I knew that I needed a vehicle to travel Australia with. For my first 3 weeks, I spent a lot of time browsing online for a car that would work. It started to seem like everything in my price range had heaps of miles or were in bad shape. I was losing hope as I explored the dealers. They either didn’t have anything that would work or the few possibilities were way out of my budget. At the third dealer that I went to, there was a nice looking 4x4. It was in my price range, had fewer miles than most cars online and looked clean inside and out. I started it up and since it had almost everything that I was looking for, I decided to buy it. The dealer got a roadworthiness certificate for it and paid the legal transfer fees over the next 2 days and got it ready for me to pick up.
Even though everything seemed legit, I don’t trust dealers. So once I picked it up, I had it checked by a second mechanic. Unfortunately, there were a few things that weren’t 100%. So I decided to take it back to the dealer and had them fix it up. They replaced the windshield and I had them do the timing belt and water pump at the same time.
Right after dropping it off at the dealer, I started working at The Beat Cafe. I wasn’t in a rush to get it back. Because of public holidays and an unreliable mechanic, it took 3 weeks to get the truck back. When I went to pick it up, the manager was nice, but just wanted to see me go. I drove off and hoped for the best. I knew that I couldn’t go back there unless something was seriously wrong. I was also tired of the dealership. I guess we will see what happens in the coming weeks. I plan on taking it for a long distant drive to test it out and of course, search for some surf. I am slowly going crazy without being able to surf!
A week after getting the car back from the dealership, I got two consecutive days off of work and decided to head down to Bells Beach to check out the surf. I put a mattress, a few blankets, and my surfboard in the back of the truck and hit the road. Taking an old car on a little road trip for the first time was a little nerve racking. Would it break down? Because it is a new car to me, I paid close attention to every little detail.
Even though it drove great, there were vibrations and sounds that I wasn’t happy with. I wanted a car that sounded and drove perfectly, but I guess it was expected when buying an old 4x4. The 1.5 hour drive to Torquay went smooth. I didn’t have any problems and every time it started up I was stoked.
When I arrived at Bells, the surf was PUMPING! Most people were going out on big waves boards and catching larger than double overhead set waves. It was definitely too big for me, so I set myself up at the beach and watched people torn it up. The swell was supposed to drop overnight, so I had hoped to surf the next day.
The first night sleeping in my Jackaroo was great. Plenty of space and the sound of waves pounding against the nearby cliffs made me realize how much I missed living at the beach. The next morning I woke up at sunrise to check the surf. It was perfect. The waves had dropped a little, but were still about a head and a half. I also noticed that the swell direction walled out the channel I had used last time to get out, so I decided to watch a little before paddling out.
I got super stoked watching the perfect waves roll past, so I jumped into my wetsuit and paddled out! I instantly realized that I was not in shape anymore…
One pounding after another get me winded quickly. I struggled for a while, trying to catch a wave and survive. After going over the falls and getting tumbled on a medium sized wave, I decided I should just go back to shore. What a shame! Living in the city has put me on a fitness level where I can not surf some of the best waves that I have seen. As I sat on the cliffs and watched the surf for the next few hours, I decided it was time to work on my fitness level. I also need to start surfing more. The only way to do that is to leave Melbourne and travel the coastline.