As we sat there by the side of the road, baking in the late Summer sun and listening to the sound of air escaping from two flat tyres, I thought to myself: OK, I get the hint.
I won’t go to the Upper Yarra Dam.
Before you think I’m a quitter, let me explain. This was the third time I’d tried to visit the dam.
The first time, the Chef and I got as far as the old wooden water wheel and a short, Wintry walk through the nearby bush before cutting our visit short and heading back to our house and its attendant central heating.
The second time, I planned to take a visiting friend with me so we could have a photographic ramble. On the day of her visit, the weather delivered rain and followed it up with a bit more rain, some drizzle, and then some rain again in case I’d missed the point.
The third time was going so well! My brother and sister-in-law were visiting and, as they also enjoy a low-key adventure to look at large bodies of water, they agreed to head for the dam. We enjoyed inane conversation while winding along attractive, forest roads. I pointed out some other places of interest that I was hoping we might visit on the way back.
Then we hit the nastiest pot-hole ever to take up residence in a road surface, and bam! Two flat tyres.
“At least this gives you something to write about in your blog,” my brother said, before heading off to conjure a second spare wheel out of nowhere.
It also gave me something to photograph, so the day certainly wasn’t wasted on a creative level. (It was also a documentary assignment, since my brother will be Having Words with People who are meant to Maintain a Safe Road Surface.)
Without further ado: Behold! The pot-hole of doom!
And yes, I do have a miniature measuring tape on my keyring. Doesn’t everyone?
Witness not one flat tyre…
…but two flat tyres.
Witness my brother and sister-in-law doing all the work while I stand around and document the whole event.
Don’t worry, I did help out: I held a board to block out the sun from people when they were doing various wheel-related things. I now have a rather sunburnt neck, but at least I contributed in some small way.
But how do you get out of such a tricky situation when you’re miles from anywhere? First of all, you call up RACV and discover that you have no roadside assist. Fabulous!
Secondly, you wait as car after car full of people drive past until one finally stops and the driver therein offers you a lift back to my house.
From my house, you drive your brother and sister-in-law to their home forty-five minutes away, dealing with excessive amounts of slow-moving tourist traffic and at least one major detour.
Some time after this, you load a spare wheel into the back of your car and drive back to the site of the forlorn, abandoned car and attach the spare (while I hold the aforementioned board to protect you from the glare of the sun).
Oh, and you also do this with a time-limit ticking down because the grounds of the Upper Yarra Dam are shut every night at 6pm.
We escaped through the gates at 5:55pm.
I love a good adventure but I much prefer it when they don’t involve multiple flat tyres and a race against time. And I’m taking the hint: I’m not planning to go back to the Upper Yarra Dam any time soon.
Have you been to the dam? Or have you experienced a catastrophic automotive break-down in the middle of nowhere? Let me know in the comments below – I’d love to chat with you!