Our failed ski trip

Oatlands Travel Blog

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The lovely view from the car window while waiting for the RACT

Here in Tasmania we have a ski field (of sorts). I have not skied here and have heard “if you can ski here, you can ski anywhere”. Lauren and I were looking forward to trying it out for ourselves in August, but...


We had arranged to meet at Laurens first thing in the morning Sunday 31 August; I arrived on time to be greeted out the front by Lauren who said she had some bad news. The staff of the hotel where we had planned to stay had called earlier to say it had been raining nonstop for the past 48 hours, the snow had turned to slush, and we would not be able to ski. Lauren said that we would still like to get away for a couple of days and we would come and stay anyway. He replied that it is blowing a gale and if we came to stay, we wouldn’t be to leave the room so it wouldn’t be worth it.

Lauren and I made ourselves a cup of coffee and reassessed our options. We decided we would still like to get out of Hobart and decided on another destination in the north of our little state, so we had a look on the internet to see what accommodation we might be able to get for the night. Lauren’s computer decided it didn’t want to cooperate and it took half an hour to discover we were not going to get anywhere with the computer and decided to just hit the road and see what we could find when we got there.

So off we go, driving up the midland highway north past Oatlands, the turn off to the great lakes, and as I was driving at 100km p/h the temperature alarm goes off; we hear quick, loud succession of BEEP, BEEP, BEEP, BEEP, BEEP! Uh oh! I had issues with the temperature of my car before I went to Hawaii and had the head gasket fixed, and a week prior to heading off on our ‘ski trip’, I took the car for a ‘check up’ and all was fine. Now this.

I pulled off to the side of the road and there was steam billowing out from under the bonnet (hood to some on you out there). Luckily for me, I am always prepared for the worst, and am covered by the Royal Automobile Club of Tasmania (RACT) and gave them a call. “Hi, I’m on the Midland Highway somewhere past Oatlands and the turnoff for the Great Lakes near a sign for the Tunbridge community club and bar, but not yet at Ross, my car has overheated and is billowing smoke from the engine.” HELP!!! “Ok, I’ll send someone from Oatlands; they’ll be there as quickly as they can.”

Lauren and I sat in the car, listening to my IPOD and looking at the lovely scenery. About 45 minutes later, I saw a truck in my rear view mirror, “Lauren, they’re here!”

Our gorgeous saviour had a look at the engine, I came to have a sticky beak, and we both noticed at the same time that the cap for the radiator was loose. - Good mechanic I have there. He replaced the water, and the good man from the RACT said he would follow me back to Oatlands and have another look at the car there, and then we would see.

The car seemed fine as I drove the half hour or so back to Oatlands, and when our hero checked the car over, he said we had a choice; we could go back home and forget our trip, or we could keep on going and have a nice weekend.

Lauren took this one leaning out the window of the car; the marker we gave to the RACT for our location.
We chose the latter and kept on heading up the highway after a stopping for cup of coffee in Oatlands.

Back on the road and we are about an hour from our destination when Lauren received a phone message from one of her good friends letting her know there had been an accident, the boyfriend of another of their friends was injured and the friend needed their support. Because of our location, we did not have good mobile phone coverage and Lauren could not get any more information, so we made the decision to turn around and go home, we both knew Lauren would not enjoy her time away not knowing what had happened.

We stopped at Campbell Town for lunch, where we bumped into another of our work colleagues who had gone to Cradle Mountain for the weekend, but said that they didn’t even get to leave their room because of the rain.

Lauren was glad she came home, because her friend’s boyfriend suffered spinal injuries in an accident and is still in hospital in Melbourne receiving treatment, and we still don’t know if he will ever walk again.

Lauren and I still have a good laugh about our ‘ski trip’, but I still say we had a lovely drive in the country. Sunflower had been looking forward to our trip and was very disappointed she didn’t get to see the snow; she even had a new winter jumper to keep her warm for the trip, so when we came home I searched TravBuddy photos to get a shot of her in the snow. :)

Sweetski says:
You would have been flushed off the mountain if you had proceeded with your trip, so I'm glad you are safe. Best wishes for Lauren's friend though, I hope he will fully recover.
Posted on: Nov 20, 2008
hummingbird50 says:
Holy moly...I guess you were just supposed to stay at home. I would have gotten out the blankets...turn on a DVD...made some smores...popcorn...and had a picnic in the living room and stayed all comfy. Also some mulled wine or apple cider...and coffee and baileys:):) Poor sunflower, I am sure she will love the next trip:)You definitely have to come on the secret trail..in around April, may, or June, when the snow is perfect, then sun is warm on your face, and you can snowshoe all day....:):) Thanks for the story Elke...
Posted on: Nov 19, 2008
sylviandavid says:
As always... a nice blog... and fun read..
Posted on: Nov 19, 2008
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The lovely view from the car windo…
The lovely view from the car wind…
The lovely view from the car windo…
The lovely view from the car wind…
Lauren took this one leaning out t…
Lauren took this one leaning out …
Sunflower in her new jumper
Sunflower in her new jumper
Sunflower in the snow :)
Sunflower 'in the snow' :)
photo by: Sunflower300