Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Saturday 21st April to Wednesday 25th April

Before we travelled on to Port Lincoln I mentioned that we had stopped overnight in Tumby Bay and we enjoyed a walk along the foreshore which has many historic markers to read.  One of these which rather amused us talked about the history of the police stations of the area.

The Police Station was built in 1908. Prior to this time the policeman lived in a tent or boarded with a local resident. If a person became difficult to control there was no jail to keep them overnight. They were known to be tied to a jetty pole and released the next morning before the tide came in!  How’s that Kate, makes the cells in Shepparton look like a palace! It’s to be hoped the policeman on duty remembered the poor sod before his feet got too wet, bet there weren’t too many reoffending in that area.

After Tumby Bay and a purchase from the local patchwork store, which, instead of having paper or plastic bags has complimentary shopping bags made by the local CWA, a really great idea. We stopped overnight in Port Lincoln in a park in pouring rain, making setting up the van very difficult and soaking us through.  The next morning was considerably brighter and we set off having done the obligatory load of washing and charging up of power and water tanks full for a few nights on the road.

Our decisions are based on how we feel when we wake up or how we think the weather is going to go over the next couple of days.  We went on to Streaky Bay and then Ceduna. In Ceduna we stayed at the Airport Caravan Park, unexpectedly as we couldn’t find a suitable roadside camp so another night on the power and water which was nice. 

Off on the morning to the Nullabor with a couple of caravans preceeding us and giving us a rundown on the CB radio of every notable and not so notable point they noticed along the way.  It was really hilarious to hear their chatter, one wonders if they realise the whole world can hear them!  We knew in advance of every truck and unusual tree on the road and such questions as ‘why are there all these solar panels set up?”  Could it be to facilitate new technology Ian pondered and was tempted to reply but I suggested that he should shut up and just enjoy! Any way it passes the time and the Nullabor is verrry long!

One thing which is always interesting along the Nullabor are the roadhouses which are uniquely Australian both in their appearance and the staff who work in these truly remote situations.  The price of petrol is also truly awesome!  The first we stopped at was $1.99, the next $2.02, $2.03 and finally $2.04. Thank goodness we have 180litres in our tank so we can afford to be choosy.  One place we did get fuel at Cocklebiddy Roadhouse and Motel, Ian had a very interesting conversation with the manager who relayed the story of a phone call she had had from Canberra from the people who monitor satellites to say that the satellites had identified a flare having been fired off south of the roadhouse and asked to speak to the mayor.  She replied that she didn’t have any idea who the mayor was and the guy asked her what was the population of the town.  Six, she replied to which he said the whole town not the place she worked at. She then informed him that the roadhouse was indeed the whole town.  He then wanted to know did she have a boat and could she take it down to the water to have a look for the flare.  She said she did have a boat but it had a hole in it and it would take two hours to get to the water most of which was four wheel drive and she would then have to throw it about thirty metres off the top of the cliff! He then decided to follow it up by some other means!  God help the poor people who set off the flare, because Canberra certainly couldn’t.

We stopped for the night on the Great Australian Bight and it is awesome. Truly the end of the world and straight down with no forgiving ledges to catch you if you stray too close.  We parked well back, unlike the Winebago which perched right up close to the edge.  The wind blew all night, enough to blow out the gas on the fridge so in the morning it was not as cold as it should have been but as we travelled along it soon came back up. During our stop I cooked up all our vegetables and froze them to ensure we didn’t give up too much as the quarantine checkpoint at Eucla on the South Australian/West Australian border. They are very thorough and even checked out my knitting bags and under the bed in the van as well as all the cupboards and fridge.  One lettuce was all they were given. I’m getting good at utilising things.

After crossing the border we spent last night at a roadside camp Domblegibby. Not flash but we were only sleeping there. However we were treated with a beautiful sunrise and one of us was indeed up for it unlike most of you. No Anzac service but we were thinking of them.

 Our lunch spot was named Bay 13, so I couldn’t resist a photo, but as I later found out it was a bad day for the Bombers so a bad omen after all.

We had hoped to be somewhere for an Anzac Day service but it was not to be and we are now in the same park in Esperance that we stayed in last year prior to going down to Cape Range National Park which we loved so much on our previous visit.  The weather looks good so we’re hopeful. 

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