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WINTERSUN 2002 - A TRIP I'LL NEVER FORGET  (Reprinted from http://www.poorboyz.com.au)

Well, recently I have found myself holding court on several occasions and those who had gathered around me to hear my yarn about WINTERSUN suggested that I should put my saga down in words for all to enjoy. Only after they stopped killing them selves' laughing that is! At my expense I might add.
Let's do this day by day.
I cherish my holidays as most people would and for the weeks leading up to WINTERSUN, I was sooooooooooo looking forward to the relaxing time away with mates. This was my first Wintersun. My wife and I had decided to take not only the Chev (47) but to take the family car as well as two close family friends were joining us for the trip (not enough room in the Chev for 4 people and luggage).
Saturday 1st Jun. Left Canberra at 8 am, crystal blue clear skies above 3%, bloody freezing. My mate Ed and I were in the Chev and my wife Carol and Elizabeth were in the family car following. Got to Pheasants nest just outside Sydney, first stop for fuel. No problems so far. We arrived in Newcastle at about 1pm just in time to catch a major thunderstorm. Couldn't see where we were going, but never mind we stopped for fuel and something to eat at a servo that had a big bloke running around in a chook suit. What's the big bloke in a chook suit got to do with this story? Well stay tuned! After lunch we continued on, my mate was driving, still hasn't stopped raining, just out side Newcastle he went to put his foot on the brakes and we proceeded to aquaplane straight ahead towards a round about. The tyres gripped just in time to allow us to pull up before we played chicken with the traffic on our right going through the round about. Struth there was some water on the road. NOT HAPPY JAN!!!!! We continued on to Coffs Harbour where we pulled in off the road for the night, pretty buggered it had not stopped raining all afternoon.

Sunday 2nd Jun. Left Coffs and guess what still bloody raining, we decided to stop off up the road some where for breakfast. Well that never happened! The old windscreen wipers were working overtime, so hard in fact the they started to cease up on and off, while I was at the wheel of course! Anyway at some little obscure town we blew a fuse and the whole bloody car came to a stop . Nothing, nothing at all. Fortunately I was able to roll the Chev into a tiny pokey service station before it came to a halt. What luck! Yes all I had to do was to locate the guilty party and buy a new one and we're back on the road again, oh yeah before I forget to mention it, IT's STILL BLOODY WELL RAINING! I get the fuse, go into the servo and the young girl behind the counter says to me "What's that" Oh this is gunna be good I'm thinking. "It's a fuse I say" do you have any?. 'No' is the reply 'Is there another Servo in town that might be able to help me' I ask? Once again 'No' is the reply. 'Then may I have some cooking foil please? 'Yes she says, but why do you want that she asks?' Anyway she now knows that cooking foil has more than one use.
Just after we went through Grafton the rain got heavier and the storms more violent, we hit some pretty big potholes in the road, couldn't see them for the water. Every time we hit a pot hole for some unknown reason the word SHIT! Just fell out of my mouth. I was driving when we got to Woodburn about 40 kms south of Lismore when I smelt something burning, I asked Ed, my mate, what was on fire? He said 'Your dreamin' I looked down towards the passengers side, near the dash just as the wipers gave up the ghost 'Fu.. Me! 'I said. It was literally pissing down and I couldn't see the guideposts on the side of the road the rain was so heavy. I asked Ed to stick his head out the window and tell me where we were going. Semi up my bum and I couldn't see a thing. Ed told me that there was a servo up ahead on the left. We pulled in there. (Woodburn) I asked my wife Carol to call the NRMA and ask if they could come out. We had registered the Chev with the NRMA, which cost $75.00 over the phone than you very much. They didn't see me coming, they sent me a singing telegram.
Still Raining, NOT HAPPY JAN! 21/2 hours later the NRMA came along, what's the problem they ask? 'A burnout wiper motor I think, I replied' Oh we can't fix that, aren't you even going to take a look I asked, why we can't fix it. Shit!!!!! Now Not Happy even more!!!! The NRMA suggested I leave the rod in their depot garage over night and come back tomorrow and get it. I suppose I didn't have much of an option so I agreed. Lucky we brought both cars. NRMA told me 'wait until the rain eases off a bit and drive it to their depot it's only two kms up the road. 'Hold the phone' I said, 'your depot is only 2 kms up the road' 'then why have I been pacing up and down waiting 2/12 hours for you to travel 2/12 kms?. NOT HAPPY.
So we load everything into the Fairlane and we're off. We were going to stay with Ed's brother on the Gold Coast. Arrived at his place, very late as to be expected.

