Eucla

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.

Eucla-More on the cliffs

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.

Eucla, WA at last

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.

Nullarbor Roadhouse

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?, I guess he just doesn’t appreciate the country for what it actually is.

Now that I am rested I have had a little walk around taking a few pics and looking at the scenery, and noted that this area is very similar to the Hay Plains, being very flat and sparse of trees, but the Nullarbor is covered with Saltbush while the Hay Plains is covered with grass.

For those that might be interested it should be noted that for the next week or so we will be, at times, in areas of no mobile coverage. We have coverage here, and will have at Eucla, our next stop, but from then on there will be no coverage for a week or so until we reach Norseman.

Nullarbor Plains

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.