Saturday, April 1, 2017

2 Weeks Back Down Under - Day 6: The Lost Day

Just six days into our tour of southwestern Australia, we had car trouble. Our camper van stalled in the roundabout on the way out of Margaret River town. We were grateful that it decided to stall here and not 10 or 15 minutes later when we would be on the long, deserted road that would bring us to the next town. This unexpected breakdown (wait, let me change that to expected as, by this day, we had come to recognize that we had rented an old van that had very little time left on the road) stole an entire day of our vacation as we had to stick around town, waiting for a new alternator to be driven down to Margaret River from Perth and then installed by a local mechanic. This obstacle, however, did allow us to see the generous and kind side of Australians. One man helped us jump start the engine and, soon after, another helped us tow our car to a nearby mechanic where we were welcomed warmly and offered breakfast and snacks in the staff room. Eventually, nine hours after entering that roundabout, we did so again, this time making it through without stalling. Fifty kilometers later, we passed through the beautiful town of Nannup, unnaturally quiet as is the norm for any small town in Australia after 4 p.m., and finished another forty five kilometers later at Bridgetown where we decided that we deserved a nice dinner out -- wood fired pizza, gnocchi and local wine. All the while, we remained thankful that the van had broken down exactly where it had as pretty much any other spot would have put us in a really tough situation.

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