I was thinking about my recant love of 4WDing and why it took me so long to appreciate it. You see I've been an automatic driver my whole life even in Canada my Jeep was an auto. But really in North America most cars are automatic.
When I arrived home in Australia with no money, no car I had to borrow my sisters & my mums to get around for the first few months, both manual(Standard) it was a bit of a learning curve. I had the basics down pat having learnt originally many years ago in a manual car but without the practice I rode the clutch too hard & stalled at the lights many times. I brought my first ever standard car a Mazda3 and sicne then have gradually improved my skills.
I borrowed the work car today to do some errands it was a beast of a Nissan 4WD with some pretty crazy power behind it and six speed. As I was in winnellie I had to do a three point turn I slipped into reverse and BAM stalled. So Im sitting in this road in the busy industrial section of Darwin the middle of the day my car is horizontal across the road and I can't for the life of me work out how to get into reverse every time I try it just goes straight into sixth gear and I stall. Cursing myself I end up driving forward over the nature strip to make my turn. Luckily for me nobody tried to come in or out of the street during my little misdemeanour.
Parking the car I had to call my boss who just happens to be awesome at everything asking him how the fuck do I put the car in reverse. Silly question you think? perhaps. But if I couldn't get the car reversed I was going to have to drive through a few buildings to get back to work. I am fairly certain the shop owners would not have taken kindly to that. It turned out that you press down on the gear stick and slide across to get into reverse. Once I had that awesome bit of information under my belt I was good to go.
My 4Wding is rampant with mistakes. I drive to fast, I make stupid decisions everything is a seriously learning curve. Like making sure Heather has her seatbelt on when I go offroad to avoid headbutting the roof. Going off-road in the wetlands is definitely one of the stupidest decision ever. Mud + Car = GG. I nearly rolled the car once when I slipped over a small ledge balancing precariously on two wheels. Another time I decided to go through "the hard part" when I was so fresh to the experience I got stuck. It was as simple as switching to LOW from HiGH 4WD. Now as I take each bit of advice to heart my skills have improved, I learn best from doing rather than reading.
Now as I look at my little Mazda3 I feel inadequete and jealous of the high clearance beasty 4WDs around me. I need to win the lottery and upgrade. I wonder if I can borrow the work car?