Exactly 4 Weeks back, I was driving through New Zealand with my wife for our road trip. This was peak winter season in New Zealand. This day, we were supposed to start from Mt Cook and reach Christchurch by the evening. This is a 350Kms drive.
The petrol in my tank was quite less and hence, I topped up 10 liters at Aoraki Village. This was enough to take us till Tekapo. We happily started driving towards Tekapo 🙂
I was following the Garmin GPS. It asked me to leave the highway and go through a side road. The scenery on the side road was looking spectacular with blue lake, high snow-capped mountains and green trees. Tempted by the natural beauty, I decided to take this way. And I must tell you that that the scenery was completely mind blowing! It was a slightly uphill drive and we stopped at multiple points on the way to click some pictures.
By now, we were 25 KMs on the side road. Suddenly I noticed the fuel indicator blinking and saying that the range was 60 KMs,. I checked, the nearest petrol pump was 30 KMs away. So I was quite relaxed. We were just 2 KMs away from joining back the highway and that is when the adventure started. The road ahead was closed! My jaws dropped in anxiety and fear!
The side road had no passing vehicles and it was afternoon by now. If we would have run out fuel here, we would have been stranded through the night. No idea how bad things could have got. It was a life risk!
The only way for us was to retrace the path for 25 KMs, join back the highway and then go ahead another 30 KMs. All this had to be done, with a fuel range of just 60 KMs. Not to mention, that the road was hilly and hence, the fuel consumption was more than average. I had to be crazy to think that this was realistic. But we had no choice. I turned the wheel and started driving back very cautiously. I was completely avoiding the breaks and avoiding the accelerator when gravity was giving a push downhill. I must say, it was the riskiest drive of my life. 25 KMs later, we joined back the highway. Then, this is how the race was going on between the fuel range and the distance to petrol pump.
Range 25 KMs AND Distance to Petrol Station 23 KMs
Range 15 KMs AND Distance to Petrol Station 14 KMs
Range 7 KMs AND Distance to Petrol Station 4 KMs
Range 2 KMs AND Distance to Petrol Station 1 KMs
And finally, the we reached the front of the petrol station and the range was ZERO and the car completely stopped! No more fuel was left for me to drive the car to the fueling station. The station lady happily got a small can and fueled 10 Liters of petrol. Then I could start the car and parked it next to the fueling station to fill the rest of the tank. Phew!
It was a ride of lifetime. Sounds a little funny now! But me and my wife were quite scared through the process! The only satisfaction was that we were together! 🙂