We left home around 9.30am which was earlier than we expected, but after the weeks of preparation it was great to actually be ‘back on the road’. Travelling along the Great Eastern Highway around the Northam the high water levels were still very evident with the Mortlock East River full and flowing fast!
We stopped for lunch in a parking bay just outside Northam. The flooded salt pans were visible, as far as the eye could see, masses amounts of water still in the area. For the remainder of the drive the water laying around was amazing! We arrived in Kellerberrin around 2ish, set up, settled in and relaxed.
Day 2: Still in ‘busy’ mode we were up, packed and gone by 8.30am. Way too early, we need to be much more relaxed:). We’ve decided to drive through to Kalgoorlie, so we can vote, before leaving the state! And boy are we glad we did. The roadworks started just outside Yellowdine and finished about 10 kilometres west of Coolgardie; long drive at between 60 and 80 kph.
Arriving at the caravan park about 2.45pm, the temperature was around 37° and the pool very inviting. After check-in, finding Jan and Ross and setting-up we headed to the pool; aarrhh so refreshing.
Day 3: Ross had sussed a caravan parking area close to the AEC; we parked and walked to the office where on arrival were advised that no voting would be conducted to day. So, I spoke with the supervisor and requested a letter of confirmation that we had tried to vote and were turned away. This prompted a phone call to her supervisor who said ‘You must open today and you must accept early votes’. So she asked if we could return in an hour, and they would process our votes. Jan, Ross, Derick and I walked back into the main street to Hoovers Café (Dome is closed for repairs after the storms), and enjoyed a yummy morning tea of coffee, scones, jam and cream.
By the time we walked back the staff of three had the voting room all but set-up, and processed our votes. We thanked them for their efforts in helping us out:).
Now back to our adventure! The Western Woodlands are are glorious sight any time but with all the rain in the area they are even more majestic, fresh and healthy. It was another hot day 37° with little or no breeze so being in the air-conditioned car was a good option. Lunch stop was Mt Thirsty just outside Norseman, then refueling in Norseman before heading to our camp for the night.
We arrived at Ten Mile Rest Area around 3ish, found a shady spot for both vans, set up and settled in with the other 9 or so campers. By around 5pm the clouds were looking very ominous, the temperature dropped 10 degrees in 30 minutes and the wind kicked in. There was some rain during the night but not enough to be of concern.
Day 4: When we left Ten Mile the weather was overcast and 25°. The best bit was the westerly tail wind which dropped our fuel consumption to 14.8 for the day, very happy.
We stopped at the Balladonia Roadhouse to view the Skylab Museum. Back on the road the only excitement for the day was a metre long lizard warming itself on the road. Derick drove around it, then it decided it should move into the bush, thank goodness. Was a beautiful specimen:).
Baxter Rest Area was our stop for the night; the flies were copies and way to friendly. The magpies were also very friendly, one in particular sat on the door map and sang us a song and yes we obliged with some meat as a reward:).
Day 5: A few kilometres down the road there were 3 emu’s grazing on the verge which we gave a wide berth. Refueled at Cocklebiddy where the Diesel was $1.75 per litre, most expensive so far this trip. Madura Pass Lookout was our next stop.
Then onto Moodini Bluff Rest Area where we stopped for the night. Jan and I went for a walk, took some great photos of butterflies and wild flowers then enjoyed a drink in the beautiful balmy evening.
Day 6: Lots of trucks on the road today, busiest it’s been since we left home, and unfortunately lots of road kill which consisted mainly of Kangaroos. The wedge tail eagles were also out and about helping themselves to the ‘fresh’ kills. Some birds moved from the road as vehicles approached while others on the verge just sat and watched us pass by. One in particular was a magnificent looking bird and there was no way a vehicle was going to interrupt its dinner:).
We refueled at Eucla Roadhouse, then walked to their lookout to eat morning tea and take in the magnificent view of the Southern Ocean.
Back on the road and a quick stop at the Border Quarantine Station to empty the toilet cassettes.
We ate lunch at Lookout No 1, then stopped again at Lookout No 2 to view the cliffs along the Bight, just magnificent! With quite a strong breeze we were surprised at the calmness of the ocean.
Tonight’s stop, 164 Mile Peg Rest Area. We arrived about 4pm, found a suitable site, set up and settled in.
Day 7 and 8: With the change in time zone it was barely light at 7.30am. We left camp about 8.45am, refueled at Nundroo after which the landscape starting changing from Australian bush to farm land. Harvested paddocks, tufting green from all the rain, dotted with grazing sheep.
We stopped for lunch at Penong, which is a lovely town on the edge of the Nullarbor National Park. Arriving at the Ceduna Quarantine station around 1.30ish, then at the Shelly Beach Caravan Park 1.45pm.
The remainder of our afternoon was taken up with domestics, washing, shopping and baking. 5sies was spent with some friends of Derick’s from Geraldton, whom he hadn’t seen for around 10 years. Great catch up:). Saturday was much more leisurely; a sleep in, delicious seafood lunch at the Ceduna Bistro, then a lazy afternoon. So good to relax and chill!