Driving East brought mixed emotions. We are under no illusions that we are at the back end of the trip and as we turned the car Eastward, some of us did not want to go. Western Australia in all it’s grandeur and diversity had won our hearts and the idea of driving 1400km away from it, was not a happy one for Spike & Kate.
Of course there are some little people for whom the prospect of weeks to come in the East is very exciting. They can’t wait to meet their dear friends in Tasmania before the road to Sydney takes them finally home. When the first road sign to Sydney was sighted just this week, they begged us to take the turn off. But I get ahead of myself, because first, that Nullarbor had to be crossed.
The Eyre highway itself was fairly mind numbing. We ladled on the school work and movies in the back, Kate took up a crochet project and Spike read maps to his heart’s content. The scrub, of little interest, drifted by and every now and then someone said “look a bend”. We even came to a hill at one exciting point. We ate a whole packet of Kool Mints.
We are not devotees of rest stop free camping. We have no toilet facilities on board, but we do like a National Park or a Station Stay, so we were thrilled to take a recommendation and stay at lovely Fraser Range Station on our first night. A colonial stonehouse kitchen is available for campers and the lovingly created bush garden and shady spots for a cuppa, were just what we needed that night.
To keep enthusiasm up, and arguments down, we stopped at things like “shoe trees”, where people decorate the gums with things they don’t seem to want. We had to persuade the kids that, yes, they would still need their sandshoes if they wanted to do anything active for the next 7 weeks! We made it to 90 Mile Straight, where it really is just that – a straight road for 90 miles, and stopped to add to the rock cairn which didn’t require donation of any important apparel.
After a night at Eucla – where they have mobile reception in the middle of the Nullarbor???? – we finally crossed the border the next morning into South Australia. Quarantine here were not so scary (or hungry – as axo100 believes they confiscate stuff so they can eat it themselves) and we began our adventure in SA a little lighter of heart.
Here were some real sights to see – the Bunda Cliffs soar above the Southern Ocean around the Great Australian Bight. We took a few turn offs to see the pounding of the sea against the cliffs.
At Head of Bight, we had to pay $5 per adult to walk down a boardwalk to the cliff edge. The wind whipped the sea and blew us around and at least the kids had a run. Whale season had passed by long ago.
And somewhere in the 72 hours, we managed to lose 2.5 hours. The bizarre 45 min time change at Eucla had left us confused and when we finally sat down to dinner on the third night, it was 9.30pm! In need of a more active day, we decided to spend the next few nights in the tiny fishing hamlet of Fowler’s Bay.