Halifax NS, Mile 3289 (does it count on a tow truck…?)

Breakdowns really don’t get any better than this. Imagine if you were stranded in the middle of Nova Scotia but could get a tow truck within ten minutes and a free ninety mile tow to a guy with the tools, knowledge, time, parts and kindness to fix your vehicle and let you stay at his house while he did so. Well that’s what happened today and I still can’t quite believe it.

I decided last night that if we could get to Paul in Halifax it would probably make sense to do so. So I rang our insurers this morning (plug for Progressive here) and spoke to the wonderful Cindy who said that normally we would be covered for only the first fifteen miles of a tow, but as there was no registered repair place anywhere near us we were covered for a tow all the way to Halifax. She had the gravelly voice and can-do attitude of a seasoned wheeler-dealer and fixed us up in minutes. I told Cindy that Philippa wanted to send her flowers and she gave a throaty chuckle.

It so happened that Darrel of Arbuckle Towing was in the neighbourhood and before I was even dressed he was pulling into our car park. We hitched Harv up and headed for the freeway, the three of us squeezed together on the bench seat next to him. He was a great guy; friendly and careful with our pride and joy. Ninety minutes later he was backing Harv into Paul and Nancy’s driveway and I felt the tension ease.

Paul has all the tools you could possibly want and a deep mechanical knowledge of GMCs. He has two – one of which is a stretch he is restoring. He has replaced half shafts and cv joints dozens of times and it took about half an hour to get the broken one off. The new one (which he happened to have) went on easily too and we decided to check out the other one which had a leaky boot and was chucking grease about. It is a bit worn and will probably get us home but if we can get another new shaft tomorrow we will fit it.

Nancy took Philippa and Tom out for the afternoon and they came back with new books which Tom was nosed into. After supper she dropped us off at the boardwalk downtown and we moseyed about, people watching. After so long in little places the crowds and the rich mix of faces was quite a surprise: kids dressed as punks and goths, native and black Canadians, tourists and locals.  There’s a busker festival on at the moment and we watched some as the mist crept in and the light faded. Nancy picked us up and we collapsed gratefully into our beds. Harv is still jacked up outside, but I’m hoping we can get him back on all six wheels tomorrow. I still can’t believe our luck…

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