Archive for February 27th, 2007

The Big Trip – Day 16

Mostly listening to: (DJ Morsies on the ipod) the feeling, the fratellis, damien rice, jose gonzales, the magic numbers.
Sleeping on/in: a bunk bed in a ‘lodge’ in a holiday park. Has very much a halls of residence vibe. There’s even some pumping bass coming through the walls now… It’s 9.10pm, can you not see we’re trying to sleep?!?…
KMs: 3460
Coffees: two huge ones. Winner
Eating: indian (from restraunt called two fat indians)
Weather: cloudy, just started raining. Not amused.
Place name: Belfast (suburb of north christchurch)

Our volcanic paradise was a bit different this morning. Covered in cloud it just wasn’t the same. We took a rather scenic, if not undrivable, alternative route into christchurch.

Right at the beginning of the drive I noticed a new wee lamp on my indicators on the dash. Kind of like a genies lamp. Rubbing it brought forth no genie. Next option was to be low on oil.

Now i’m not particularly good on car maintenance. I have a perfectly good father for that kind of thing. And the car is a little (10000 km or so) overdue for a service and even a wash. So the oil light came as little of a surprise.

So like men we popped the bonnet and looked at what was under the hood for a while. There was a small family of possums and some dirt from 1972 and this dirty great thing known commonly as ‘the engine’. We nodded knowingly, as men do.

The problem with the car is it’s japanese. So the manual is in japenese. So when the light comes on telling you to look up pg 37 of the manual then it’s not much use.

We dipsticked the oil (i can do that much) and found that the level wasn’t where it was meant to be – between the two marks. In fact it was not even on the dipstick at all. Not good.

We went to petrol station and talked knowingly about oil to eachother in the shop, neither of us having a clue what to buy. The shopkeeper (a middle aged woman) came over and pointed us away from the screen washer we were erroneously looking at, towards the oil. And after she’d persuaded simon that buying oil for a petrol car would be better than the diesel he had in his hand, we were off.

Next problem was getting the stuff in. I found the oil cap easily enough. It was helpfully marked ‘oil’. The problem was getting it in without spilling it over the hot engine. This was where the manual really came in helpful, as rolled up it made an excellent funnel.

Done with the oil, we proceded to check a few other things. Which wasn’t so much checking as asking eachother ‘what do you think this bit does then?’ give me a human body any day. Not that I understand them any better, just that that they’re more likely to tell me!

We found a tupperware type tub, similar to the one for the windscreen washer fluid. It was marked simply coolant and in someway connected to the radiator. Using the the brain cell between us, we figured it was for cooling the radiator. Though the tub was completely empty and gave the impression it had been for some time. Car seems to work without it anyhow.

Car maintenance 101 over, we hit the road.

Spent the afternoon in christchurch, drinking coffee in the square and walking round the botanic gardens watching ducks.

Ducks have featured rather heavily in this holiday. Partly because they’re the only creatures that don’t want to run away when si tries to befriend them. I have to say that it’s rubbed off on me, and I could now quite happily spend an afternoon watching ducks in the park.

We did see a rather ‘plumpish’ couple feeding the ducks and considered that maybe they were trying to lure the ducks to capture and eat them. Dear knows what they thought we were up to – si was trying to sneak up on sleeping ducks so he could pick one up.

I imagine there’s laws against that kind of thing. Though I supose it would be a point of interest in your CV – criminal record – twice arrested for duck lifiting…


February 2007