Welcome to our travel blog. We are Tabitha and Nic. In 2011 we 'retired' in our early 40s and set off to travel the world. We spent our first year in South America and have been lucky enough to make two trips to Antarctica.

Our blog is a record of our travels, thoughts and experiences. It is not a guide book, but we do include some tips and information, so we hope that you may find it useful if you are planning to visit somewhere we have been. Or you may just find it interesting as a bit of armchair travel.

Friday, July 20, 2012


This may seem like a strange thing to post about, but it was a new experience for us, so I figured it should go in.

Shortly after we got back, having already surprised our parents by arriving early, we planned to visit my Aunt and surprise her too.  So we picked up some things for an afternoon tea and my mum drove us there.  Now she had been having a bit of car trouble recently, but the initial problem had been fixed, so although the car was booked in for a further repair in a couple of days, there was no reason to think there would be a problem.

Until that is, we got about ten miles down the motorway and dial started showing that the car was overheating badly.  Pulling over to slow down didn't really help so it was a full stop onto the hard shoulder.  On trying to check the water level, the dirty creamy coloured liquid that oozed out gave a reasonable clue that something wasn't quite right.  Oil in the water is never a good sign.

Luckily I had my mobile and mum is a member of a certain yellow liveried breakdown company, so a call for help was made.

The initial call was not the most efficient.  We spent ages listening to a recorded message telling us to get to a safe place on the verge etc, which we had already done.  Then when we finally got through to an actual person, she proceeded to tell us exactly the same thing.   I only had a small credit on my phone, so we had to stop her so that we could get onto the point before it ran out that, but that seemed to throw her completely.  It also seemed remarkably difficult to establish where we were, but we got there in the end and they finally said that a vehicle would be dispatched to us.

The promised hour dragged on somewhat longer, but eventually the guy turned up and confirmed that the head gasket had blown, so we were going nowhere on our own.  He was friendly and efficient, so at least the company does the important bit well.  He quickly got the car winched up onto the truck and we all piled in the back of the cab.

We had a nice chat on the way back, and he dropped the car off at the garage and then helpfully dropped us at the end of our road.

As breakdowns go, I think we were lucky.  We weren't all that far from home, it wasn't a vitally important journey, it didn't rain, and we had food and drink in the car should we have needed it.

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