Wheels In Motion

22nd January, Townsville, Australia

Ian writes:

Only a couple of days in to our travels and we're stuck. The van broke down yesterday and the plan for this morning was to get it going, however we could make that happen. My first idea was to ask one of the mechanics in the garage just two minutes' walk up the road. I managed to twist the arm of one of them to come down and have a look but he couldn't really tell what the problem was (didn't bring many tools with him). He said he'd try to get the van towed up to the garage to be looked at but I didn't fancy waiting all day, so I called a mobile auto electrician. Very quickly he diagnosed the fault as being a dead battery and once he'd brought back a replacement it started straight away. But there was another problem - suddenly the indicators were not working. Just our luck, eh?

The electrician spent a good 45 minutes tracing wires, checking fuses, checking flasher units trying to work ouot why all four indicators were suddenly not working. Then he gave up and suggested we go back to the workshop for one of the old boys to look at - a VW expert. At least we could drive now, though!

We got to the workshop and waited for the older guy to come off his lunch break when the first guy said: "I just had a thought, we didn't check the bulbs, did we ...." The front and back bulbs on one side had gone but because of the simple Kombi electrics they had managed to take out the whole system. Who'd have thought it? Not our auto-electrician, at least.

We'd wasted much of the day waiting to get mobile but once we had our wheels in motion we sought the shopping centre we'd been looking for just prior to the van going bang, then spent the rest of the day and early evening stocking up for the van (food, camping type stuff we still needed). In the evening, we stayed at a park in Rowes Bay (still in Townsville, but not right on the river like we'd done yesterday - a mozzie-free night would be good!).