State Regional Surfing Camp was this last weekend.
It was a long weekend, and running one of Perth’s clubs who were invited to attend, meant a long drive ahead.
The problem was Soundwave was on this weekend on the Monday. Initially I was going to go to Soundwave, and some of the groms were too. So even though the camp finishes on Monday, we would leave on Sunday.
I later decided not to attend Soundwave (as predicted temperature was late thirties), but did score a ticket to The Get Up Kids on the Sunday night, which started at 8. So we were aiming to get back by 6pm.
Back to the beginning. Friday.
It’s normally a 5 1/2 hour drive on a good day to get to Geraldton. Friday was an exception because there was a HUGE fire. So an hour and a half additional detour driving was added on.
The fire looked like the hour from LOTR.
It was red, below and in the sky, burning. HUGE.
We eventually arrived at the campsite which was this school.
8.5 hectares of land. NO POWER.
Had to set up our tents in the dark, realised I’d left my swag poles behind. the joys.
The day filled with amazing drama.
Got up at 5am to go surf at headbutts about 30km south of Geraldton and a fair 4wd drive along the beach.
Some real good waves, annoying to paddle out. Some awesome barrels. Good formation.
It was RD Boz, Caleb, Local boys Shane and Tim, and myself and my grom Daniel.
Headed back about 9ish and the plan was to get breakfast, but had only enough time to pile the girls in the car, before heading out to the spot.
This was access via Greenoch Rivermouth, and required some 4wd.
Turns out, Shane decided to take his little red Daewoo on the trail, and got bogged. There was a 4wd car in between us, and I had to reverse out of the trail about 1km.
I got to the flat hard beach, and my clutch was feeling shoddy.
Drove a little and it died. We figured it had overheated and needed some resting so we went for a surf.
Some real fun ones out. Took the ol film waterproof camera out.
Nearly lost it in a huge wave. Caught a wave in an attempt to catch floating away camera. Grabbed it with one hand, but didn’t have time to steer out of the way from riding straight into grom Daniel. ha ha ha.
The look of fear on the poor boys face.
Gave the girls some lessons on duck diving.
Caleb got some body surfs in.
Then we proceeded back to the car. It’s now 47/48 degrees celcius, and we are on a beach in the middle of nowhere. Closest town is Gero which is a good half an hour away.
The car starts, but the wheels won’t turn.
The clutch has burnt out.
We wait… and wait… and wait…..
Time passes. I’ve run out of water.
We wait some more.
I spot a 4wd and flag them down. I convince them to tow us to the rivermouth. They do this.
I then leave the kids with caleb in my broken down car, and hitch a ride with said strangers to a call booth in the middle of nowhere.
All I have is a wallet with bankcards and a dollar fifty in change, and my mobile phone which has no reception.
The call box is broken and won’t take coins, only cards. I have none.
I try reverse call charging the few people I know who are also on the surf trip in Gero.
They are all out of reception and surfing.
I try roadside assisstance. NOTHING.
Insurance place is closed.
My towing place won’t pick up and I can’t get hold of anything.
2 hours later… and there is finally a light.
Some familiar faces arrive with some warm water for us.
I pull my calf muscle.
We eventually manage to tow our car to where we are staying. Roadside assistance still nowhere to be found.
So now we are 6 hours north of where we live, with no car, and I had to have the groms back in Perth by 6pm on Sunday.
Every other person was heading back on Monday, so we couldn’t even hitch a ride.
By now it’s after 4pm on a long weekend, and I’m in a country town trying to hire a car.
I have no idea what rental companies are even up here, and attempt to call all sorts.
Everywhere I call sounds like this… “Thank you for calling, we are open between 9 and 5 eastern standard time, please call during office hours”. It was about 7 stupid EST.
At around 4:15, I get through to the Gero Airport Avis, and get the answering machine.. I leave a distressed message about urgently needing a car…
At 4:45, I’m still trying to call places, and I get a call back.
Here’s my miracle.
Apparently all car rental places in Gero close at 2 on Saturday. This lady however for some reason checked her voicemail and called me. Even though she was at home, and had been for almost three hours already.
She drove to the airport, to meet me at 5:10 (I hitched another ride), and opened up the ENTIRE AIRPORT, just so she could rent the car to me. The airport also closes at 2pm on a Saturday.
It cost me 600 all up. YUCK. But at least we could now get home.
Nothing like a suped up 6 litre Ford Falcon in black to drive the 600kms.
Now does anyone remember the red Daewoo??
Well… it was bogged, so the owner Shane, left it there, and jumped into a 4wd to go surf the spot.
He managed to dislocate his shoulder whilst surfing, and it took friends 15 minutes to get the screaming Shane and his board, back to shore. Big waves and reef ensured this was tough.
Two guys had to pop his shoulder back in, and they drove him back to his lil red car.
Someone had smashed in the rear window and stolen his skateboard, his shoes, his backpack and more.
So the next day, is the trip back for my car.
I discover I have heat stroke. I can barely keep my eyes open, want to throw up, have a raging migraine and have to drive for 6 hours. No, make that 7, because that raging fire we had to detour on the way up, was still uncontainable, and now 3 times the size.
We then run into a traffic jam somewhere near the swan valley, and were travelling at 5 km an hour for 20 minutes.
Let’s just say if I’d be wearing a moodring, it would have been black.
Lots of detours later, I get back to my house just before 8.
Still need to shower, and unload luggage and get rid of headache, and print out ticket for the Get Up Kids headlining show which starts in the city at 8.
I live nowhere near the city.
Mad rush, lots of stress, uncertainty about how I was going to return the rental that night and somehow get home was worrying me. I hadn’t showered since Friday, didn’t know what to wear, or where anything was.
I also covered melted lollies into the back seat compliments of the groms – which I cannot scrub out. UGH!
I hurry, and have to drive along the freeway with all the windows down so my hair can dry, on the way to the city.
I get there for the end of Set Your Goals.
My hair is semi dry and slightly wild.
Show review in another post. 🙂
Now it’s after midnight, I have to return the car to the airport (a 40 min drive from my house), and figure out how I’m going to get home.
Eventually suss a ride at bout 1pm. Drive to the airport, return car, and sleep in my bed for the first time since Thursday.
Could anything more go wrong?