Monday 3rd Jun. I called the NRMA at Woodburn and was told that the mechanic had driven into Lismore to try to get a second hand unit from a wrecker. I said " beauty, we're on our way back down to collect it. Ed and I arrived in Woodburn at about 11 am. The mechanic was unable to find a replacement unit and suggested that, on our way through Lismore we might stop at an auto electrician and see if they can help. So off we went, watching the dull grey skies for rain. Luckily we got to Lismore with no further rain. But it was threatening. Found an auto electrician who really didn't want to help us out, I just about had to plead with him to take a look at the unit. OK come back in an hour and we'll see. Two hours later he finally got it working, 'it was only temporary fix' he said. Now that will be $84.80. $8.80 for the part and $80.00 labour. Hold the Phone!!!! Anyway I asked him could he hook it back up, he looked at the Chev and said the car was older than he was, I said 'Soooooo'! Well I hooked it up as best I could, Bloody thing didn't work. I must have had the wires on the wrong way. I asked the auto electrician could he run a multimeter over the wires to see what should go where. 'Yeah, Yeah in about 15 minutes'. I'm getting really pi..ed off with this bloke! ½ hour later he still had not showed, so I had another go myself. You little ripper got it working. We're off on our way back to the Gold Coast. Ran into a couple of small showers on the way but no real problem! Now remember my mate Ed is driving the Fairlane and he is in front of me, I'm following. We've just hit the outer skirts of the Gold Coast just on dusk. Peak Hour traffic, Do I know where I'm going? No way! My mate snavells over into the left lane leaving me stranded in the right lane at an intersection. I can't move over because the semi was a whole lot bigger than me. So there I am forced to follow the traffic off to the right and there goes Ed off to the left. See ya mate, you wait until I get hold of you!! Anyway I drop a U'e up the road only to find that I can't turn right into the road that Ed took off down. Bugger me! I had to go back down the road about anther 2 kms to drop a U'e to get back to the intersection where Ed left me. There was Ed waiting about 4 kms down the road. I asked my self what if I had pulled over and waited for Ed to come and find me? Mexican Standoff!!! Not Happy Jan!!! Well I flew past Ed and eventually he caught up with me. I tried to wave him around so that he could lead the way again, but no he sat behind me. I looked in the rear view mirror to see that he had just put on his indicator to take the next off ramp. The speed I was going there was no way that I was going to make the ramp. Bloody hell, geographically embarrassed again!!! We drove around between Coolangatta and Gold Coast for an hour trying to find a road that we recognised. Finally got home at about 8pm.

Tuesday 4th. We were going to take the Chev up to a mate of mine who lived up at Caloundra. He knew I had been building the Chev and I really wanted to show it off to him. But alas, bloody raining again, so I made the decision to leave the Chev at Ed's brothers place. On the way up to Caloundra we stopped at a wrecker in Brisbane and asked if they had a replacement unit (second hand). 'Nar mate that must be out of a four wheel drive, never seen one before!' I said 'it was early British' 'Nar mate has to be four wheel drive. So I walked out , NOT HAPPY JAN!!!!! Still raining!!
On our way into Caloundra I spotted another sign to a wrecker, so off we go to the wreckers. I go into the wreckers and am waiting at the counter. The buzzer on the counter, didn't work! There was a young fella working on the workshop floor just to my left, he saw me then got up and went out the back. A Minute later another employee walked out of the office and said 'gidday mate' and kept on walking before I could get a word out. Bugger Me!!!!!! Another bloke came out of the office and asked if I was right, Thank Christ I showed him the unit and asked if he had one?
He replied 'No - I've got several' smart a.. I said' I'll have one, he checked it out works very well, that will be $60.00.

Wednesday. Good day drank lots, still raining.

Thursday 6th. Not a bad day really, still rained on and off. Went for a drive up to Mount Tambourine with Ed navigating. Need I say any more "Got lost coming back into the out skirts of Brisbane.

Friday 7th. Washed the Chev ready for Fri night Krooze down in Coolangatta. Had a top night only did one lap. It took forever to complete a lap. The girls took the Chev for a lap as well.

