Sunday, November 30, 2014

26/11/14 Madura to Fraser Range

26/11/14 Madura to Frasers Range caravan park = 427km.
Our clock says 4:30 am. Yikes! It's already day light and crows calling out and all. We think our Dubbo crows Graham and Russell have followed us. These two seem very at home with us. 
Had to ask at the desk as we left to find out that it is 6:30 Eucla Time zone, which we think is the same as central aussie time. 
Aaaannnnd the fridge is still cold. Even managed to freeze the little bottles of water in the freezer. Happy dance here. But we still don't trust it. Will have to buy another bag of ice today. Bastard fridge.
Beautiful day, absolutely magic! As we drive along Australia's longest straight stretch of road, 99kms, yawn, there's not much different to see except that there are now more australian acacia trees.  So we have a little talk about them cause I had read up on them last night. I happened to be driving when we came upon the first bend in the road after what seemed like forever of straight. It was quite and event! Yaaaaay! A corner a corner! We found out later that it is really longer than that. 
And we keep seeing another unusual sight. 
Rock toddlers, at the side of the road. Well that's what we are calling them cause that's what they look like just sitting there on the edge of the scrub sitting at the side of the road. Someone has gathered up stones into a pile resembling a small human and dressed them! Fair go, they look like little kids sitting waiting for a bus. Freaked me out, the first one I saw. The way the road was built up and the closeness you are when you recognise one made it impossible to pull up for a photo. Sorry.
We stopped at Cocklebiddy for fuel., the place we didn't get to yesterday. Not much of a caravan area as such, so Madura was a good choice. The service station attendant was a nice guy. Big tall guy. Reminded me of Nathan, our son. We got chatting and he was a bit upset because he was heading to Esperance today as  the vet  has told him its best to put his 14 year old pit bull/Labrador to sleep. So, we talked dogs for a while. And then about things in general. He has big plans for the service station, he's only been there 10 months. Came down from Cairns. 
Uneventful drive over the rest of the plains to Balladonia Hotel/roadhouse where we stopped for fuel, food, cappuchino, ice and another big container of drinking water. There's a drought on here and they are trucking in water from Norseman about 180kms down the road, so their drinking water taps are locked off for now. Four clocks on the wall all telling a different time. Had to reset our clocks again, pick a time, any time, lol. so now we are on Perth time. Yep, we're sure of that. Which right then was showing my wake up time when on east coast time. And we have been driving for a few hours! Well, nearly 400 kilometers worth anyway. Talk about mucking the body clock up! Fair dinkum! 

^ this is another treeless area. Windscreen is a bit dirty. 

11:30 am arrived at Fraser Range Sheep Station and Caravan Park. All up, around 430 Kms today and it's still before lunch time if you're going by Perth time. Fraser Range is a working sheep property easily accessed off the Eyre Highway down a wide recently graded dirt road. Not a sheep to be seen or herd, (get it?) Choose your own site. All drive thru. Very very pleasant parking area and good clean well maintained amenities. I do so like loo doors that open out. So far it's living up to everything my EVERYTHING CARAVANNING AND CAMPING Facebook group friends and Wikicamps have told me. Once again, no taps at your site. You have to carry your own water. Or fetch it in a bucket from the amenities block. Apparently this is common all over these isolated caravan parks. Generator power. So please don't use your microwave and /or air conditioning unless you have to. Please limit your power use especially when lots of campers. Weeeellll, we thought, there's only three vans here so we'll have the ac on over lunch . . . . . . and we blew the power. How embarrassment. And I was laughing cause it was Rod's idea to have it on, not mine, for a change. 
It's costing us $80 for the site plus two dinners with dessert tonight. We were booked to go on a cheese and bickkies, wine and beer tour of the property at 3pm but they couldn't get enough people to make it worth while. Oh well, not a problem. Something to look forward to next time, cause I'm thinking there will be a next time. Nice breeze blowing now and we have both had a nap and are looking forward to socializing around the communal camp fire and dinner tonight. Better go find my crocs and brush my hair. 
Catcha later. 

^ view from the van door. There's two emus heading towards the tank in this photo.

^ Rod about to settle in for some nature watching.

^ amenities and playground.

^ the neighbors who have all pulled in after us.

There's no internet wifi signal here nor phone signal, apart from a sweet spot in the camp fire area which I'll probably have to line up for later, so I've been told so maybe I won't get to post any of this today. This too is common all over the more isolated areas of WA. 
Way to go Canberra, don't give a damn about the people out in the bush, they'll get by. 

PART 2 (not published with the above yet, no internet) 
No camp fire tonight, too windy.
Good company for dinner. Lasagne and a selection of salads followed by rice pudding and peaches. Good cook and a character of a cooks-helper, or Official Taster as he calls himself. Turns out they are the property owners, who'd have thunk it. A table full of the property workers just next to us. A wealth of information, told us a lot of the history of the property in a readers digest version over dinner. There's a school here too for the property kids. Quite a set up. Very much a flourishing concern before the water disappeared in the 70s. It's thought the earthquake they had south of Perth around that time altered the underground water source they were drawing off. It's still a going concern but now with alternative supplies, one of which is the quarry where they got the rock from for the all the old buildings on the property, which is now filling with water. Very surprised to hear that this is now a officially a cattle property with the first beasts being delivered here in October. Had a look thru an album full of old photos of the property and its people. 
The wind had got worse when we got back to the van. Had to wind some of the windows in. Rod's already asleep. I'm a bit worried about the gum trees near our camp site. Everyone says not to park under trees but sometimes it's not an option, this time we just weren't thinking. Falling limbs and all that sort of danger. I can hear gum nuts and twigs falling on and rolling across the roof. It sounds like a gunshot when they hit. I'm jumping out of my skin each time. Maybe I should wake Rod and get him to move the van . . . .. . Hmmmmm, 9pm, I don't think that would go down too well. But the locals were saying this wind is not going to last very long and we may get rain. That'll be good for them.
We're thinking of going all the way to Esperance tomorrow as its only 300 or so Kms, but . . . . . We might just decide to stay here another night. Someone on the net has suggested we go to Salmon Gums for tomorrow night, which I have found on the map but since I can't get any internet here tonight, I will have to wait until I am somewhere tomorrow to look up. 
So it's good night from me.

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