Afternoon of the 4th June
About 3.30pm we saw water on our right for the first time. The weather was grey and overcast with some light drizzle, temp 13'. After fuelling up at Eucla, 182.0, $217.89, 119.72L we crossed the border at 3.55pm and stopped to take a few photos. From there we headed to a free camp about 52k over the border. Its 5.40pm CST according to the GPS so I expect it will be dark when we arrive. The Bight is on our immediate right and its hard to tell where the ocean finishes and the sky begins. If its not light enough tomorrow when we get up to go for a photo I might have to cheat and buy a postcard of a clearer day! Have passed a number of spots to pull in for the night, these appear well back from the cliffs and too close to the road. The spot we are going to is on the cliffs, so no wandering around in the dark!! Arrived 6.10pm CST.
Had a lovely Curry and Rice in Chris and Rogers van. The breeze is cold and the night overcast. After a quick dinner it was back to our van to wash up the day's dishes and then hopped into bed to watch another episode of Game of Thrones, lights out at 9.40pm CST. Our body clocks are telling us it's too early (8.10pmWST) buts it been a long day.
Wednesday 5th June, we set the alarm for 6.45am to have an early breakfast in the hope that the sunrise would make a good photo and the cliffs would be worth looking at, both were spectacular and managed to get some good shots.
Headed off with Roger leading at 7.50am. Odometer 112140, 9,' crisp, cool and light breeze and a little fog, the sun is rising and burning it off quickly.
At 8.15am we called into Lookout No 2 for an even better look at the cliffs, got the best photos of the Bight. It was a bit scary looking at the dissolving cliffs, there is a good path and fence to prevent you wandering too close to the edge. Looking down the line there is nothing under you!
On the road again, just passed a sign that said Roo's for the next 96k's so I am on roo watch again.
Listened to some fellow caravans coming towards us. Greeted them and they asked about the price of fuel in the west. Filled them in, safe travels enjoy the WEST.
There has obviously been a good amount of rain out this way recently, there are small puddles on the roadside, the grasses are green and the moisture is glistening in the sunlight. I just saw my first dingo about 100yards off the road edge; its coat was shining in the sunlight.
We reached Nullarbor at 9.45am and had a stretch and went to the loo (again). There is lots of reading paraphernalia about the dingoes in the area, so no feeding the animals. We also read that the whales were easy to spot at the Head of the Bight between May and October. A young woman heard us talking and she was the ranger's partner and confirmed that there were 8 sighted this morning. So off we headed at 10.00am to have a look.
Arrived 20minutes later and it was only $7 each. Glenn and I headed off down the board walk and were only half way down when we spotted our first whale. It was in nice and close, so we were able to get some good photos. We ended up seeing 5 whales and a calf, obviously recently born. The water was beautifully clear and there was little swell, the sky was a bit cloudy and the breeze was crisp so we were rugged up.
Bought another badge for Glenn's hat and a fridge magnet for the van. We ended up spending 1hr 20minutes and headed off again with Roger leading. Glenn and I had a muesli bar to carry us through to lunchtime.
We left the "Plain" about 12.15 to a change of scenery, Low shrub, trees and a bit hilly, similar to that as you leave Norseman.
Passed through Yalata at 12.45 and stopped for lunch at 1pm. Glenn and I think it was the same place we stopped during our last crossing. While we were there Glenn put my watch on to the right time, I kept confusing myself looking at the car clock (still on WST) and the GPS was showing the correct time. Rain clouds are following us from the west. Glenn is leading this time and Chris is driving to give Roger a break. Its 16' outside.
Called into Penong to refuel at 3pm. Fuel price 151.9, $117.08 and only 77.08L.
Just pulling up at the Ceduna Quarantine Station at 4.00pm. Luckily we had gotten rid of all our fruit and vege earlier in the day, straight through after a quick chat to the guard on duty. I called into Foodland for a quick top up of supplies, while Glenn did a loop and Chris and Roger topped up with fuel. Roger leading, off we go to again to our free camp overnight stop over, its 4.35pm. Will check out 2 sites, one 80km from Ceduna and the other 168km further down the road ETA 6.30pm, will see if the first one is any good if not will move on to the other. Probably too late to light a fire tonight. We have been carrying wood all the way from home and still haven't been able to off load it. I'm sure it will come in hand as we go up through the centre.
