Saying farewell to our friends, we headed back to the motorway to get out of the greater Wellington area. However we did not get far. Right after hitting the road, there was a steep mountain to climb up. Usually no problem for dear old Roachmobile, but this time it was struggling awfully at 10 km/h. Also the temperature indicator went up and something didn't feel right.
Damn. Okay first we thought about turning back, but our friends already did so much for us. So we continued and asked the first passer-by for directions to the nearest garage. There was one in this township, and we reached it minutes later. However they were so busy with "Christmas Repairs" that they could not take a look at Roachmobile before Thursday. For some reason every Kiwi wants her or his car to be in perfect shape for Christmas. Anyway, we described our desperate situation and he told us to try another garage in a nearby town only three more exits on the motorway. They would be bigger and better armed with mechanics and might be able to help us out right away.
So off to the motorway. It was kinda embarrassing. We did not make much more than 40-50 km/h with Roachmobile's condition. The other cars on the motorway didn't like that very much, but had to live with it. Luckily the three exits weren't that far apart from each other and we reached the second garage in under one hour.
We waited at the counter and told our story and hoped for their help. They said they have a mechanic who was willing to look at it. We were very grateful, handed over our keys and went to the supermarket and the public library in the meantime. Only three hours later they gave us a ring on our mobile and told us it's done. We were so relieved. It could have easily been the end of our companion.
Upon returning we gave the mechanic a box of muffins bought at the supermarket earlier. He explained that one of our four cylinders was broken. Usually the standard procedure would have been to order a set of four new ones from Toyota. However that would have easily taken a week. So he took the cylinder of another similar car and tried his best to fix it into our car. He said he used a lot of duct tape, but it should last for while.
Whew. That was close.
Roachmobile got away with a band-aid patch, and we could continue our journey.
When we were waiting for Roachmobile to leave his doctor, we found that we were actually in close proximity to Rivendell. So before finally leaving greater Wellington, we had to do one more side trip.