Despite the multiple frenetic phone calls the previous day, including confirmation of van and car dimensions and weights, Kris and I were not 100% convinced that a truck would arrive capable of taking our mobile home and beleaguered Betsy to the mechanic recommended to us in Wagga. We were very relieved when at the allocated time of 7:30am a flat top duel cab indeed arrived. It took just 30 minutes to drive Betsy up on the back and hitch Alice to the tow ball behind. With friendly Rodney at the wheel of our NRMA salvation, we were off.
The 420 odd kilometre trip was long, bumpy, steep and windy and included a very slow crossing of the Great Dividing Range. It was a relief to have the van and 4WD delivered safely to Wagga. First stop was to drop the van at Kris’s ever welcoming aunty Margaret’s place at Lake Albert, then it was off to the Mechanics with the 4WD to explain the problem and hint strongly that we needed the car back ASAP. It was two days before Santa was due, ‘so before Christmas would be fine’ I said hopefully.
As always, our hosts at Lake Albert took us in with open arms and without fuss. All this on a moments notice, bloody brilliant! As always there were toys and movies to amuse the boys and I was able to help Margaret’s very talented son Ben rewire his latest project, a complete car mechanical and electrical transplant while Margaret ran Kris around in the afternoon to do all the Christmas shopping we were meant to do in Canberra and Cooma.
Next day, I was dropped off to the mechanic in Ben’s mostly rebuilt project car to find that after 19 kilometres of obvious flogging, they were unable to duplicate the problem. So, with a cleaned out fuel filter and reset ECU (Engine Computer), I very tenderly pulled out into traffic. The mechanic at O’Briens would not accept payment, assuring me I would be back…
Not wanting to impose ourselves on the Tinnock’s already full house for Christmas we arranged to head out to Green-Acres to celebrate with Rob and Jenny. Before we left on Christmas Eve we treated ourselves with a trip to the cinema to catch the latest Star Wars instalment. What a cracker movie! After a quick lunch we rang the farm and asked Robert to come on a search and rescue mission if we hadn’t arrived by 4:30pm. Then with fingers and toes crossed off we went.