Black Friday

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August 13th 2002
Published: September 11th 2005
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I had decided to leave life in beautiful Frankland on the 13th of August to allow for a weekend of fun in Perth before beginning my adventure up the west coast. This happened to be a Friday. Normally I am not a superstitious person, but this day has changed my perception.

Naturally, before I could leave Frankland I had to have a bit of a farewell bash. And, naturally, this involved me having one or two drinks too many (ie. getting rottenly drunk and not recalling a whole lot of the evening’s events). Not to worry!!! It has happened before and I have no doubt it will happen again!!!!

None the less it was a little concerning to wake up in the morning with not much recollection of the previous night and no idea how I got home. In a city this is not that much of a problem but in a small farming community with no public transport, no taxis and no police it was a little more baffling. So that left me ending up driving to Perth (380kms) with one of the biggest, stinkingest, rottenest hangovers I have ever had. Funnily enough this was exactly the same state I was in when I drove down to Frankland from Perth 3 months earlier... hmmmm....

Unfortunately for me with all this happening on Friday 13th things started to go downhill quickly. My first minor catastrophe was getting my gear into the car - a very basic and simple task that could have taken anyone else 5 minutes - somehow this took up 4 hours of my time!!!! Then as I was driving into town to do a last driveby farewell my car stereo suddenly stopped working. I explained my concern to Paul at the roadhouse that I would need this stereo very much indeed on the 6000km trip up to Darwin. He quite simply put a new, slightly larger fuse in place for me. Whew!!!

Suprisingly enough I made it all the way to Armadale (30kms out of Perth) without any dramas but then I noticed a hot/burning smell. I checked the temperature gague, as I had been all day, but that was normal, then I noticed smoke pouring into the front of my car from the car stereo!!! UH OH!!! I didn't like the look of this!!!

I rang roadside assistance and was advised to disconnect the stereo's fuse - no problems there, the smoke stopped almost imediately - then I was told my radio would be fried and I would need to replace it!!!! That is to say, I would not have any music going all the way up the coast to Darwin!!!!! I wasn't too happy about that but figured I would try and sort something out the next day. Being a Saturday though I didn't hold much hope for the situation.

I figured I would keep on to my hostel but shortly after I took off I noticed my temperature gague which had been nice and cool all day was now in the red!!! I pulled over into a petrol station and opened the bonnet slowly - almost expecting another fire - to find a burst radiator hose and the contents of my radiator squirting onto the ground!!! I was not happy!!!

So for the second time that day I rang the RACV breakdown line to have someone come and help me. After waiting 40 minutes for the mechanic to arrive, he was only able to offer me and my car a temporary solution in which I would need to obtain a part the next day (Saturday remember),I was back on the road.

I managed to reach my hostel 2 and a half hours later than I had originally planned but luckily both of the boys I was meeting, to travel up the coast with, were still waiting. I didn't want to tell them the trusty car I had told them all about on the phone was having a few problems but naturally I did and Roger and Robin were understanding that these were not life threatening problems.

Luckily our meeting up went really well and I was able to reassure myself I had picked two resonably normal looking guys. But then I went out to my car to get my gear into my dorm room when I locked my keys in the car and had to call out the roadside assistance boys for the 3rd time in one day!!!

What a day!!!

Luckily I don't believe in omens because if I did i don't think I would be leaving for the trip up the coast.


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