We left Hastings with half a tank of fuel yesterday to continue on our journey up to Wairoa. Robin commented that he would top up at Napier. But we by-passed the city and continued on past Bay View. The next service station flashed past before we realised it as we continued along SH2. “Never mind”, said Robin, “we still have half a tank so we should be OK for Wairoa”.
He hadn’t countered on the steep hills that made up the next part of the journey. Our 4WD Toyota laboured up one hill after another and the fuel gauge dropped dramatically. We coasted past the scenic Lake Tutira, now a bird reserve, before attacking the next lot of hills. The tiny villages of Kahika, Putorino, Kotemaori and Raupanga flashed by. We didn’t really expect to find fuel at these places but were ever hopeful.
“You had better start praying we find fuel soon”, said Robin, anxiously keeping an eye on the fuel gauge which was hovering very near to empty. My helpful reply was, “Pull over and we’ll phone the AA to bring us some diesel”. But we were in the middle of nowhere and there was no cell phone coverage!!
With 15km to go there was nothing for it but to just keep going. The atmosphere in the car was tense, to say the least. Robin was driving up the last hill on the journey and coasted down, trying to be economical with the precious fuel. I just sat there and worried what would happen when 4WD and caravan came to stop on on of those treacherous curves on the road.
At last we arrived at Wairoa and there was a choice of 3 petrol stations. We eased our way into the Shell forecourt and started the expensive business of re-fuelling an empty tank. We really did make the journey on a wing and a prayer!!
Fuel at last!!