Saturday Evening 29th March 2008, Eucla.
For those concerned, as of tomorrow we will be out of mobile contact for three or four days. If anyone wants to contact us ring Linda’s mobile and leave a message, we can retrieve these remotely.
We had a look around Eucla today, not that there is much to see. We did find out a few facts about the town. It is a government run town with most of the 50 population working for the government at places like the quarantine station at the border, police, all 6 of them, Meteorology department and other misc workers. We had a tour around the meteorology station which was rather interesting confirming what I thought they did, but getting to see how and some explanations. One of the only tourist attractions is an old Telegraph station a few k’s out of town by the shore line. The most interesting thing about this old building is that it is almost covered in sand dunes, and the visibility varies depending on sand movement.
Saturday Morning 29th March 2008, Eucla.
More on the Nullarbor cliffs: Although we were rapt with the scenery we saw of the Nullarbor cliffs, we were also a little disappointed. One of the supposedly better scenic points of the Bite was at the head of the Bite near the Nullarbor Roadhouse, there is a sealed road to the cliffs and apparently good constructed lookouts, but the land is owned by the local indigenous people and when it is not whale watching season, stories we have heard have them close the area off. There was in fact a blockade on the road with a sign saying ‘Closed for repairs’, but the story has it that when they can’t charge for whale watching they just close it off. I consider this unfair that they can just stop us from visiting what could be a very good tourist attraction whenever they fancy.
None the less what we did see was spectacular, but limited in getting shots of a lengthy section of the cliffs. There were several lookouts along the road that did give us reasonably good views anyway, and I have posted several shots on a web site called Flickr so check out the following URL. Flickr Photos.
Friday 28th March 2008, Eucla WA.
This will probably only be a short one as it has been a long day today, not that we travelled a great distance, but we did a fair bit of sight-seeing on the way, more on that tomorrow. We are now finally in WA at Eucla, just across the border. See map.
One thing we are going to find hard to get used to is the multiple time zone changes after entering WA. The difference between SA and WA is 1½ hours, but they have adopted an interim zone between the border and Caiguna, a couple of hundred K down the road, having only 45 minutes time difference, and then have the other time difference when going past Caiguna. This is not the hard part though, as we also finish daylight savings this weekend so we also have another hour change to put up with on Sunday. The interim time Zone creates another problem with the TV reception being transmitted at Perth time, and the mobiles also operating at Perth time, so it is all getting too confusing. We have therefore decided, apparently along with a lot of other travellers, to forget about the interim zone and just switch to Perth time now and then end daylight saving on Sunday.
Thursday 27th March 2008, Nullarbor.
After having a decent nights sleep, after the hectic day yesterday, I now feel in a better mood for putting words down.
It is unknown at this stage how long we will be here with Adrian possibly having problems getting the correct studs to repair their caravan. We are waiting word from Nundroo roadhouse, 150K back the way we came, who are likely to have what he wants, but if he doesn’t who knows what we then do. Adrian is almost insisting that if he has to sit for a while we should move on without them, but this is the section of the trip that we really wanted the company. I guess we need to just wait and see what happens.
One thing we were looking forward to while here was to go for a trip a few K’s back up the road to a whale watching lookout right at the mouth of the bight, but there is a sign on the gate at the highway turnoff saying it is closed for repairs. We have heard another story though: It was said that the lookout is on land owned by the local indigenous people and they charge people to enter for whale watching, the season doesn’t start until May so seeing they can’t charge for that purpose they simply close the road off to access, a bit rough if true seeing it could more than likely a good place to get some photos of the cliffs on the bight. Never mind though as there are several lookouts on the road ahead that apparently give good views of the cliffs.
A comment I heard from a traveller this morning goes as follows, “ I don’t know whether to call this place ‘Nullarbor’, ‘Megabor’ or just a Bloody Bore
Wednesday 26th March 2008, Nullarbor.
After five years of contemplating we are finally crossing the Nullarbor Plains on our way to WA. We are now at its namesake, Nullarbor road-house, nearly 300K from Ceduna. See map. The trip today was not without its dramas with Kay and Adrian losing a wheel off their caravan. We were following them at the time and I noticed something wrong with one of their wheels and thinking it to be a flat I contacted them on the CB advising that they stop. Unfortunately I was a little late because as he applied the brakes all the wheel studs snapped and the wheel fell off. Fortunately there was not a great deal of damage and after Adrian drove into Nullarbor, about 45K, he returned with some studs, but the wrong size. They were good enough to reattach the wheel and limp on to Nullarbor. All is needed now is some good replacements to turn up so we can repair properly before moving on.
