The Dniester River with Moldova on the left and Transnistria on the right. Photo taken December 10, 2016.
Where are Kevin and Ruth right now? Soroca, Moldova.

Where are they going next? Back to Chisinau, Moldova on Tuesday. Then the Wednesday overnight train back to Bucharest.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Keys Locked in Car

We left Bethulie at just after 9:00am, and had a loose plan to make it to Graaff Reinet, about 364 kms (226 miles) away.

We're actually slowly making our way back to Cape Town, just not really deciding what the next destination is until we get to it!

We had a  couple of stops to make just outside of town though. The first one was at a graveyard memorial. The other day we told you about the Boer War concentration camp that the British ran in this area back in 1899-1902.

There were approximately 5,000 prisoners there, and more than 1,700 of them died. Many of them women and children.

In 1966, a dam was built that would have flooded the graves of those people. So a decision was made to exhume the remains, and re-bury them at a new memorial.

The original headstones were very fragile, and were relocated this way.

More than 1,700 names.

The next stop was only a couple of kms down the road. The D.H. Steyn Bridge (sometimes simply called the Bethulie Bridge) is the longest combined rail and roadway bridge in South Africa, at 1.2 kms.

The Bethulie Bridge.

From there, we made our way on the back roads through farm country and small towns. Not much to see really, and it was a mostly overcast day, which made the photos look a little dreary. Still, we did go through a couple of interesting mountain passes.

Hardly an cars on the road the whole day.

Yesterday's drive, 364 kms (226 miles).

We stopped in Cradock for a late lunch, and then it was about 3:30pm when we arrived in Graaff Reinet. We found the tourist office and asked about inexpensive accommodation. They gave us a few options and we ended up at some rental cottages that are walking distance to town, and with kitchen facilities to be able to cook our own meals.

I stopped across the street, shut off the car, and Ruth stayed in the car while I ran to see if they had availability. They did, and the lady walked out with me to show me one of the units. I waved to Ruth to come on over and check things out with me.

Ruth, always being reminded to lock up the car, did exactly that.

We went and looked at the place, bargained ourselves a price of R1000 ($105) for three nights, and headed out to do some grocery shopping. As we got close to the car, I reached in my pocket for the keys.

Of course, they weren't there. But I knew right away where they were!

Oops.

After spending twenty years working in auto body repair shops, I'm pretty good at getting into a locked car. But of course I had no tools. A guy had pulled in to a nearby driveway and I asked if he had a coat hanger. He came back with one, but he was a little overly helpful and wanted to do the job himself! He worked away at it for five minutes or so but he wasn't getting anywhere, and handed me the coat hanger as he went back to the house to get something else. I worked away at it for a couple of minutes and by the time he came back with another tool, I got the car door open.

A few minutes of frustration and excitement, but we got things under control in less than 15 minutes. Good thing our rental car is twenty years old because newer cars aren't quite as easy to get into!


19 comments:

  1. *knocking on wood here*
    I haven't managed to do that one in a long, long time. Hate it when someone wants to "help", but haven't really a clue what they're doing. There's that fine line where you'd prefer not to be rude. At least he had to go back into the house.
    Locked myself out of a rental that was sitting here in our driveway a few years back, they sent someone after I called. This was a recent model car, so quite tough to get into. He actually pried the door open enough to get a tool down to the latch. I didn't realise car doors had that much give to them. Made a mental note of that...
    Many years ago, I managed to lock myself out of a car with no tools in the dead of winter. That was fun. AND I was in my shirt sleeves. Talk about motivation! I think I got it open in about three minutes flat with a coat hanger. I must have been just lucky.
    Didn't do that again.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The guy was really nice and was just trying to help us but we both knew what he was trying to do wasn't going to work because the pressure needed to pull up the "button" was too much for the coat hanger and it just kept slipping off. Once Kevin had the coat hanger back he knew what he needed to do and just did it.

      Glad that we didn't have to try and do it in winter weather, mind you having the sun beating down on you isn't necessarily all that much better, well yeah I guess it is.

      Delete
  2. I have done that quite a few times with older cars, but like you said much more difficult with these newer ones.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Luckily this has only happened to us a couple of times in our lives, glad we were able to get into it!

      Delete
  3. Unlike you I would have no clue how to maneuver a coat hanger, so I check, double check and often triple check that I have my car keys in hand every single time l leave the vehicle before I close the door. It's obsessive, but I fear I'd be stranded for ever if I didn't take care. Next time we see you I'll have to get you to give me a lesson!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I couldn't have done it either so I am very happy that Kevin knew what he was doing.

      I will remember to check and see if the keys are in the ignition next time before I get out and lock up but because I was in the car waiting for Kevin, I never even thought about them, I just knew I had to lock up the car before leaving it.

      Delete
  4. Maybe car makers should just supply coat hangers instead of keys? :c)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. How do you fit a coat hanger into your pocket? ;-)

      Delete
  5. One of my dark thoughts about rental cars. I remember locking my keys in my car a couple of different times and it was a long couple of days... Nothing like a hanger to get the job done! Interesting memorial in progress. You have seen some different kind of sights.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Yep, it got the job done, thankfully!

      They did a really good job on the relocation of the graveyard. The history in this little town was quite amazing.

      Delete
    2. Yep, it got the job done, thankfully!

      They did a really good job on the relocation of the graveyard. The history in this little town was quite amazing.

      Delete
  6. Better to lock your keys in the car than have them slither down a drain hey ! We liked the Graaf Reinet area and seem to remember doing a nice walk there. Camdeboo NP with the Valley of Desolation.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yep, we will never forget that! We can still picture the keys sliding down into a bottomless pit of "crap"!

      You are right, it is a very pretty town and we are off shortly to spend the day at Camdeboo NP and the Valley of Desolation.

      Delete
  7. Last year we bought a new Kia Soul, it will not let you lock the keys in the car, frankly there are no keys, only a start and stop button for the engine.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Jim has a slim jim that is with us at all times because 99.9% of the time he is helping others get into their cars after first verifying it is their car. I am terrible about locking keys in the vehicle but since we only have one now I really really pay attention.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kevin has a slim jim too but it is in our little blue car back in Canada! He also uses it to help people get back into their cars after locking themselves out. It is a nice handy thing to have.

      Delete
  9. I used to do this so often that I kept a coat hanger wrapped around my tow hitch! Simple solution and an easy habit to get into: only ever lock the car WITH the key, never by depressing the button and slamming the door.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good ideas on both accounts. We will definitely have to remember to use the key to lock at all times and then we shouldn't have to worry about the coat hanger on the tow hitch!

      Delete

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