We left Esperance, travelling through kilometres of more fields of green and gold where it then changed to woodlands and wildflowers as we got closer to Norseman. We stopped for lunch at the park. Norseman wasn't a particularly pretty town but the park was nice. We left Norseman on the Eyre highway to travel across to the other side of the country! It remained quite pretty, woodland for most of the trip. By mid afternoon we had reached the longest straight stretch of road, 90 miles of it! The landscape flattened out here, becoming more scrubby and trees became more sparse. We stopped near Caiguna to look at a blowhole, a hole coming up from an underground limestone cave that blows air out or sucks it in depending on the barometric pressure. This time it was blowing out very cold air. We made camp further on off the road and down the track in some bush. We arrived in time for the boys to have a run around, light a fire and watch the sun set. We had a beautiful lamb roast for tea then all sat out around the fire, listening to Kasey Chambers and telling jokes and stories.
The next day we drove on, stopping at a lookout overlooking a seemingly never-ending plain. We came down onto the plain and had a low mountain range on our left for the rest of the trip. Mid afternoon we sadly left WA and passed into SA where we were reacquainted with the very friendly flies. We set up at another free camp off the road quite a way, at the top of a hill overlooking the ocean. It was still a fair walk down to the beach over and through dunes but the boys took it on to burn off some energy. They got back in time for happy hour and sunset, glad of a walk and a swim in the Great Australian Bight without getting a great white bite! During the night the wind picked up quite strongly and nearly blew us away! It was relentless and fierce, making the van rock and shudder and the canvas flap all night. It was freaky and loud and we didn't get much sleep.
Bleary eyed and grumpy (me), we packed up the next morning and kept on our way, stopping at a couple of lookouts to see the spectacular Bight, the cliffs were amazing, it felt like the end of the earth. It was about here that we entered the Nullarbor National Park and the western end of the Nullabor plain. We drove on to Head of Bight where we had lunch before walking down the boardwalk to the lookouts overlooking the beautiful blue water, where a few southern right whales had come to chill out with their calves. They were so huge and beautiful, moving slowly and gracefully along with their babies close beside. We watched one mum roll over into her back, floating, showing us her huge white belly, her enormous fins sticking up in the air. We read later it was to stop her calf from suckling. Even in the 33 degree heat and constantly waving away the hoards of flies, we enjoyed watching the whales. A very special experience. Ironically the actual Nullarbor plain didn't last very long. Before we knew it we were back in amongst woodlands and a bit further on, clear paddocks and wheat fields, until we came to almost civilisation, a little ocean village called Fowlers Bay (quite a bit off the main drag) where we camped the night. We enjoyed the company of other campers and the boys sat around a communal fire chatting and watching the AFL footy final til late. The next morning we slept in and debated if we should stay or go. We came to a compromise of staying til lunch and travelling in the afternoon seeing as we didn't have too far to go, only 4 hours! We spent the morning hiring a sand-board and giving it a go on the high dunes at the back of the village. It didn't go too well...the boys couldn't get up any speed. Whether it was the board or the soft sand we're not sure. So we returned it then unhitched the van and went 4WDing through the dunes out around the point in search of a group of sealions that live/hang out in a little cove. After a windy, bumpy trek we found the spot and we were rewarded with a beautiful group of them, of all sorts of sizes and colours. Some were laying about in the sun on the sand, some playing and swimming in the water. A couple came up to look at the boys, as they walked down closer to the cove. It was fantastic and lots of fun watching them. We left there and had lunch back in town before hitting the road again, heading for Streaky Bay, feeling a little sad as we leave the 'Nullarbor' behind.