Sat 8th. I noticed a flat spot in my front rim (brand new Boyd Coddington's) I flew down my wife's throat as only I could " Did you hit a bloody gutter last night when you were Kroozin'?. She came back at me just as quick with a 'No I bloody didn't' Oh no a bad call there Terry. I got to thinking it must have been one of those bloody potholes we hit on the way up. BUGGER!!!!!!
Saturday was good spoke to a lot of people about my car, terrific.

Sun 9th. Another fine day got to Coolangatta at about 8.00am. lucky to get one of the last parking spots in the main street. Cutting a long day short met up with friends and had dinner with them. Now we're off to the Drive In night. Ed and I walk back to the Chev only to find a lady and her children admiring it SO I THOUGHT!. She asked if it was my car, out went my chest, proud as a peacock, "you bet' I said. She said 'Well I have got some bad news for you', I thought to myself what else could possibly go wrong? She pointed to a bloke who was walking/staggering out of a shop over the road and said 'He just pissed on your car' I said 'WHAT?' She was pretty irate in that this mongrel just flopped out the old fella and started pissing, in front of her and her kids. Well, me being a placid sort of a person, those who know me will attest to that, I off over the road to have this mongrel on. I'm in his face giving him what for. Then his son (about 20) gets into the act and I'm in to him as well. The veins in my neck were just about popping out!
I gave them both an option buy some drinking water and wash my car or deal with the Police. Now I had no idea that the woman who witnessed all this had flagged the Police down and two policemen were standing behind me. One of them leaned into my ear and asked 'what was going on?'. Frightened the hell out of me! I told them what this no hoper had done, then they stood back and let me handle it. Was about then I thought to myself 'where would I rather spend the night? 'In jail for assault or with my wife and friends' the wife and friends won. The idiot's son bought some water and we turned around to cross the road, to my surprise, lucky I didn't throw any haymakers, there were now 4 Police there.
The Chev got washed, I went to collect my wife and told her what had happened, and I was still pretty upset by the ordeal. Soooo finally of to the Drive In night. I had an idea where it was being held but not sure so I said to the girls ' follow us and stay behind me. Sure enough we got separated in traffic, so I'm looking for them in the rear view mirror when a flash in front of me catches my eye. I look forward to see that I have just driven through a stop sign. I was to scared to look to my right. I just got through the intersection. Anyway the girls caught up to us at the Drive In and I have just about had enough, I'm into them, and they couldn't understand why!

Mon 10th. Queens Birthday Public Holiday - The best weather so far and we're on our way home. 50 kms north of Coffs Harbour 3pm, Public Holiday and the accelerator cable poops it self. Bugger Me!!!!! I asked my wife Carol ' Call the NRMA and tell them what has happened. I couldn't run the risk of waiting for the NRMA to turn up and not being able to help, so Ed and I jumped into the Fairlane and took off for Coffs Harbour. Now remember it's a Public Holiday and if we find some thing open it won't stay open all afternoon. So we're off about 15 kms down the road I go over a hill and right there in my face was a great big camera, yep you guessed it!, $118.00 and 2 points. NOT HAPPY JAN!!!!!!!!! Anyway get into Coffs found an Auto Cheap store open. Rang the girls and asked if the NRMA had turned up as yet. Yes they had just arrived and can't fix it. Bloody hopeless, they can't improvise. I purchased some wire, some electrical clips and a pair of crimpers. Got back to the Chev and fixed it my self. This got all the way back to Canberra.

Oh yeah, just before I finish, remember that big bloke earlier on running around in the chook suit around Newcastle. Ed was driving and I had noticed that he drove straight past the service station. No problem you're thinking! Well it is if you don't have much gas left in the tank. I said to Ed ' Where do you intend to fill up with gas?' he replied ' at that place where the big chook was runnin' around' Hmmmmmm! I said , Cobba we past that servo about 20klms back' 'Bull' 'yes we did' I said. Ed said if we've past that servo he'd run around Canberra in a big chook suit himself!' Well Ed I'm still waiting, I'd like to see that!

Well folks, I can actually laugh about it now, but believe you me it wasn't funny at the time and did I have a good time at WINTERSUN? YES and NO! would I go again? YOU BET and in the CHEV!

That's my story


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