24th – 30th October: Ceduna to Salmon Gums

Day 2 we treated ourselves to a seafood lunch at the Bistro, very nice but not as good as our last visit.  Bought some frozen vegetables and canned fruit to keep us going between the quarantine station and Norseman, refueled, generally just prepping for leaving town tomorrow morning.

Departing Ceduna around 9am we travelled through the remaining wheat, barley paddocks; some ready for harvesting, some just the remnant stalks.  With the warmer weather we have noticed heaps more lizards (in a variety of shapes and sizes) on the road, both dead and alive.  We do our best to miss them but sometimes it’s just not possible.  First stop Nundroo to refuel and then Yalata West Rest Area for lunch.

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We changed our minds a few times but eventually made the decision to make the 164 kilometre peg rest area our first stop.  Mainly because a couple of campers were already parked up, but also the distance we could be away from the highway.  Caught up for a chat with some caravaners we met at Haslam, found a site, set up and settled in.

Rather than change the clocks 2 ½ hours on one day, we decided to alter our time over 3 days; 1 hour each the first 2 days and then 30 minutes the 3rd day.  This way the time difference wasn’t so dramatic and we weren’t as affected body clock wise.

As we left our campsite the following morning there was a dingo running along the road verge.  We had used all our fruit and vegetables, so passing through the Quarantine Station was very amiable.  Stopped for a flush and fill at the Eucla road house, and refueled the car.  Just a little further along the highway we passed a family of wombats, sadly victims of the overnight road traffic.  Was a tough day day way too many dead kangaroos, wombats and wedge-tail eagles:(.

Later that day we heard this story from another traveller:  He passed a family of emus crossing the highway, then a bit further along warned a truckie heading in their direction.  The truckies reply:  I’m not slowing down for emus!  Just a little compassion could go a long way…

Lunch stop was in a rest area about 90 kilometres east of Madura.  Arriving at tonight’s stop, Moodini Bluff around 2ish.  Received a txt from a mate driving back to Perth; he would catch us tomorrow at Baxter and spend the night camped at our campJ.

A much nicer day today; watched a father emu and his chick safely cross the highway as well as a magnificent wedge-tailed eagle soaring on the thermals.  Happy:)

Refueled the car at Cocklebiddy then arrived at or camp for the night, Baxter Rest Area just after 12 noon.  Set up, settled in, and ate lunch then about an hour later Peter arrived.

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We spent the afternoon chatting, catching up on each other’s news, just generally relaxing.  I baked a roast lamb with mixed vegetables for dinner (no roast vegetables as the next grocery shop is located in Norseman), with vanilla slice for sweets, very nice for being in the bush in a caravan!

Pete left 6.30 the following morning as he intended to be back in Mandurah late afternoon.  We dilly-dallied eating breakfast and packing up, leaving around 8.30.  Warm weather; more lizards and quite a few black snakes, some alive and slithering very quickly across the road, sadly some hadn’t made it.

The Balladonia Museum came well recommended, so we stopped to look for ourselves and yes it is well worth a visit. Coffee and sausage rolls are also very nice.

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10 Mile rest area is our stop for tonight; we arrived around noon, found a site, set up, settled in, and then ate some lunch.

Wasn’t long before 7 other campers had arrived and parked up for the nightJ.

Still adjusting to the time zone change, we were up early and gone by 8.30.  Arriving in Norseman by 9am, we refueled, bought just enough fruit and vegetables to last the couple of days, till we arrived in Esperance.

We’d heard excellent reports of the Salmon Gums Caravan Park and decided to call in for a look.  The small park is well maintained, excellent ablutions, power and water all for $15 per night. The park backs onto the rail line from Norseman to Esperance with ore trains passing by around every 3 or so hours.  Sometimes they toot for the road crossing, sometimes not, but they certainly didn’t affect us or our sleep during the night.

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Salmon Gums is a quiet, sleepy town with a general store and hotel, being a Sunday the store was closed and the hotel didn’t seem to have too many customers.  They bake wood fired pizzas for dinner Sunday nights and from all accounts are well worth the visit.  We walked around the town which probably took us all of 30 minutes.  There is an historic walk trail with signs indicating the original stores and their owners.  Alongside the park are the remnants of earlier times, and what seems to be once very prosperous, cattle yards.  We’ll go back!

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