The guys Kuba and Michal arrived and drove me back to Connie from the service station, through a thick fog that had enveloped the land giving it a mystical feeling like something out of Hollywood. We connected some cables and tried to start her from their battery, but with no success. We tied my old slackline between the vehicles, roped a warning triangle to the back of the van and set off. About 30secs later Connie’s battery emptied entirely. The power steering stopped, the power assisted brakes also stopped working and being 3.5 tonnes Connie needs those. Just in case that wasn’t bad enough, the windscreen wipers wouldn’t work and the windscreen had covered in thick ice and condensation in the fog; to describe the situation simply I COULDN’T SEE, STEER or BRAKE AT ALL …the horn wouldn’t work so I couldn’t tell the guys towing me, and the lights and hazard lights cut out so the cars flying passed us on the motorway in terrible visibility also couldn‘t see me!
I was driving with my head out the window like Ace Ventura Pet Detective, standing with both feet and all my weight on the brakes when I needed to slow down, and feeling like an Olympic weight lifter with every turn we needed to make in the 2.5T truck. The guys in front couldn’t hear me yell, and chose to ignore me driving off the road to the right as an attempt to indicate we should stop and charge the battery.
Well at least I wasn’t feeling tired from the lack of sleep the night before any more. This was now -despite lots of competition- definitely the most dangerous thing i’ve done on this journey! ..and as I waited for the one car driving too fast in the wrong lane to see us too late, or the guys in front to break or turn suddenly – inside my chest my heart leaped around as if an entire field full of hares had hopped in and were holding their annual high jump contest in there.
After what felt like an eternity of adrenaline filled terror, we turned off of the motorway and the cars passing us slowed down to a speed that was less likely to require drastic braking to avoid hitting Connie, as they towed me to a local mechanic friend of theirs.
The night was another adventure Connie has led me into. Not one I enjoyed a lot at the time, but one that was a great story of kind strangers helping someone they’d never met before. The cost of repairs means I will probably have to take a break from the road trip for a while soon and leave Connie with friends somewhere and fly back to England (or anywhere else) and find work for a few months before carrying on-wards towards Vietnam.