27
Aug
17

Swan Hill, the trip from Hell!

Well the trip to Swan Hill was to be a big weekend which ever way you looked at it. This was the first time Billy had competed there so it was an adventure to look forward to! Well adventure it was, but not in the way were expected or anyone could have!

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It all started on the Thursday night when the trailer was  packed and we were parking it for the night. While turning it around in the street I got bogged in the Amorok with the trailer behind, Billy had to tow me out with his car!

I set the alarm for just after 5.00 am and try to wake Billy up, this proved to be mission impossible, almost 2 hours later we were on the road! The trip to Heathcote was not bad at all, a little windy but ok we had stopped for a coffee just before that and were ready to see out the distance to Swan Hill! The adventure was just beginning though! Leaving Heathcote we decided to travel along the Northern Highway then head west further North! Well we found there was a cross wind coming almost straight at us most of the way, making hard work of driving, then Mr Google maps decided we needed to discover every one lane road and dirt road that criss-crosses  the top of Victoria! Not happy Mr Google!

So eventually we get to Kerang where we decided to have lunch this was at about 1.30 pm so we had been on the road and fighting the conditions and terrain for 5 hours or more already! As we had another hour or so to get to Swan Hill we were already well behind our plan for the day! As we approached Lake Charm the engine warning light comes on and we go into limp mode, not a huge issue as it resets when the ignition is switched off then back on! We stopped at a friends business to try to find the issue but had to continue on just before we get to Swan Hill on it goes again!! so stop and start yet again! We arrive at the  Swan Hill Go Kart Club  which is an amazing facility for not only Go Karts but trail bikes and a full speedway and we didn’t see it but a Drag Strip of International standard! The wind was still blowing madly as we were getting set up so we held off setting up the marquee until the wind dropped or should I say pretended to drop, just as we started to set up the wind arrived again so we had to release the canopy to save the frame! After giving up on the idea of camping the night I rang my friend from Lake Charm and we stayed with Rodney and Mandy! On the way to Lake Charm, Billy decided Burgers was the food of choice for dinner, so we looked up the local spot and went for burgers, parking just around the corner of the intersection, far enough away to be the last full car spot! After a short discussion we decide fish and chips might be a better option so we reverse back to drive away and bang! A smaller car had parked right in the centre of the Amorok out of sight!  The adventures continues!

The trip to Lake Charm is a quiet and almost deserted road at night but well used, as we approach Lake Charm suddenly from the opposite direction come the flashing lights, we had been driving along fairly quietly but just passed another car, yes, you guessed, 112 Kmh in a 100Kmh zone!  We had a really great night with Rodney and Mandy in their lovely home on the edge of the Lake and an uneventful trip back to the track! We had the most spectacular sunrise to welcome us too!20915464_1586583328081120_2229810739702323294_n

Saturday started ok in that we got the marquee set up and the practice/carby session went without problem, almost, the transponder for the official timing system was still in the trailer! After having to go through the process of asking permission to compete everything was ok for qualifying except Billy had a shortfall in funds and couldn’t get a new set of tyres! This considered he did well to be close to the pace set by the 2 guys on the front row of the grid! He qualified 4th! The race order had us last on the running order,  heat 2 was going well and Billy made a good start until mid race where he was driven into and over! The resultant damage was not so severe but costly, after the temporary repairs were done it was time for heat 3 which was problem free! It was about then I discovered I had left the lights on most of the day and yes we had a flat battery!  After sorting out the battery,  we went into Swan Hill to get some food and drinks etc for the night and set to cooking back at the trailer. I have an airbed for my tent and inflate it with  the compressor which is ok but we had the generator running as well which drowns out the compressor which doesn’t have a safety switch! Yes we had a huge explosion of the reserve tanks which ended up into about a million pieces! It was so loud I thought the gas bottle blew up, it was then time for bed after a bit of a clean up!

Sunday was a simple and uncomplicated one, we ran the remaining races, Billy finished 5th overall for the weekend and we had a very easy run home electing not to retrace our path from Friday!

 


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