Friday, August 19, 2011

Nullarbor Journal (long)

Tuesday 16th August 201 - I am rather baffled with the weather we are experiencing at the moment, yesterday was a brilliant day with lots of sun, no wind or rain and today in contrast it is raining with very strong gusty winds, and not very good for travelling.  I must say that sometimes I fail to understand the mentality of some people, now I try and make a habit of reporting mainly the good things that happen and not dwell too much on the negative.  However yesterday we had planned to spend the night at Mundrabilla Roadhouse, and on a positive vibe, the restaurant, facilities and grounds were absolutely meticulously clean.  After spending $400 on fuel we asked if they minded if we camped outside in the huge area available out front which obviously trucks would spend the night out there, their answer was a flat no;  they had a Caravan Park attached and for $15 a night we could stay in a huge paddock with no conveniences.  We of course declined and opted to camp out in a roadside stop further up the road at Boolaboolo Rest Stop (Camps 6 no 7), but of course we were eyeing the menu at the restaurant and would have dined there if we had stayed.  Now as the cheapest meal was $21.95 and with a range of delicious desserts we wouldn’t have left there without spending less than $50 and maybe even had breakfast.  So for the sake of $15 they lost out on more, so my advice would be to purchase your fuel at Eucla if you can last that long and the meals are reported to be very good there also, fuel being the same price as Mundrabilla. 
The Boolaboolo Rest Area was quite expansive with lots of room for big rigs to turn around not a lot of trees as we are on the Nullarbor plains and for those who may not be aware the “Nullarbor” means “treeless”.  Not many stayed the night, although we did enjoy a cuppa with a couple from Mandurah, Terry and Jenny.  We were a little bored so we resorted to playing cards in the evening by ourselves, I think Hav a Chat must be missing the company of others.  We will probably brave the elements and travel on another 138klms to the Observatory Turnoff rest area today.  I also had a first today having logged into the HF Radio sked and talked to Donette.  The winds were very strong and the fuel gauge seemed to be dropping down rapidly, so we stopped at Madura for a coffee break and were joined by Lyn and Jeff, ex dairy farmers from Busselton.  We decided to push on but we didn’t get very far deciding to camp at Olwogin Bluff ( Camps 6 no 10) 26 klms west of Madura and 89km e of Cocklebiddy to sit out the weather.  
Wednesday 17th August 2011.  The winds had dropped considerably overnight so we decided to get away early and travel further although not as far as we did eventually travel.  A quick stop for lunch at Afghan Rock (Camps 6 no 21) which is 177 klms West from Caiguna and 5 klms East of Balladonia and then for a coffee at Balladonia.  We pulled into Fraser Range Station Camp Area (Camps 6 no 26) but the site was rather small and unlevel so carried on to our present stop which is Ten Mile Rocks (Camps 6 No 27) having travelled 420 klms today. 
 This site is quite large with plenty of room for big rigs, but I must pass on the comment that a lot of these road stops need to have their bins emptied more regularly. 
We got out the rake and shovel and tidied up as best as we could, but most of the bins were full and overflowing and I ashamed to say the worst seem to be in WA.   
Thursday 18th  We arrived in Norseman and after refuelling and a few phone calls we decided to carry on to Esperance to visit some dear friends of ours.  It was a great relief to finally have phone and internet connections.  After stopping for lunch at Gibson we finally arrived in Esperance at 3pm, 310 klms of travel today.  We also were able to buy The Western Australian newspaper, first paper to read in about a week and home state news to boot.

Friday 19th August.  Well you will all be relieved that I am able to finally download this journal.  We moved the bus into its resting place and disconnected the trailer and are settled in at Ray and Lorraine’s property.  Caught up with the washing and cleaned the bus of the dust and grime from a week’s travelling on the Nullarbor.  We are leaving the bus here for awhile and travelling by car down to Perth next week, a service and new tyres for Jimny is the order for the week.  We plan to rejoin the bus and continue our trip to the Kalgoorlie Rally in a few week’s time.

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