After our enjoyable couple of days at StreakyBay our feet were itchy to get on the road for the big journey over the Nullarbor Plain, a vast plateau (much of it treeless) that runs for about 1,200 kms across South and Western Australia.? It?s an ancient limestone seabed up to 300 metres thick.? About 20 million years ago, shells and marine organisms began to settle and some 3 million years ago it was gently raised to its present position.? But first we needed to stop over at Ceduna, which marks the end of the Eyre Peninsula and the start of the Nullarbor, to stock up on provisions and catch up on some business using the Ceduna Tourist Park?s excellent wireless internet (see further comments below). (StreakyBay to Ceduna ? 109 kms.) ?Ceduna is no great shakes as a place but we decided to stay for a couple of nights.? It?s the first time we?ve encountered an Aboriginal presence within a community on this visit to Australia.? There was plenty evidence of integration but there was also a group of Aboriginal men and women hanging around street corners and the bottle shop (off licence) looking rather like down and outs. ?A number were barefoot - we believe this is their preference and is normal for them.? (We?ve mentioned our friends, David and Nobumi, whom we met a few times when they were on the travels around Australia.? Well, while they were on a long distance bus in Katherine they encountered a difficult situation where an Aboriginal woman with a young child was not allowed to get on the bus because she was barefoot.? This seems to highlight the attitude of some white Australians to Aboriginal people, or maybe it goes even further in that the authorities have set rules which don?t take account of Aboriginal culture and customs.) ?All caravan parks have either been good, very good or excellent but some fall short in at least one aspect.? For example the (only) caravan park at CradleMountain in Tasmania is CosyCabinsCradleMountain.? It?s in a wonderful setting, is privately owned but charges the highest fees we?ve so far encountered.? It?s a large site and the most disappointing aspect here was the completely inadequate laundry facilities - there aren?t enough machines, and they?re old and inefficient.?? In a place where the weather is wet and cold and there are lots of walkers and hikers people need to be able to wash and dry their clothes quickly and that simply wasn?t possible here.? Then there?s the TriabunnaCaravanPark, which is one of the cheapest but small, compact, tidy and very friendly. ?It promised wireless internet, which as you?ll appreciate is important for us, but it wasn?t available because the owner was tinkering around with the connections.? AngleseaHolidayPark, on the other hand, had good facilities (an indoor swimming pool ? which they kept open later especially for Eric) and had a coffee kiosk/cafe in the morning where you could buy a newspaper and sit in the sun enjoying a good morning cuppie.? Generally internet access at caravan parks is poor with most having either none at all or a pretty useless ?internet kiosk?, which often doesn?t work.? ?Anyway we digress, so back to the main point.? One of the other main reasons we stayed two nights in Ceduna is that the weather broke big time ? the wind howled and the rain came down in torrents.? This doesn?t make for good driving conditions but is greatly welcomed by everyone, especially the farmers who were on warning from the Government that all irrigation to farms in the massive Murray Darling basin (one of the world?s largest water systems) would be stopped in the next couple of months if the drought continued.? As we drove out of Ceduna the weather was still wet and windy but we didn?t encounter any real rain on the road.? About 70 km from Ceduna we stopped to fill up at Penong where the fuel is supposed to be cheaper (but the diesel was the same price as in Ceduna).? There we got chatting to Dagmar and Peter from Bremen in Germany who were also driving a motorhome around Australia, and exchanged information about our itineraries, before setting off on day one of the 1,200 km journey across the Nullarbor on the Eyre Highway.? The Nullabor is often called a desert because it?s very dry, vast and uninhabited except for a few strategically placed roadhouses (ie a petrol station and motel where the fuel prices are very high) so you have to be very careful to plan your journey properly ? road worthiness, fuels, water, provisions etc.? In that respect we?re fortunate that Annie has two large fresh water tanks and a good fuel range.?We took a brief detour (55 kms) off the main highway to see the magnificent and massive sand dunes at FowlerBay (Gullane eat your heart out!).? We expected the scenery to be flat and boring but were pleasantly surprised by the variety.? It began with mainly the scrubby saltbush, but now thanks to the rain there was a definite green tinge to the landscape, then suddenly turned into more conventional Australian bush with many eucalypt trees towering above scrub of a variety of hues of green ? very pretty.? Gradually, though, the trees grew more and more sparse until the land was completely flat and treeless as far as the eye could see, and the sky was immense.?On the first night we stopped at the glorified car park that serves as a caravan park at the Nullarbor Roadhouse.? There we saw our first dingo mooching around the caravans obviously looking for scraps.? We weren?t really surprised to find Dagmar and Peter were also camped there, so shared a glass or two with them in the roadhouse before it was back to Annie for dinner.? We woke up next morning to a glorious day of clear blue skies and hot sun softened by a cooling breeze.? We couldn?t have asked for better weather - our decision to delay our departure from Ceduna was justified.? Some people have said they think the drive across the Nullarbor is boring and tedious because it?s totally flat and there?s nothing, but nothing to see.? We thought it was magic.? Long straight fairly empty stretches of road made for easy driving and gave us plenty opportunity to admire the bush and look for the kangaroos, wombats and camels that the road signs promised? - but no luck on that front.? But the best bits were the scenic rest areas which took us right to the edge of the plateau where 300m high cliffs towered above the Southern Ocean.? The views were just phenomenal ? they fairly took your breath away.? Of course we kept bumping into Dagmar and Peter at these stops and by mid-afternoon we all agreed that we would stay for the night? at the Bunda Cliffs Scenic Lookout.? This is what it?s all about.? Later in the afternoon we were joined by a couple of other campervans (at these stops it good to have safety in numbers) and after Dagmar accosted one young man to take a photo, he (Sven) and his partner Patricia from Switzerland joined us for drinks.? It turned out to be a very merry evening with promises made about breakfast next morning.?Margaret rose early next morning just before sunrise and, having watched the sun setting in the west the night before, it was magical to watch it rise again in the east ? all with uninterrupted views thanks to the flat wilderness all around.? Sunrise and photo ops over (see photo albums) it was time to prepare breakfast, which we again hosted.? Margaret prepared her famous porridge and Dagmar provided a wonderful German scrambled egg, both of which went down a treat.? It was great to have such good company and the camaraderie of travellers on the road.? As we were heading to the fruit and vegetable quarantine checkpoint before entering Western Australia it was good that we were able to give Sven and Patricia (who were travelling from west to east) our fruit, veg and salad which would otherwise have had to be dumped.?A few more stops and wonderful viewpoints along the coast brought us to BorderVillage (the quarantine checkpoint at the border) and soon to Eucla, the first town in Western Australia and a welcome oasis.? We had thought to play a game of golf here but the course was overgrown (much to our surprise in view of the drought) so we gave that a miss. ?We therefore set off down to the famous ruined telegraph station which is now swamped by the sand dunes.? We also walked across to the Southern Ocean (which the rest of the world calls the Indian Ocean) and back over to the massive and magnificent dunes.? It was a glorious day - the hottest day we?d had for ages.? On the way into Eucla we?d noticed a sign for the Meteorological Station (?Visitors Welcome?) so, with time on our hands and as weather plays such a major part of life in Australia, (think they must all be descendents of Montrose!), what better than to pop in. We were given a very interesting and informative explanation of the work of the station and its part in the work of the network of 50 or so stations across Australia.? As we?d by now moved through one of Western Australia?s time zones (clock went back 45 minutes) we were conscious that the afternoon was drawing to a close, so we dashed off with towels and trunks to the pool.? However, the sun was now low on the horizon and with the air getting chilly, all we managed was a paddle.? Surprise, surprise, but Dagmar and Peter were again camped nearby and again we spent the evening with them in their hired Kea motorhome.? Despite the Rummikub under Margaret?s arm vibrant and lively conversation prevailed.?The following day was to be a long journey, our longest haul so far, so it was good to be away by 8am.? We planned to reach Balladonia, about 513 kms away, but we knew from our visit to the weather station the previous day that the conditions could be adverse.? As it turned out very strong westerly headwinds slowed us down by 10 kph and reduced fuel efficiency by about 70-80kms per thankful.? Petrol prices varied from $1.29 per litre to $1.69 per litre ? unfortunately you can?t decide to go elsewhere!? It was hard work keeping Annie on the straight and narrow!? Although this was a long journey, and in some ways tiring, it had a number of highlights:? the scenery and landscape was varied and interesting; we saw a few emus at close quarters and a number of wedge-tail eagles feasting on road kill; and the drive along the longest straight section of road in Australia (possibly the world) ? 146.6 kms without even a kink. Imagine driving for 1 hour 40 minutes without having to turn the steering wheel!? The roads in this southern Australia are really very good, wide good surface with good visibility.? We were therefore surprised to come to major roadworks costing $36m to upgrade a section of the road.? Can?t see why this would be necessary when traffic is very sparse and the road seems totally adequate as it is. ??We were pleased to arrive in Balladonia, again no more than a roadhouse/motel/filling station/camp site, but were disappointed that THE Museum was closed.? The reason THE Museum was closed was that the facilities had been commandeered by the roadworks crew.? Balladonia is renowned because on 13 July 1979 a NASA Skylab space station entered the earth?s atmosphere, broke into pieces and rained down on Balladonia.? This brought the world?s press and senior US officials to the area.? THE Museum showcases local history, particularly the Skylab incident, and features pieces of the space station.? But unfortunately we didn?t get to see any of that - all we were able to see was a piece of the wreckage stuck on the roof (see photo album).