Gabriele Steindl: Professional Kitesurfer & Freelance Writer - Action, Lifestyle & Travels

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Lucky 2 be alive !!

Lucky 2 be alive !!

Wooooow, ever felt like in a really bad movie guys, do u know that feeling, it isn’t a nice one, yeah…?!

I dont’ really know where 2 start this story, could write a novel here…. mh, I reckon best, where I left u off with a few weeks ago…

So, the past 6 weeks I spent riding considerable waves in the outback of W.A.  I had  THE best waves of my life, some serious swells brought cranking conditions and I had time to test my brandnew 2010 North gear extensively in very challenging conditions. the verdict is simple:  The North Rebel 2010 as well as the 2010 Kontact waveboard are  T H E  best pieces of kitegear that I’ve ever had the pleasure of riding in my 8 year career as kite-pro –  S I C K !!! Detailed reports on the North 2010 kites + boards will be posted in my blog over the next week, thus: stay tuned !

After 6 weeks in paradise, I had to reload up my beloved car ‘Margaret’ and start the 2-day drive back to Perth, W.A.
Already shortly into my drive Margaret gave me some reason for concern, she suddenly made some serious noise and I pulled over at a garage, verdict:  the exhaust had broken, which we fixed provisorily and I could continue my drive.

Another few hundred kilometres down the track, I had to pull into another garage with a new problem:  Margaret wasn’t going any faster than 60kms/hour…  new verdict was:   the battery was about to die, so I bought a new one…

Another half hour later Margaret suddenly made another concerning sound (!!?), so I just managed to get to the next town along Western Australian’s deserted overland highways and luckily also found a garage there, next verdict:  some leads were touching the exhaust and were about to totally burn through, thus:  had to change leads & plugs… at that 3rd garage I started to take photos as already then I felt like in a bad movie after having to pull over to 4 garages in only a few hours…

Another 40kms down the track Margaret started to behave just like a few hours earlier:  she wouldn’t go any faster than 60kms/hour…  I just made it into the next town and once again:  lucky, cause the town had a garage…
This time it was the catalyst converter which was blocked.  the mechanic fixed it and said ‘now ur car will get u to Perth no worries and u will even be able to drive 100kms and faster i u want…”.

The speed limit on W.A.’s outback highway is 110kms/hour and once the catalyst converter got cleaned, I could indeed crank up the engine to 110kms/hour, sweet!

I had another 350kms to go before reaching Perth and was very optimistic making it without any more garage-stop… how wrong I was !!?

Only about 30 minutes after having left the last garage, driving along W.A.’s highway at a speed of 110km/hour, Margaret all of a sudden starts spinning, I do a full 360 turn and get catapulted off the road…  KAWUM BANG: glass everywhere, my window broke, my door totally crushed… I come to a standstill in the bush beside the highway  –  SHOCK !!?  No phone coverage and me all alone with a crashed car that had ‘my life’ in there (Margaret was chocker block full with kite gear, camping stuff, all my electronics, pretty much everything I owe really !!?) on a highway in the middle-of-nowhere, close to a cursed place in Aboriginal beliefs and a rather dodgy corner anyway…. grrrrrrrrrrr

Police arrived and and and…. dude, can u imagine that I truly felt like in a bad movie !!?

A tow-truck was organized and my till then really loyal car Margaret got towed into the next town, from where I finally could make a couple of phone calls.

Thank God I have caring people around me and a special mate of mine immediately jumped into his car in Perth and came to rescue me 🙂  Obviously it took him a couple of hours which gave me time to empty out Margaret and to get all my $h&it together, ready for him to upload into his car  –  by the way,  t h e  coolest rescue car on planet Earth 🙂  a 1979 Kingswood !

The truck-guy from the tow-company couldn’t believe his eyes when I finally had everything out of the car, he was stunned “whaaaaat, u had all that in the car? no way !”.

So dusk approached and it got dark and cold…. gabi waiting… finally my mate arrived:  we loaded up the Kingswood and by 2am in the morning finally reached Perth.

My car has been declared as a total write-off (“Totalschaden” in german) which is truly sad, though, I can consider myself suuuuper lucky 2 be alive, no scratch, no bruise, it’s like a wonder!!! According to the police men and all the other people that stopped along the scene of accident, accidents like mine along W.A.’s highways normally end up fatal…   yep, I can be grateful that the car didn’t roll over and that no car or road-train came atme when I slid all over the highway !!  Also the story of the driver of the tow-truck that pulled Margaret into the next town gave me reason to actually be stoked rather than upset:  earlier in the year he pulled out the car of a girl from the UK who pretty much had the same happening to her (tire bursting), though, she wasn’t that lucky:   she’s still in hospital in Perth since over 6 months with a broken back…  I truly hope that luck will also be on her side again soon!

I’m in Perth now, recovering from the shock and looking into the future, stoked 2 be here on planet Earth healthy & although a bit shaken, really happy 🙂