Wednesday, 2 August 2017

Merredin to Perth : 276kms

.Wednesday, 2nd August.

The deluge which greeted us just before we reached Merredin on Monday ceased through the night and we woke on Tuesday morning to clear blue sky and sunshine, with just a few minor puddles lying around.

We were on the road by 8.15am, at 5 degrees the temperature was a little warmer than on Monday and we had a very pleasant drive through the wheatbelt, briefly stopping in Cunderdin at the request of a pair of policemen who invited Mike to blow into a breathalyser.  Disappointed at the zero reading, they permitted us to proceed, and we were happy to oblige, stopping again in Meckering for our last fuel top up on this trip.

Bypassing Northam, we progressed through the green and lovely Perth Hills making our final stop in Mundaring where we intended to buy the hamburgers we'd been craving, for lunch.  Finding the 'gourmet' hamburger shop closed, we decided that turkish rolls from the next door Mundaring Istanbul Kebabs, Pizza House and Fish and Chips shop could be a satisfactory substitute.  Well....they were much better than a substitute!  Stuffed with warm beef and salad, and so large they were difficult to eat 'daintily', they were absolutely delicious and we were not sorry that the hamburger shop was closed!

From there we continued along Great Eastern Highway, down Greenmount Hill to Midland, turned left onto Roe Highway and headed for home, arriving at 12.30pm.

By the time we'd cleared out the car and caravan, done all the little jobs that needed doing immediately and had hot showers, we gave ourselves the rest of the afternoon off,  sat down with a cup of coffee each in front of the television and promptly dozed off.  (Overcome with tiredness or boring TV?....perhaps a combination of the two).

This morning I waded through a mountain of washing (were there really only two of us in the caravan?) and Mike is taking the lawn mower for a walk around the lawns.  The next job is shopping, a necessity if we wish to eat but one of my least favourite things so I'm not looking forward to it!

The trip was not the success we'd hoped it would be, only partly due to the weather but mostly because of illness, without which we'd have been able to cope with the unfavourable weather.  We missed out on seeing places and people we had planned to see which was a disappointment and consequently we are home sooner than expected but it wasn't all bad.  The trip east was enjoyable and spending time with our family is always a joy....there were times on the journey home that were also enjoyable, especially when the coughing began to ease and we regained some energy.  Now that the continual driving is over, we can relax and do very little  if and when we feel so inclined and hope to shake off the dregs of the dreaded lurgy that has dogged us for the last 5 weeks.

Monday, 31 July 2017

10 Mile Rocks to Merredin : 539kms

Monday, 31st July.

It became extremely cold through the night and extra blankets were needed.  When we fell out of bed at about 7.00am to make tea, the temperature gauge in the caravan was showing minus 3 degrees and there was a thin layer of ice over the car and caravan.  And we thought we'd left the cold weather behind!

We left at 7.35am when the temperature had soared to minus 1 degree and headed for Norseman, about 80kms west.  After some minutes, we were up to zero and the temperature continued to climb and had reached 7 by the time we arrived at the Norseman Roadhouse, where we had breakfast of bacon and egg rolls and hot, hot coffee.

A right turn off the Eyre Highway onto the Coolgardie/Esperance Highway and we headed for Coolgardie on the Great Eastern Highway, stopping on arrival there for a fuel top up.  Next stop was at Southern Cross and from there we could see the rain clouds we'd been hearing about on the radio and kept fingers crossed that we would reach Merredin, book and settle into the caravan park before the clouds dropped their load.  Alas, the rain started falling when we were still about 10 minutes away, also thwarting our plan to walk into town for an evening meal.

Tonight is our last on the road for this trip, we have approximately 276kms to travel tomorrow to our home sweet home!

Eucla to 10 Mile Rocks : 631kms (plus 13kms)

Sunday, 30th July.

After dinner last night, the roadhouse generator stopped and the power went off so we were in total darkness for a few minutes until another, louder generator was started.  The diesel fumes from the second generator were overpowering so Mike went for a wander around to see if we could get away from the fumes by moving to another area, but no.....so we quickly upped stakes and left, stopping at the quarantine station to surrender our 4 onions and half bottle of honey before driving across the border to Eucla, 13 kms away.  Here we found a spot beside the roadhouse, but far enough away to not even hear their generator, and settled down for a quiet, fume free night.

We left Eucla at 8.00am, almost immediately driving through the Eucla Pass and onto the first of 4 R.F.D.S. emergency strips we encountered today, three of which are located between Eucla and Madura, where we refuelled and bought coffee, then went through Madura Pass as we continued west along Eyre Highway.  Stopping at Caiguna for fuel, we also bought toasted sandwiches and....put our timepieces back another 3/4 hour, so now we are on W.A. time.  Just after leaving Caiguna the 90 mile (146.6km) Straight begins and it was on this stretch of road that I saw what I thought was an enormous kangaroo lying on the side of the road, but it was a camel!  I imagine it had been hit by one of the huge road trains that thunder along the highway, a car would have been totally wrecked!  The wildlife we've seen total two....one young dingo who stood amongst the scrub beside the road and watched us pass by and one medium sized emu going for a stroll in the bush. 

