TROGDOR takes a dive

Trip Start May 18, 2003
Trip End Ongoing

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Thursday, January 5, 2006

Having only one full day left on the South Island I decided to hike part of the Queen Charlotte Track today. Instead of attempting it from one of the ends I drove along the side road to access the high ridge in the middle of the track, which takes you above 400m.

There is no car park here, and as I parked TROGDOR on the edge of the access dirt road he decided to take a dive partway down the embankment. It was kind of like an Italian Job moment where I didn't know if getting out of the car would tip the balance and send TROGDOR hurtling down the valley. Fortunately he was wedged on the edge (at a precarious 45 degree angle) and was not going to fall any further, but I did wonder how I was going to get him out!

The first car I waved down was a 4WD camper van driven by two German girls. I asked one of them to get in the drivers seat and gently put TROGDOR into reverse while the other girl and I pushed from the front... After hearing some horrendous complaints from TROGDOR I realised that a very quick 30 second lesson in driving a manual car was needed before we were going to get anywhere.

Second attempt. No such luck, still stuck! A chain would have been very handy right now, but neither of us had one. The girls went on their way and I waited for the next vehicle... A kiwi couple in a 4WD small truck. He didn't have a chain but we doubled up his rope around both tow bars. It worked - TROGDOR was rescued!

Unfortunately I didn't take a photo, it looked very dramatic and would have illustrated just how stuck we were. I was lucky - it could have turned out a lot worse. I'm happy to report that TROGDOR suffered no ill effects from the twenty minute ordeal and in running as smoothly as ever.
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