Thursday, June 5, 2014

Broken suspenders….

Well my first major oops in the bus!
I left Opotiki after nearly 10 days wondering why I was not feeling comfortable about heading around the East Cape. It was sad in a way to say goodbye to Ngaio, John and Motu Trails yard. A great place and a great couple. Ngaio said that when they get their campsite up and running properly she would ask me to be the manager. They have a campsite at Te Kaha that they are doing up. The previous camp manager left it in a bit of a mess. I think I could winter over there for them….
So anyway I headed off towards Gisborne through the Waioweka Gorge, stopping at the Tauranga Bridge.
It was a great little parking spot with some great ‘furniture’.
From there I wandered down the track towards the bridge itself. It seems that way back when the government gave some land to the settlers and they tried to make a go farming the area but it was too hard and eventually it closed down. There is a 2hr return walk up into the Tauranga Valley but it was overcast and chilly so I didn’t walk it. The bridge itself was great.

From there I meandered along through the gorge and came across the remnants of a huge slip.
I believe that the road was closed for quite a while during the clean up operation!
I dropped into the DoC campsite just past Wairata but it was right next to the main road, very open and noisy so I moseyed on.
Thought about pausing at the Matawai Pub for lunch and possibly the night but it didnt open til 5pm (winter hours) so I keept going.
Somewhere along the road I saw a rather largish rock on the road about two fists size. Careful to avoid it I made sure it was well between the wheels of the bus and BANG! Bugger thought I. I must have misjudged the inner wheels on the rear. Things didnt start going weird or anything so I kept going and it really wasn’t a huge bang or anything…
At this point I was starting to come down out of the hills and look what they do to the trolls, they turn them into workers!
They were having a cup of tea and didn’t stop me for a toll thank goodness.
I had not realised how large a grape and citrus growing area Gisborne is and was surprised by the km after km of grape vines.
The weather then closed in and it rained for the rest of the trip into Gisborne. I had decided that I would stay t the Cossie Club in town while I found out what was on offer in Gisborne.
On arrival and turning into the Cossie club there was a huge graunch as I crossed into the driveway. Woah says I that is not right! So I park up and have a look underneath the bus at the rear.
Oh dear!
Oh dear is right! I get onto the internet to find truck repair places and head over to the first. The guys are al either sick or out on site. She then points me in the direction of another place. They say that I am too big for them to handle and it needs a qualified welder to fix, so they get Glenn from GMC Moweld on the phone and he comes out and has a look. Lots of Oh dears and loud mumblings and swear words as they crawl under the bus. Ok so a few phone calls later I am following Glenn around to Williams and Wilshire’s truck service depot where they are going to use their workshop and Glenn will do the welding or making of the new piece. The guys there get me to park up in the corner. The boss comes out and says that they wont be able to start anything until the morning. Ok by me. I can see that they are busy as with logging trucks coming in every 10 mins for repairs or maintenance. I am not in a huge hurry of course so morning is fine.
A rather noisy night followed with trucks arriving and leaving til around 9.30pm but then someone arrived at 11pm and started up the water blaster and cleaned off the quad bike on his trailer, which took about an hour. Then the trucks started moving again at about 1.30am. Still I’m not complaining!
So in the morning the boss comes over and tells me that it will probably be about 11 before they can get to me as they have a couple of trucks that need urgent work. Ok by me!
So 11 rolls around and the young guy comes and asks me to drive into the workshop so off we go.
They then decided that they needed to jack the bus up a bit. A BIT!!!!
Scary stuff watching your home head up on 4 lifting jacks. Quite scary indeed!
Still they seemed to know what they were doing.
So under they went and removed the broken bit.
Glenn then had to take the pieces away to his workshop to fabricate a new x member. It appears that there has been a crack or break already and it has been welded once before and that weld has broken.
So it was then wait around until 3.30pm when Glenn arrives back and they put the new piece in place.
So a nice new shiny airbag x member was bolted into place and The Fredrock Cafe gently lowered back to the floor and I followed Glenn back to his office to sort out the paper work.
His work was wonderful and if you need any welding or manufacturing done in Gisborne I would recommend GMC Moweld. One of the guys from Williams and Wilshire was telling me he needed a pipe of a certain diameter (around 5cm) Glenn made one from scratch from a piece of plate steel and bent it to the exact size needed!
Anyway I am celebrating by having two days at a campground to do some washing, charge the batteries and relax.
Weather here today is just fantastic after the crappy weather yesterday morning.
Safe travels everyone.

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