Its 5.30pm and we have just pulled up at the old Perlubie School Site, the first free site we wanted to have a look at. This one is great, away from the passing traffic and not obvious from the road. Time to light the fire and sit around for wine and nibbles. Chris and I put together a yummy Mexican Mince and Corn Chip dinner that we sat around and just dug into. No plates, knives or forks! We stayed together to watch episode 5 of Game of Thrones then headed off to bed about 9.50pm.
Thursday 6th June, 12' no wind, little cloud. Roger had had a walk around before we left to see if he could make out the school site. The only give away were some rocks set into the ground in the shape of a Hop Scotch.
With Glenn leading this stretch we headed off through miles and miles of wheat fields and very tall silo's. Chris and Roger passed through this way only 8 weeks earlier on their way back to
Perth, the fields had been ploughed in preparation for sowing and now were looking really good. We are currently following the pipeline and railway line and the sun is warm coming in my side, it's now 15'. We just went past the 1nd spot that we would have co9me to if the first wasn't much good. Would have given this one 5/10 and the one we stayed at last night 10/10, so our first choice was the best.
Stopped at Wundinna at 9.40am for a look at the granite monument, Aussie Farmer.
The area around here is renowned for producing large amounts of granite for local and overseas markets. I took a photo of the monument and some Stuart Peas. Popped into the local Tourist Information Centre to collect pamphlets on caravan parks in Port Augusta. Headed off again 10.20am with Roger leading, 16', overcast and a cross breeze.
Turned left towards Port Augusta, Roger missed the turnoff and had to do a "U"ie, so Glenn leading again. It was decided that we would stop for lunch at 12noon. Glenn had mentioned about a spot that he had saved in his GPS from our last time with the ETA 11.52am, so we headed that way. Used the last of the ham and had a lovely cuppa compliment of Roger, and shared a Mars Bar. It turns out that Chris and Roger had overnighted at this same spot on their way back to Perth recently. Hit the road again at 12.40pm, 18' now. Roger lead, the Caravan Park that we decided on was one that they had stayed at previously. I have moved into the front for this part of the drive as my hamstring and knee is driving me nuts.
Just had another text from some other friends who are travelling the same route as us, Phil and Krys McKinnon and Krys's brother Marion and his wife Sharon. They had just left Caiguna as we were approaching Iron Knob. They are at least 2 days behind us after leaving Albany on Monday, same day that we left Toodyay. Marion had trouble with his fridge and had to get it repaired in Esperance. They might catch up with us in Alice Springs as we plan to spend about a week there.
1.10pm we saw our first few of the slag mounds of Iron Knob. Turned left towards Port Augusta, only 26km to go. Arrived at the caravan park at 2pm and there was a line up to get in, fingers crossed as we want to stay 2 nights. We also signed up for the Top Tourist Park discount card. Last $30 for two years and gives you 10% discounts at all their parks. $26.50 a night, $30 plus bought Glenn another pin for his hat.
Chris and Roger did a quick set up and then headed back into town looking for a Bunnings. I made a start on 5 loads of washing in my little 5kg washing machine. My new stainless clothes line is a ripper. Had nibbles and our first BBQ meal and finished off with 2 more episodes of G of T's, luck we are all fans. Sleeping in tomorrow.
Still woke up early as I think we have settled into a pattern now. Wrote out our shopping list and headed into town. Checked out the price of fuel at the various servo's as every dollar counts and settled on Caltex Woolworths were we used out 4c a litre voucher. 145.9, $129.76 and 88.94L. Shopped at Woolies and picked up some fresh bread and buns. I have been freezing my bread in snaplock bags, 4 pieces to a bag. This has worked well for lunches. Also bought a hot chicken and cold ham and divided these into meal portions and frozen these for the road.
Glenn's outside empting the "ablutions" and filling up the 100lt bladder with water, this sits on the floor between the front seats and the back seat. This should see us through to Alice Springs. Opps, I can hear swearing!! Glenn had left the valve open while filling the bladder and as fast as he thought he was filling it, it was in fact filling the inside of the car. He didn't notice until water starting pouring out under the doors!! "Virginia I need a towel!!"
Dinner is Fish and Chips on the foreshore tonight.
Signing off for now, love Virginia and Glenn