Monday, January 17, 2011

What's the hitch

Waking up at 3AM and trying to decide what the implications are of a totally screwed caravan hitch is not recommended. There's not a lot you can do at that time of day. I felt quite calm about it all when I went to bed, but woke after only three hours sleep with a pinched nerve in my neck and anxious about that bloody hitch. Was it beyond repair? What if I had to replace the whole mechanism? That would involve getting parts shipped to us and finding someone to fit it to the van. It could mean weeks of being in Warrnambool. And cost loads. Your mind can certainly run away with things at that time when you should be sleeping. Like Withnail, it seemed that maybe we'd gone on holiday by mistake and needed some major assistance. I thought I'd do the considerate thing and wake Tori around 4.30 to share the burden with her. Eventually, appeased by her soothing encouragement, I fell back asleep, unfortunately leaving her awake for another hour or so.

Unsurprisingly, I didn't feel too refreshed when I woke up again in the real morning. I dreaded what I would find. On trying the hitch again, it still didn't work. The pin wouldn't fit through the mechanism. Something seemed bent out of shape. And then all of a sudden, miraculously, it did fit and with some work slid the whole way through. I greased it up a bit and it started to fit easier and easier. Hmmm.... it seemed some strange forces were at work, but perhaps it was as simple as a little grease.

I hate not being good at something, and even worse, being crap. I watched the kids whizzing around on their bikes this afternoon. Before Christmas, neither of them could ride at all. Now they both seemed as if they'd been riding for ages. I'm hoping that my learning curve will be mastered just as quickly without too many more basic mistakes.

So the day was spent looking for things that I might need in the immediate future. A tub of grease for the hitch, a new jockey wheel, some pieces of wood to create a stable support for underneath the jockey and the van supports, and various other bits and bobs. The next moment of truth I guess will be when we need to connect the van back up to the cruiser. We'll see then whether the hitch really works or not. All this van drama reminded me of the problems we had with our campervan at the beginning of our journey across Europe and the Middle East some years back. Then it involved a petrol leak in France and a fallen off exhaust in Turkey. The first taught me some new french phrases while the second provided me with an insight into how helpful and resourceful Turkish people can be. A mechanic at a truck depot near where we were staying in Istanbul just welded the exhaust back together. Wearing no mask, with the flame inches from his face, occasionally flinching as a spark would hit naked skin, this guy fixed up the van in around 45 minutes and charged us around 6 quid for his services. After his incredible handiwork, the van travelled a few thousand kilometres across Turkey, through Syrian and Jordanian deserts, up the length of Israel from Eilat to Haifa and all the way back to England. I'm hoping that this time, after a similarly inauspicious beginning, we will soon have this behind us and some more relaxing times await. Though with the sound of helicopters in the air and flooding at Allansford only a few kilometres up the road from here, perhaps we still have a little way to go.

2 comments:

Rani said...

Hi Greg, Tori, Finn and Jazzy, what bad luck you seem to be having with the caravan. Thankfully the grease worked on the pin (whatever that is). I heard on the news this morning that flooding is not far from Warrnambool. I assume the caravan park will be advised when/if you have to vacate the place. Happy travelling, love to you all, Mum/nana xxoxxo

Rani said...

Hi Greg, Tori, Finn and Jazzy, what bad luck you seem to be having with the caravan. Thankfully the grease worked on the pin (whatever that is). I heard on the news this morning that flooding is not far from Warrnambool. I assume the caravan park will be advised when/if you have to vacate the place. Happy travelling, love to you all, Mum/nana xxoxxo