Monday, 14 March 2016

Car troubles on New England road trip

This is the Imperial Hotel, Bingara, where I met friends before dinner on Friday evening and where I had breakfast on Saturday morning. We also had our society's meeting in the hotel on Saturday. It's a nice little country pub in a comfortable town in New England. The town is situated about 150km north of Tamworth along two-lane roads that snake through low hills in this part of the tablelands. Tamworth itself sits on the plain, and when you drive north out of it you ascend a long, steep hill.

I left Sydney at about 7am on Friday and arrived in Bingara at about 4.30pm after a trip of about 560km. As soon as I arrived I set up my computer and bought beer. That evening I met with some friends and we had dinner in a sports club where there is a Chinese restaurant, and I ate steamed fish with a bowl of white rice. The fish tasted of sesame oil and had a delicate flavour, and was topped with chopped chives. Chili was on the side and it made me hiccup. With the meal I had a glass of riesling and a glass of chardonnay.

The next morning I got up early and went to the Imperial Hotel to have breakfast. There I met with one of the people who I had dined with the night before, and we ate breakfast at the same table. After the society's meeting - which had been scheduled for 10am - I got straight into the car and headed south.

When I got to Tamworth the roadsigns of course said to slow down but the steering wheel started to vibrate in my hands. I stopped at MacDonald's and bought a hamburger to eat with some fries and a bottle of plain water. When I got back in the car the steering wheel was still vibrating and it continued to do so all the way back to Sydney. The vibrations seem to be worse at lower speeds. At highway cruising speeds you hardly notice it, but when you are at normal residential street speed you feel something pulling the wheel one way and the other in quick succession. I bought petrol in Singleton along with a sausage roll and a bottle of flavoured water, then I settled down to getting back home. I arrived after dark, ate some of the leftover cauliflower fritters that were in the fridge, and showered before getting into bed.

This morning I phoned the Toyota dealership near here and booked the car in for a service. I won't go up to see mum in the nursing home until the car has been looked at by a professional.

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