After my now habitual Bircher Müsli, I set off at 8.15, delaying coffee as my carrot for later. On the outskirts of town I took the left turn at the fork as it was sign posted for Perth and Western Australia! My heart sang in the same way as it does when I see the Welcome to Scotland sign at the border with England. The other fork of the road led to Alice Springs and Uluru, which should have been the next destination of our roadtrip, heading through the Northern Territory, to the North coast, Darwin and Queensland. One day, and hopefully soon! My solo adventure has shown me how much I love to travel and also how lovely it is to travel with my humsafar, my fellow traveller. I get quite mushy thinking about him. I still enjoy the loneliness, though!
As I was driving, the Flinders Ranges were to the right of me and the outback was growing ever more sparse. Water rich areas allow glossy gum trees to thrive, whereas in drier stretches only low growing brush survives. Accordingly, the wildlife you see matches the plants. In areas that support trees, you can spot larger animals such as kangaroos, sheep, goats and even camels. Low scrub still seems to feed smaller animals well enough, though. Tree areas are beautiful but they worry me more when I am driving because you can’t always spot animals that might jump out in front of your car unexpectedly. Roddy taught me that cattle often graze in riverbeds or near bridges and floodplains, even when they are dried out. The lazy buggers perhaps don’t fancy moving too far, so they wait for the next rainfall. No cattle here though, too dry.
Despite the 470km, it was an easy drive with grand, endless horizons, and sunny all day. I stopped for that longed for coffee in Kimba, at the iconic Halfway across Australia sign. Apparently, as the crow flies, this is the halfway point between the East and the West coasts. Kimba also sports a Giant Galah, another photo opportunity. Galahs are a much loved parrot and live in most parts of Australia.
With the windows down, music blasting and lots of loud singing, I made good time and arrived around 4pm, having filled the tank, ready for Wednesday.
Portencross Band (a South Ayrshire band I heard live in the South Beach Hotel in Troon years ago)
Abba (there are some I had totally forgotten about. Try “Rock Me”, it’s a scream! Wannabe wannabe wannabeeee, in my babies arms…
Brumbies (Australian wild horses) Cool!
Several kangaroos – bloody roadtrains.
After yesterday’s long drive, I allowed myself a wee lie-in until 8, and went to the supermarket for a few things as Ceduna is the last town with shops, other than the basics that roadhouses supply, before Norseman, which is 1200km away. There is also no fresh water supply between those two towns so you need to be prepared. You can buy bottled water and can get bore water from taps but no drinking water from taps. I messed around, leaving eventually after 11o’clock for the much shorter ca. 300km day to the Nullarbor Roadhouse.
The day started overcast and it had rained during the night but around lunchtime the sun came out and stayed out. I stopped several times for local attractions such as the tallest windmill in Australia in Penong, and some cool road signs.
The biggest detour was, however, the 12km drive to the coast at the Head of the Bight to see the whales. Southern Right Whales swim north from Antarctica to breed, give birth and milk their calves. The season lasts from June to October but July and August are the height of the season and you are guaranteed to see them from the cliffs … and I did! I could have kicked myself that I only had my iphone on me to take photos… so to you they only look like wee turds in the ocean but they were amazing. Mothers and calves were swimming slowly and very closely together, mostly touching at all times. I could hear their eerie sounds quite clearly. They don’t sing like blue whales but send out a honking sound, a bit like when you blow through a metal pipe, or like a far away, ship’s horn. It was quite something. Then some dolphins appeared and swam alongside the whales. They looked so silvery and small next to the calloused black of the whales. Female Southern Right Whales are roughly 15 metres long and I read that the males have the biggest testicles of any animal, each weighing about 500kg! Well!
So here I am, at the Nullarbor Roadhouse, parked next to a plane! As I am super stingy with my water supply, I will also be super stinky and not really wash. There is a bore water shower here but I cannae be arsed. The joys of travelling alone J
Eagles – well you gotta!
Roddy’s Pirate Radio CD #1 (there are 4)
A compilation called Acoustic Love
One bobtail lizard crawling across the road. Silly but lucky bobtail lizard.
Lots of birds, mainly crows eating dead kangaroos.
8 Southern Right Whales with babies feeding!
Dolphins swimming near the whales
4 dead wombats! Wow, I’ve never even seen a live one…
Several kangaroos. Really sad and even sadder that you get used to seeing them.