Though at one stage we appeared to be heading into some wet weather, we only had a light shower lasting about two minutes.  It's been a long day, a long drive especially as we've battled strong winds at times (hence extra topping up of fuel, our last of which today occurred at Balladonia).  On our first road trip across the country  in 1971, we stopped at Balladonia and the roadhouse toilets then were a disgrace....they still are today but we were very pleased to note that new amenities are currently being installed.

We are now at a rest area at 10 Mile Rocks, a quiet spot in the bush for our penultimate night on the road.  An early night is called for.

Ceduna to Border Village : 480kms

Saturday, 29th July.

There was a spectacular sunrise this morning...unfortunately, in the time it took me to rush back to the caravan from the amenities, I was too late to photograph it.  You've gotta be quick!

We left Shelly Beach at 9.30am, skirting Ceduna and making Penong, the 'Town of Windmills', our first stop for the purpose of buying fuel.  Along the way we encountered some rain but so little it was hardly worth mentioning, a rainbow, a runner and roadkill, mostly wombats.

We crossed the eastern end of the Nullarbor Plain shortly before arriving at the Nullarbor Roadhouse where we topped up again with fuel, made sandwiches and bought takeaway coffee.  After eating our lunch, we set off again and just down the road, came to the Royal Flying Doctor Service emergency landing strip, where the road has been widened to enable small aeroplanes to land.

There were two more stops made, these were at scenic lookouts where stunning views of the cliffs and the Great Australian Bight can be admired....and photographed.

Our overnight stop tonight is at Border Village, close to the SA/WA border and the quarantine inspection station and which has a large kangaroo, holding a jar of vegemite, standing proudly at the entrance to the roadhouse.  Once we'd booked into the caravan park and settled in, we had a drink in the bar before having hot showers, cooking dinner and preparing for an early night.

Saturday, 29 July 2017

Port Augusta to Ceduna : 470kms

Friday, 28th July.

There's not much to say about today's journey.  The temperature as we left Pt Augusta at 9.15am was 9 degrees, by the time we arrived in Ceduna at about 4pm was 30 degrees.....lovely jubbly!
  
It was a long drive, similar to previous long drives with stops in Kimba for fuel, Kyancutta for our lunch, buying ice creams from the shop next door to the park where we stopped, a flyby photo of a granite sculpture in Wudinna and another fuel stop in Poochera before continuing on to Shelly Beach in Ceduna which is our stop for tonight.

Friday, 28 July 2017

Adelaide to Port Augusta :

Thursday, 27th July.

We left Bolivar on the northern outskirts of Adelaide at about 9.30am for the drive to Port Augusta.  It was slow going for quite a while as we were stuck behind two oversize vehicles and their police escorts, plus several other motorists, until we all came to a stop at a railway crossing where a very long goods train was sitting going nowhere.  The stop lasted several minutes until the train finally crawled along the track, across the road to stop again on the other side and we were all able to proceed on our journeys.

As we had been driving into an extremely strong headwind, we pulled into a service station up the road a way for a break, and caught up with the oversize vehicles and their entourage who had also stopped.  We sped into the servo to buy coffee and sped out again as quickly as possible in order to get in front of the procession.  We'd passed a 'pink' lake, managing to twist myself around enough to take a photo through the rear window of the car, green fields and windmills, using a great deal of fuel because of the headwind, which did eventually ease and we stopped at Port Germein for an hour, buying bread from the local 'supermarket' to make lunch and being greeted by a cute little lamb.  Port Germein lays claim to the longest wooden jetty in the country.

Once we'd had a break and eaten lunch, we continued on till about an hour later reaching Port Augusta where we will stay tonight.

Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Bordertown to Bolivar (Adelaide) : 288kms

Wednesday, 26th July.

Today was similar to yesterday....a day of driving through gorgeous farming country though it was slightly cooler today, with an occasional shower early on.  We stopped briefly in the town of Keith to photograph the landrover on a pole and later, in Tailem Bend where we ate lunch while sitting on a bench in the sunshine.

Our next stop was in Hahndorf for a half hour stroll up and down the main street, calling in to Otto's Bakery to buy a couple of takeaway f.a. cream cakes before descending to the outer limits of Adelaide.  We then had an easy drive to Bolivar, about 14kms north of the city to our overnight stop.  As soon as we'd settled in, the billy was boiled and our Hahndorf cakes eaten while relaxing in the sunshine.