So today was the first stressful day I have had in a very long time indeed. It all started with the decision to go out for the day rather than staying in the house as it was a nice sunny day. Lucas had given me the ok to use the truck this week so I got some lunch together and a beach towel and went in search of the sandy beach in Economy. I figured out how the truck worked a lot easier than the ride on mower and driving on the right hand side of the road was no trouble so I set off in the direction of Economy and I got about half way there when I noticed there wasn't much petrol left in the truck. I didn't think this would be a problem however as I knew there was a petrol station in Economy so I continued on my way and I arrived only to find that it was shut! I didn't have enough petrol left to get back to Great Village so I decided to continue on as I thought that there must surely be another petrol station nearby. After about 10Km I arrived at the next village and saw a petrol station but that one wasn't of much help either as it was also closed.
Slight panic set in now as I was down to the top of the red line and I knew that the next town was about 30Km away and you had to go over Economy Mountain to reach it. I also had no credit on my phone and didn't know the number for any recovery services either which didn't help but I couldn't do anything but continue going. I reached the top of the mountain and saw the first sign for Parrsboro which informed me that it was 18Km away, and I just hoped that I would make it. I passed sign after sign, counting down the distance to the village and hopefully a functional petrol station and eventually I made it. Running on what I imagine was fumes by that point, I pulled in to the open and working Parrsboro petrol station and I felt a wave of relief pass over me. (phew!) I filled up then parked on the street and went off for a bit of a wander.
There wasn't a whole lot there as it is quite a small place but there was a church, a pharmacy (which was good as I had ran out of deoderant and was starting to pong a bit!), a few shops, a quaint town hall, a theatre and a visitor information board. One of the sights listed on the information board was a place called two islands which was only a short drive away. It said that there were fossil cliffs and a beach there and as I'd came all the way to Parrsboro I thought that I may as well check them out before heading back. (little did I know that this was a bad idea!) I set off across the small bridge which connects the islands to the mainland and the road composition changed from tarmac to gravel and dirt. I continued down the road which got ever thinner, in worse condition and remote until I finally arrived at...a dead end(?) There was no way down to the beach that I could see so I headed back the way I came, (up an insanely steep bit of gravel path which the truck struggled to get traction on) going down each road that I came to and each time being met with a dead end and no paths in sight. I eventually came to a sign at the entrance to the island development which listed a road as having beach access, so I got in the truck to turn it around and head back up the way I had came.
Now had I looked behind the truck before backing it up I would've noticed the point at which the road dropped off into a ditch and I would've taken precautions to not back up too far, however I didn't do and as I'm not used to backing such a big vehicle up I managed to end up with the back end of the truck in the ditch. If I had been in a 4x4 this wouldn't have been too much of an issue however the truck is RWD only and so all that happened when you pushed the accelerator in reverse or drive was the rear wheels spun around as they had no traction. I got out to survey the situation and it looked bad, (yes I have pictures of how much of a goon I am, feel free to look at them and laugh) not just because I was stuck but because I had no credit on my mobile, no reception, no spade to try and get the car out with and to top it all I was on a remote gravel path miles from anywhere. Now if I was to say I didn't panic I would be a liar. I spent an hour and a half panicking, using gravel, rocks and bits of tree to try and get enough traction under the rear wheels to get some movement but to no avail and In the time that I was trying all of this not a single car went past which shows just how remote an area it was.
Eventually I admitted defeat and set off walking in the heat to try and find someone that could help me. I walked for a few kilometres and came to the office of the real estate company that owned the housing development on the island. I thought that I was saved but surprise surprise, it was closed. There was a sign on the door saying to go to the house opposite if it was closed, so I did so but the porch was blocked off and it looked like noone was in. I then saw that a window was open so I shouted "Hello!" for a while and I could hear movement inside the house, then much to my surprise (and joy) a lady came to the door! I explained my predicament to her and she said not to worry, she would ring the garage in town and get them to come out and tow me. I thanked her and walked back down to wait for the tow truck but about fifteen minutes later, the same lady drove down in a golf buggy and said that her husband was on his way to come and help as a tow truck would've cost a lot of money. We chatted for a while about what I'd been upto in Canada and where they were from, then her husband turned up laughing at the mess that I'd gotten myself into.
He had a super heavy duty pickup truck (i.e. a six wheeled 4x4 beast) and a towing chain which he managed to attach in a couple of minutes, then I started the truck up and gave it some welly whilst he towed me up and before I knew it I was back on the road. (with no damage to the truck, woo!) I raked up all the gravel that had been moved in the towing process and thanked them both profusely before setting off back down the road way from the islands. (never to return!) The kind couple had told me about a beach at the geology museum which was about 8Km away so I drove there and cleaned up as my hands and arms were covered in mud, scratches and a mysterious rash after digging about in mud, pulling out grass and weeds, getting rocks from a river and bits of tree from the undergrowth. I then walked down and sat on the 'beach' (read: rocks next to a river) and had some lunch (it was nearly 5pm by this time how time flys when you're stuck in a ditch) before setting off back to the house. I got about 10Km out of Parrsboro then noticed that I didn't have my watch on and I had that sinking feeling when I recalled how I had taken it off and put it on the side in the toilets when I washed my hands earlier. I spun around and headed back to the museum and luckily they had it behind the desk for me so after another incident had been resolved I finally set off on the road home.
I was no more than 5Km out of town when an ambulance drove up behind me getting closer and closer. Now the speed limit was 80Km/h and I was doing maybe a few Km/h more than that but the ambulance didn't seem satisfied with my speed and decided to drive right up my backside all the way over Economy Mountain. (with no lights or sirens on may I add) After the descent down the other side a quite large gap built up between us but no more than a couple of kilometres later they were back driving right behind me. After a couple of failed overtaking attempts on the winding country roads we drove through Bass River and I pulled over to the side of the road to let them pass. They pulled up to my window slowly and motioned for me to wind it down so I did and the guy driving proceeded to ask me if I was ok as I was "Driving on and off the road" whilst the lady in the passenger seat looked me up and down as if to see if I was drunk. I advised the guy driving that I was fine thanks but I would be even better if he didn't drive right behind me. I advised him that the speed limit was 80Km/h and that I was doing that or just over and as he had no lights or sirens on I couldn't see why he'd have a wish to go faster than that, especially if it means that he makes other drivers concentrate more on him behind them than the road ahead. I mean surely paramedics know that speed kills and they're meant to save lives not take them, right?
After giving them a piece of my mind, they said "Ok, bye" and sped off, leaving me free to drive on at a normal speed. I got back to the house a while later and my final "Oh my god" moment of the day was when I closed the truck door with the keys in it. (that's how they roll in Nova Scotia - lock doors? never) Now I had manually locked both doors before and I thought that it would still be locked but luckily it opened (mega phew!) and I got all of my stuff out, vowed never to drive it again and went inside to chill out. I spent the evening watching The Beach, (a really good film about this guy that goes travelling in Thailand and ends up on a remote beach) eating and drinking to my heart's content. At about half eight I found myself rather tipsy and tired so I headed up to bed but found myself distracted by the night's sky. Out here there's little light pollution so you can see hundreds of stars with the naked eye and I'd say billions with a telescope. As there was a telescope downstairs and I had nothing else to do but sleep, I brought it up onto the deck and spent a couple of hours looking at all of the stars (and the internation space station) before getting very tired and calling it a night.
So that was my very long and stressful day. If you managed to read the whole of my blog post then well done! If you couldn't hack it and just skipped to this paragraph then no hard feelings, I would have probably done the same.
Bye for now!