Friday, November 30, 2012

Got Bogged Again

Driving north on Indian Ocean Drive in Western Australia I kept looking to the west to see the Ocean.  There were numerous dirt tracks heading out to the beach so I decided to take a break and walk along the beach for a little while.  I turned down one little track and drove a few hundred meters.  I didn’t notice that the track wasn’t the red dirt of the surrounding land but it was white sand.  Well I didn’t notice until I was very near the beach and felt the wheels sinking into the sand.  I realized I had made a mistake and immediately made another mistake.  I tried to turn around by first backing up and trying to make a three point turn.   Well halfway through the turn my front wheels began to sink into the sand.  I tried to rock the car backwards then forward and was encourage because the car did move a little but all I was really doing was getting deeper into the sand.  I was bogged.  I got out and tried to stuff a few rocks and sticks under the front tires.  Just sunk deeper into the sand.  After trying this a few times the front wheels were so deep in the sand that the bottom of the car was resting on the sand.  I found a piece of concrete, a large brick and some old strips of carpet and an industrial type mat/rug that were no doubt left by others who had been bogged.  I also found a few flattened beer cans and started to dig.  

It was bad enough digging in the sand with beer cans under the hot sun but there were also Australian bush flies.  They look like ordinary flies but the are hellbent to suck the sweat off your skin or better yet crawl in your ears or fly up your nose (don’t want to think about why they wanted to do that).  I felt they must have sensed I was helpless and could not even attempt to shoo them away with a wave of my hand.  Digging in the sand with a beer can in each hand all I could do was curse them and occasionally shake my head like an annoyed cow.  When they flew up my nose (which was often) I blew them out with a snort.  

I tried digging out around the tires and stuffing the rock, brick, carpet, mats and concrete under tires a few times but all I got was dirtier, hotter, more tired and madder at the flies.  No movement of the car.  I finally got out the jack and dug out under the car so I could put the brick under the car and the jack on top of it.  Then jacked the car up as high as it would go.  I dug out around the tires and under the car and tried to dig a path in the sand in front of the car.  I put the concrete and rocks under the tires and laid the carpet and mats out in front of the car.  Then removed the jack.  This time I was able to pull the car forward and out of the hole.  But, I was headed towards the beach and immediately got bogged again.  

About this time a lady walked down the road to watch her kids sail by in a few sail boats out on the Indian Ocean, looked like some kind of race or practice.  I asked her if she would drive while I pushed.  That just sunk the tires in deep again and she had to go to keep up with her kids and walked back to her car near the highway (note to self: locals don’t drive down these tracks).  

I wasn't planning to go on any 4X4 only roads this trip,  just well maintained dirt tracks like this one.
So I rented a small economy car.  
I was bogged a second time and to get out I had to drive through the sand pit that I had just dug myself out of.  It was hot, I was tired and covered with sand.  It was in my hair, in my ears, in my shoes, and stuck everywhere to my sweaty skin.  The bush flies were all over me like flies on... well, you know.  I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to get out of this one but I wasn’t ready to go for help.  

I went straight to the jack method.  Digging, snorting, cussing, jacking the car up, moving rocks, carpet, mats and concrete.  And I got the car moving in reverse.  Instead of backing out down the road which didn’t seem to promising, I steered the car off the road and into the grass and small shrubs and drove around the big sand pit.  When it looked safe I backed on to the sandy track and turn around and drove back to the highway.  

I stopped at the highway to brush some of the sand off me and pour myself some water from my 10 liter jug.  It had taken me an hour and a half to dig myself out.  As usual a few bush flies followed me back into the car.  Outside they are obsessed with flying up my nose, crawling into my ears or tormenting me by walking around on the inside of my sunglass lenses.  But as soon as they are trapped in the car they panic and try to get out.  There was one buzzing around the driver’s side window.  I smacked it with the back of my hand and squished it dead then pulled back onto the highway.  

Didn't take any pictures of the beach at this place or of my bogged car. Didn't even walk along the beach there.
These beach photos were taken earlier that morning at a the beach in Cervantes.  

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