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Unpleasant end to a beautiful weeks holiday.

Friday, December 07, 2012

Because of the way this blog ends, I had to think long and hard as to whether to blog it or not. Then I decided, that life is life and these things happen, especially if you aren't wealthy folk, then well......life gets in the way. Needless to say, I can hear you Asta...you're saying "never a dull moment in your life Celeste' " and now...HOW...can I deny that?

But the day didn't start negatively. It started rather well actually.
It was the last day of fun for Justin and I. While we still had one last day of holiday after today, we also had stuff to do which wasn't playing, but needed doing.
So officially this was our last play day.
We went through to a little seaside village called Hartenbos where we would meet the kids and spend some more time with them. The young ladies wanted to do some shopping at the brightly colored stalls like this one.

We got there ahead of them and hung around while waiting.
The sea looked so inviting, I was sorry I hadn't brought a bather, but of course initially we were going to the Cango Crocodile Ranch for tea & cake so no costume needed. Stopping in Hartenbos was a secondary decision.

To get down to the beach meant quite a few stairs again, not as many as Mondays walk but still enough. At the top you can go left or right. Left has 49 stairs, while right has 48.
Choices choices?
Justin went down one and counted and I went down the other and counted. emoticon I'm sure this wouldn't make the 10 best things to do while waiting for your kids - list.
But we had fun doing it.

In fact, there are pretty much stairs everywhere if you want to go down to the beach.
Nice work out for the kids....who were running up and down the stairs to the ice cream vendor constantly. Even their parents were getting a workout.

On one of the landings, I met up with this little gecko.
The pics are a bit blurry but I was afraid to move a muscle in case he dashed.
I needn't have worried, he was not in the least bit afraid of me.

In fact I had the feeling he was checking me out....for a possible tasty morsel in my bag.

I'll show you exactly how close he was to me.

Only when this bird came down too close did he actually disappear down a nearby drain.
Fancy that, more afraid of a little bird than a large lady?!
But then again, hes not on my food list of edibles.

The Dutch boat was still out at sea and life boats were still taking folks back and forwards between boat and land. In fact one boat was out taking tourists to seal island in the background. So named because its a place where the seals come to breed and spend copious amounts of time lying basking on the rocks.

Close view. I tried to zoom in further but I just wasn't having any luck and each time it was blurred. Losing my touch!

It was blazing hot and in the end we decided to forgo linking up with the kids and go directly to the Cango Crocodile Ranch as both Justin and I were hot and bothered sitting in the sun, and wanting our tea & cake. Sent the kids a text message saying "see you on the way back" and took off.

Hmmm now were we being punished, or what? 10kms outside of Hartenbos, our vehicle engine started racing uncontrollably. We had no idea what was happening, but brought the van to a stop asap while trying to figure out what was happening. This was the very first thing I saw as I was getting out.

I'm so brave, I grab my bag, camera and make a dash across the road leaving Justin to sort the vehicle out. Truthfully, I'd just get in his way because I know ZERO about vehicles and I knew he would call if he needed me. This is what I could see - baring in mind the engine was still racing.

I was panicked that the car would explode and Justin's head was still under the bonnet.
Fortunately for us, a passing fire engine came to our rescue (though we didn't need it after all)

The two firemen were so fast in across and helping Justin to try and sort the problem out.

At the same moment, Justin managed to get the vehicle switched off. I forgot to mention that even though he turned the key off, the engine refused to cut. In that moment of sheer panic you don't always know what to do. Now we have been told, next time (hope there never is a next time) put the vehicle into low gear and pop the clutch, it will stall and cut the engine. Right.....next time.

Justin was livid. Earlier this week his phone packed up, now this. I think he might have said "get that camera out my face" but I'm not too sure. He now laughs about it and has posted the photo on facebook. At this point, he had NO IDEA that his face was covered in oil spots.

Needless to say, I took the camera out his face and turned my attention to other nearby objects which were.....this delightful stick insect. Stick insects imitate twigs swaying in the wind by rocking back and forth as they move. Because of it's shivery side to side walk it appears quite drunk. It finally "staggered" into the grass and was so well camouflaged I couldn't find it. These are the largest of all the insect family. Some are brown others green.

And these pretty grasses.

Now began the long wait. We had phoned Cole and asked him to come and tow us home. Justin is easily embarrassed and sitting on the side of a national road with people constantly stopping to offer assistance is not on his HOLIDAY FUN LIST. I am less embarrassed, but I felt for him, especially as we had no water to clean his face.
About 30 minutes later our hero arrived.

Cole and I drove together in front in the BMW while Justin drove the van. Now my friends, if I can only tell how harrowing THAT trip was. I'm not a speedster AT ALL, EVER, NEVER. I have a seriously healthy respect for cars and speeding.....but.....the only way to get up the hills with the car towing the heavier van was for Cole to put his foot flat on the gas going downhill. Yiiiiiiikes my nerves, we were flying past everything from cars to trucks to tour busses. All he kept saying was "vasbyt mom" (pronounced Fuss-bate) which is Afrikaans and literally translated means 'bite hard'. Bite hard indeed. I was a wreck by the time we finally got home, but at least my sister was there with the kettle on for a much needed cup of tea.

On Monday morning the van goes in for repair. Someone said it looks like the turbo is blown or the overhead cylinder gasket. Monday we will find out. UGH!
The joys of not having spare cash...........but we do have a back up plan thankfully.

So thats it, a rather dramatic end to one weeks beautiful holiday. emoticon emoticon
Might as well smile, the options are cry or smile. I've done enough crying over Michelle recently so I'm going with smiling.

If things really work in three's then we're done. First the loss of R2000 then the phone packing up now this. We're safe, Murphy's moving on.......somewhere else.

Hope you all had a better end to your day. Keep smiling folks!
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