The first time I flew was from Australia to New Zealand, February 1989 – on the same day nine unfortunate people were sucked out of United Flight 811 from Honolulu. I didn’t hear about this for another day or so, after having flown for the second time – this time in a tin can with wings. My unease almost spoiled my “Grand Traverse” of New Zealand’s Southern Alps, flying over ‘the largest glaciers, highest mountains and some of the most spectacular scenery in the Southern Hemisphere’.
Posted for Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Vehicle Details
Here I was, thinking I was taking my life in my hands, daring such a trip in this little plane while, unbeknown to me, the remaining passengers on our bus taking the mountain route to our accommodation were in real danger. During the pre-tour servicing, the wheel nuts on the bus were tightened by hand, but someone forgot to come along and tighten fully with the machine.
I found out all this when we landed at the airstrip later. (The same airstrip I lay on watching the stars later that night – only I had no idea what the asphalt was in the dark. I thought it a road.)
The photo shows the bus-driver and a fellow tourist trying to either take the wheel off, push it on, or to straighten it so they could get stripped nuts off. They were at a photo-stop, I believe, when someone noticed missing nuts. There was also the problem of not being allowed to interfere with the wheel that contained the mileage counter. Anyway, they salvaged enough nuts to go around to get to our destination.
We didn’t get our trip up to some famous mountain resort or homestead the next day, because the nuts had to replaced and machine tightened at the next town. Needless to say, it was a cautious trip down the mountain.
(I will have to find my notes to fill in the names of places, but I boarded the plane at Lake Tepako. )
(Yes, I have changed the look of my blog theme, yet again.)