I stepped off my jet at Brisbane airport and walked the short distance across the tarmac to the reception lounge. The air was sticky and thick making the sub-tropical tag, that Brisvegas proudly wears, feel somewhat inadequate. It was like a scene from AbFab as I felt and attack of the vapours coming on. I was once a Queensland native, and this dense atmosphere was one I looked backed on with less than undiluted pleasure. A dear sister from those halcyon days met me at the airport to convey me to my digs in a suburb overlooking the city. One get used to the basics of life, champers, nibbles, and above all, air conditioning. To my chagrin, The Lady Grey’s ancient car had air conditioning that had developed a severe personality issue. I sulked for the entire trip to the soutside. Since I wasn’t to collect my Chrysler 300 SRT Core until the following day so had to suck it up. We climbed the stairs of the MacMansion, dripping with sweat. I don’t like to sweat at 8pm unless there has been rigorous porking beforehand but I mustn’t grumble. I was there only a moment when my host shoved a welcome bevy into my right hand, and the world shifted back onto the correct axis.
Retired to my room, no air!
I slept badly. Sweat dripped into cracks I didn’t know were there. The MacMansion’s communal areas have air but the bedrooms go begging. What the hell is wrong with these people? I’ve committed to sleeping on the generous comfy lounge with the air set on “Arctic”. Doors and windows now closed, the atmosphere has become less Sahara and far more civilised.
The Lady Grey collected me after a delicious morning tea to take me to collect the 300. The day was hotter than the day before and I continued a bit of grumbling. We sweated some more.
The Chrysler looks great. I’ve driven it before but the “Core” is the base model, if you can call it that. It is a pretty moody-blue and looks even more like a Gay Mafia Staff Car than the red one we had last time. We dumped LG’s ancient saloon in favour of American muscle and went off to lunch. I fielded a few questions from LG which were no doubt asked out of politeness. I don’t think cars are a strong suit.
I dropped LG back at the carpark and headed back to my digs. I’ve discovered Queensland has become slightly Naziesque with the speeding tolerances. The drivers here are now doing 10KPH below the limit out of fear of their Oberführers. Speaking of which I’m keeping my licence hidden as it has a motor bike endorsement. You get arrested here if you look like you have ridden a bike. Mental note: leave Queensland ASAP.
Too hot to do anything but lock the house down and pretend I’m somewhere else. Hmm, the SRT is parked in the sun, bugger.
The bridge is a master piece and has been duplicated since it was built 20 years ago. They renamed it but no body knows what the new name is.
The roads are diabolical here with ruts and potholes you could lose a bus in. The inadequate repairs fill me with dread, but with the suspension set on “ normal” it is barely noticeable. I wonder what their road taxes pay for? It certainly isn’t for resurfacing.
The Core doesn’t have all the goodies that the SRT 8 has as standard but you would never know. Performance is identical so only a keen eye can spot the difference.
I took a spin up in to the mountains and very nice it was too. I found myself “on top of the world looking down on creation and the only explanation I can find”, sorry I’m channelling Karen Carpenter again. Back to the drive: I looked down from above over rolling green and shimmering blue all swirling around in its natural magnificence. Had it not been for the hellishly hot weather, things would have been perfect. The thoughtless road builders provided no spots to include the car in the shots of the view so here are some pics of the car, and of the view.
I was feeling pretty relaxed as I rolled into the tiny hamlet of Montville and parked the beast near the info kiosk. I later found I had parked illegally in a bus spot. The nice vollies directed me to a twisty road nearby which would take me down the side of the mountain, and back to the highway. They enthusiastically described it in minute detail, so I departed with instructions firmly in hand. After a light lunch, I took a deep breath and set off down the mountain.
You’ll no doubt be expecting to be regaled with tales of sweeping bends, roaring engines and hands darting back and forth on a steering wheel spinning like a demented top. Indeed the first few bends were exactly like that. Then, as if on cue, a plumber’s van pulled out and that was that. I watched stunning scenery and breathtaking bends from the window of a Chrysler doing a mere 20kph. At least fuel usage was kept to a minimum
I felt robbed and briefly considered doing it all again, but I was in no doubt the narrow passage would present the same situation making me near suicidal in the process. I resolved to hit the highway and get home early for a bucket of vodka and squash.
I rolled into the sleepy village of Palmwoods located at the bottom of the range, and old timber town now well past it’s prime. The 300 has an extensive range of monitoring systems providing a dizzying array of information most people will never need. In this case however, I did. “Inflate to 2.4bar” it said in large friendly letters.
To quote Dr Frankenfurter “I got caught with a flat, well how about that, well, baby, don’t you panic” yeah we he wasn’t driving a car with tyres of a size rarer than rocking horse poo. The damned tyre had a gash the size of Uluru.
I waited in the oppressive for a few hours for a tow truck. I had managed to get as far as far as a tyre shop before having no air left at all. The shop was an ancient rusting corrugated iron shed, the very essence of regional Australia. I completely failed to notice its significance and was becoming crankier by the nano-second. A not-unattractive boy was keeping me company. He was very curious but I sense it was the 300 which was the centre of his attentions.
Thank god for Chrysler Care, but CURSE AND DAMN for only having a can of goo instead of a spare.
The dealer didn’t have the right tyre but fitted something to get me mobile. I thanked them but words failed to express my true feelings of gratitude. Somehow, begging and foot kissing seemed not quite right. I’d forgotten how butch the Sunshine coast can be. A poof can feel mighty out of place.
DAY 4: I got in late yesterday feeling tired but I mustn’t complain. I’ having a well deserved lay-day. Move along, nothing to see here. I’m hunkered down in the cool of barely-coping climate control.