Something had to go wrong...
Trip Start May 04, 2012
16Trip End May 20, 2012
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Our journey from Montgomery was supposed to result in lunch
on the Gulf Coast in Mobile Alabama before heading into Mississippi... We knew
something had to go wrong somewhere and this was the day.
It was absolutely pissing it down with rain to the point it was dangerous to
drive. After the rain eased Dave noticed that the indicator light for tire
pressure had flashed up on the dash; we needed to stop and put in air in the
tires... At this point we were 90 miles from Mobile and deep in Alabama, by
Greenville. The gas stations in Alabama are pretty basic and don’t have
everything you need - including air. After two separate gas stations Dave was
starting to get pissed. We stopped at a third and once again, found an old air
pump with no pressure gauge... The fourth resulted in the same thing, even a
local cop tried to help us and looked at the air pump and couldn’t understand
why there was no pressure gauge... We hit the road again to hopefully find
another gas station. We stopped at Loves just past Greenville, I got out to
help Dave as we’d finally found a gauged pump and I noticed a screw imbedded in
the tire that was leaking air... “F**king great” is probably the polite version
of what we said at the time.
Now, here’s where it gets frustrating. Dave and I paid for
roadside assist should this kind of thing happen; they knew where we were going
to be driving. Dave promptly called the car hire people who were absolutely...
Useless. The woman on the phone didn’t
even know where we were, she just kept asking what city we were in... 4 times
Dave had to say “We’re not in a damn city! It’s Interstate 65, exit 93!”. Finally
she got what we were saying and gave us two options: Option A) Change the tire
for the spare and drive 150 miles to New Orleans where their office is as they
don’t have offices in Alabama or Mississippi (WTF??) and option B) Change the
tire and drive to Pensacola in FLORIDA to have the CAR changed. Pensacola was
another 60 miles away from Mobile so we’d had to drive 150 miles out of our way
to get a new car to then go back to Biloxi (we’d written off Mobile already)
Dave hung up.
There was lots of swearing.
Dave and I attempted to change the wheel for the spare.
In England Dave drives a Kia Picanto... In the US we have a
beastly Ford SUV...
The spare tire looked decidedly dodgy.
We called the car hire people again.
Dave spoke to a guy called Chad this time was actually super
helpful. He said he would get a local wrecker company to come out, change the
wheel, check that the spare was safe and get us on the road to Mobile where Chad
had arranged our tire to be changed free of charge at a company called Pepboys.
It was lunchtime and as we figured we wouldn’t be eating the
glorious Gulf seafood in Mobile, we settled for the Arby’s at the gas station.
The wrecker company arrived and it was possibly the most
awesome, hardworking redneck mechanic you’ve ever met... He was every stereotype
of small town Southern mechanic rolled into one helpful and genuine guy... The
lady with him; not so much. She didn’t
believe our postcode was their equivalent to a zip and she asked Dave twice if
he was sure that was definitely his phone number as it looked ‘weird’ to her. The
job got done in super fast time and he assured us we’d be safe driving to
Mobile on the spare as long as we stayed at 55mph.
After a slow journey with lots of swearing and cussing with
the words “Pensa-f**king-COLA!!” repeated numerous times, we found ourselves at
Pepboys waiting for the tire change. Pepboys is like the US Kwikfit so you can
only imagine how riveting it was waiting there.
Finally we were all set to get back on the road properly and
at a real speed. We set the GPS to Biloxi and reflected on our time in Alabama
The Beautiful... Little did we know how much fun lay ahead on Biloxi’s strip
for two casino virgins like us...