We now see how the Nullarbor got its name: Null, as in null and void, and arbour, Latin for trees, meaning null of trees. We have had our first sample of straight roads as several sections today were quite lengthy without a corner. Fortunately so far the straight sections have been slightly hilly so it has not been too boring not knowing what is far ahead.
Sunday 23 March 2008, Ceduna. (Easter)
Having been at Ceduna now for a few days and had discussions with K and A we have now finally decided that our trip to WA is all go. I think that decision was actually made quite a while ago, otherwise we may not actually be here, but we did say all along that we would give ourselves until now to change our minds if we were going to. This trip does mean that we will be in WA for in excess of 12 months, if our plans all come together, so it does mean that we will have to fly back to Melbourne at Christmas, as we would not be able to miss out on that family reunion. It also means being in reasonable isolation from the rest of the family for a fair while so it would be nice to know that nothing untoward is going to happen to make us have to make un-scheduled trips home, especially from remote areas of which we will be spending a fair bit of time in.
Now being in a remote area of sorts I find we are now having to use the satellite TV system I purchased last year and am now learning a bit more about it. I have also been prompted to write a document on satellite dish tuning to complement the other info I have posted on the web site, and with what I am learning now I feel confident enough to be able to do so. It should be posted in the near future.
Wednesday 19th March 2008 Ceduna.
We are now at basically the last town before entering WA. We travelled about 100K today to Ceduna, see map, which is about 5-600K from the actual border, but there are no towns as such in that distance. We intend being here for a week over Easter to see out that holiday period and then on to WA. Kay and Adrian, our travel companions, have now met up with us having arrived here yesterday and are all for heading west, so as far as we can see it is now all go.
Tuesday 18th March 2008, Streaky Bay.
After 2 or 3 weeks of sweltering heat it has finally turned cool with a southerly change. Isn’t it typical though, that we are due to move tomorrow, which means packing up today, and it is threatening to rain. In fact we had a few spits this morning so we panicked and packed up the annexe before it did. Now would you believe it has fined up again and does not look like raining, but we are now packed and don’t have to worry.
Tomorrow will be our final trip, to Ceduna, before the last chance we have given ourselves to change our mind about going west, but I doubt if we have any other ideas now other than keep going. Adrian and Kay are now at Port Augusta and intend travelling to Ceduna tomorrow to meet up with us so all is looking good for continuing on.
It occurred to me this morning that I haven’t done my usual thing and walked the township taking photos, but I have been putting it off due to the heat and the fact that there are road working teams re-sealing most of the roads about town that would detract from making decent shots. I may give it a go this afternoon if I get the chance, otherwise it will now have to wait until we come back on our return trip.
I finally got my web site published in the Caravan and Motorhome magazine with a story I sent them about TV reception, and it is rather inviting to see that people are now accessing the site. I have already had quite a few queries about the site and the TV information I have posted on it, so it is now starting to look as though it was all worth the effort.
Monday 17th March 2008, Streaky Bay.
We went for another drive today to Cape Bauer, not far away, in fact on the other side of the bay that Streaky Bay is situated. The coastline is still much the same as elsewhere we have seen recently, quite spectacular, but this time with a little difference. This section has blow holes, although the weather and tides were wrong for us to see them in action, and an attraction called ‘The Whispering Rocks’. This consisted of a section of the cliff that has several small holes in the top leading down to the roof of a large cavern in the base of the cliff. When the waves crash into the cavern the wall of water forces the trapped air up the holes causing a whispering Whooshing sound. The difference between these holes and a blow hole is that these holes are on a cliff face too high for the water to be forced up, and this makes these a spectacle of their own. When we found the actual holes, there were several of them, and stood in a spot with the holes surrounding us the sound was something to behold, with the holes being of various sizes, from about 4 inches across to about 6-8 inches across, the sound from each hole was slightly different and the end result was a remarkable surround sound effect.
We are now wondering what we are in for when crossing the Nullarbor, as this type coastline is apparently consistent all the way across. We have so far been suitably impressed with what we have seen, so what will the remainder have to offer?
Friday 14th March 2008, Streaky Bay.
We went for a drive around some of the coastline to the south of Streaky Bay today, and are still awe-inspired with the cliffs of the coastline, if it is going to be like this all the way across the Nullarbor one could possibly start to get bored with the scenery. This may seem a strange thing to say, but it has happened before with repeated scenery, I have said before that “I am beached out