained it, hence the RAA call. I telephoned Annabell to let her know that I was coming

Showers creeping over the Adelaide Hills
Showers creeping over the Adelaide Hills

home. She suggested that Benji would be pleased because he had been sulking and hiding for the last two and a half days – poor thing.  I was disappointed  because there were things I wanted to do on the way to Mount Gambier and in Mount Gambier itself but I felt if I was going to break down it was better to break down on the way home than to break down on the South Eastern Freeway. As it happened the car drove quite well and I was able to stop for a little while in Port Augusta.  Tomorrow I will take the car to the garage and book it in for a complete service and find out what the power draining problem is. – Hopefully it’s something simple.