25/11/14 Ceduna SA to Madura WA.
A big long haul that wasn't planned.
A beautiful day.
Missed the sun rise.
Fridge very cold but no frozen water bottles.
Breakfast of toast with Devon/fritz and sauce cause I didn't bring any Vegemite or peanut butter
Filled up and on The road by 8:00 .
Undecided as to where we will stop tonight, aiming for Border Village or maybe Eucla. It surprises me that some vehicles coming from the west don't have their lights on, they tend to blend in with the road and with the shimmer on the road you can't see some of them until they are fairly close. Everyone is so well behaved with their driving. No foolish risk taking in evidence at all.
This morning, we've been playing tag with another caravan that was in the caravan park last night. We have stopped along the way and they have gone past us, then they stop and we go past. He called us on our UHF laughing about us managing pull out just ahead of him at Nullabour Roadhouse. We invited them to join us for lunch 20kms up the road. It was the first time someone has contacted us! How exciting! They didn't, just sailed on past tooting.
Took a couple of side trips to see the Bight. One road was so corrugated that 2 Kms in Rod did a very neat 15 point turn and headed back to the main road. He's never liked taking his cars over dirt roads. This time I had to agree with him. And I forgot to take the cameras to Lookout 1 so we are going to do it again on the way back. No whales today anyway and quite a few people all jockeying for that one 'perfect' spot to take the perfect photo.
So we pushed on.
Petrol price at Nullabour Roadhouse.
Stopped for lunch at the rest stop 20 k west of the Nullabour Roadhouse. Rod broke out the Baby Q webber for the first time on this trip (After asking if we really needed to bring it when packing) and we cooked up all raw meat products and all the tomatoes and put them in the fridge which is STILL working, will wonders never cease, because there is another quarrentine station 150k ahead at Border Village, which we thought was much further away. This cook-up hint to save throwing out fresh food was learnt from the good people at EVERYTHING CARAVANING AND CAMPING Facebook group.
Back on the road at 1 :45pm
Once we finally spotted the Southern Ocean I got sooooo excited to see it! I have been wanting to do this for so long. It is just the most beautiful collection of blue colours. It refreshes my spirit. Managed to remember the camera for Lookout 2. A short good dirt road out to the lookout. And then a short walk on a paved path to the viewing area.
^ looking west
^ looking east
Lookout 3, a few Kms down the road
^ looking east
^ looking south
^ looking west
^didnt see any.
Border Village surprised us. We were expecting a cluster of houses and some shops maybe, but it's just a motel, a service station and the quarantine station. All the way we have expected more residents at or near the roadhouses. Where did we get that idea from I wonder? We stopped at the bin to throw out some lettuce and there was a young couple feverishly going thru their car, everything out on the ground, bags and boxes unpacked, kaos. They 'warned' us that they were searching EVERY vehicle at the quarantine point, "so make sure you don't have any vegies or other stuff hidden away anywhere". I thought they were really strange the way they talked to us, but while I was on the way to the bin, I overheard some of their conversation. They were trying to find the pot they had hidden away in the car. Should I have told them that the guy on the gate probably wouldn't worry about it. He's quarrantine, not customs. LOL.
Anyway, the young Asian bloke on the border had a bit of a chat with us while he took our details, obviously thought we were ok people cause he only looked thru a couple of drawers and the fridge and sent us on our way.
So we thought we would pull up for a break and check out the Eucla Telegraph Station ruins but we came upon the sign and the turn off so quickly that we missed it altogether and we had a big truck up our bum at the time. The way the road is there it was ages before we could have turned around. Bugga! That's something we will have to do on the way back too.
Not to impressed with the road house caravan parks at the road houses on the way across the Nullabour. The ones we've seen so far all look pretty grotty and rubbish everywhere. I get the 'we don't really care what you think, where else are you going to go' attitude at most of them. And no solar power anywhere. I find that strange. Must ask someone about that. They have no access to Internet and dodgy phone reception. This is not good mister members in the government. These are the people you should be working on getting fast internet connection, not canberra, and other dense population reas. They can wait, these remotely located people have wIted long enough. How are they expected to run a business with out decent internet connection these days. Shame shame shame.
But their attitude leaves a lot to be desired too. Lots of business enterprise opportunities that they are just missing out on. A coat of paint and an engaging sales manner would go a long way. We asked the sales person at Mundrabilla "tell us why should we should pull in there for the night" because we were thinking about it. But she started out answering us with, "ummm, what could I say . . . .. " and just drifted off into nothingness. ??? And the older woman there missed the chance to jump in and suggest anything to tempt us either, so we decided to push on to Cocklebiddy. Is it just me, or did those women just miss out on overnight paying customers. Found out later that this place has a wonderful home cooking menu. Why didn't they mention this at least?
Also Surprisingly, we didn't see much wildlife. Just an occasional bird. We were expecting the camels, Roos, and emus that we saw on the roadside warning signs, but never saw a one. And very little road kill. Just the occasional lizard with a few crows snacking until the last moment, nothing else the whole way, until we got near to Madura and then we saw a couple of squished Roos. Guess it's because there is no water anywhere near the road.
Another thing we were warned about at great length that is just not happening is the buffeting of our van by the big road trains ether over taking us, (2) or passing us going the other way. We set out quite fearsome of this occurrence, but it's just not a problem. There's a few other supposedly 'feral' things we've been 'warned' about too that we have seen no evidence of.
5:00pm WA time. We think. Time zones are confusing us.
Well, we didn't make it to Cocklebiddy, just couldn't go the extra 100 miles and the sun was setting in front of us anyway, so we ended up pulling into Madura Hotel/Motel/Caravan Park and Service station.
Didn't take any photos here, just too tuckered out I guess.
Now this place has some dreadful comments on wiki camps, and that was the reason we were not going to stop here. But the guy on the desk was nice and helpful and friendly and invited us up for a drink in the bar. The camp6 book, is not earning it's price paid, in this book this caravan park has no powered site, which is wrong, there's plenty of them. Another reason we were not going to stop here.
$25 for the night and he's given us a token each for the showers. Fair enough, there is a big generator running over in the corner, but unless you are parked right near it, and there are 3 vans over there, it shouldn't bother you too much at night. It's all pretty basic with no paving and the sites scattered amongst the trees and no water taps, but it's quite a decent place for a night.
Toddling off to bed very very tired after a beer at the bar and sausages and tomato on toast.
Ps. Oh by the way. In the bar was a sign that said
Well, I looked at it for a few mins, and thought about it. The barman saw me looking at it and thinking about it. So I said, "OK mate, I'll bite, what's it stand for?" He answered "Your Curiosity will cost you a two dollar donation to the Royal Flying Doctor Service thank you" and pointed to the money box on the bar. Well, I told him he'd got me, so I was happy to pay.