Saturday, 4 October 2008


This is incorrect Latin for "no trees".  And it is not only grammatically incorrect, but factually as well as there are some trees - enough for us to have had some really good fires actually.  I got to use my new bow saw for the first time and cutting off some dead wood as thick as my arm makes for great hot coals; we dont want to get in the tent at night as it is too nice sat around the fire.  I am writing this at the end of our Nullabor road trip, about 100kms outside of Ceduna (an Aboriginal word for "place of rest") after driving roughly 1200kms in 3 days/2 nights.  It was fun and something I was looking forward to, although I knew it would not be as adventurous as the Gibb River Road or Cape York because it is a) the main road East-West and has been sealed for some decades now, but it was fun nonetheless.

After joining the Nullabor road (Eyre Highway) at Balladonia we drove about 50kms and made camp at the first stop in our "Camps 4" book (our invaluable camp ground atlas) on this Western end of the Nullabor, an camp area called "42k Pegs" for some reason.  We had no fire here as there wasn't much wood around, we also had to push past some annoying grey nomads who had parked their massive caravan and then their camp chairs across a pathway to the back of the camp area where we were aiming for and that had much more privacy (something that doesnt matter when you are in a caravan, but when you live in a tent you appreciate not having to worry about who is looking for certain activities!).  The weather was a bit iffy, slightly cold too, so we watched "Indiana Jones - The Last Crusade" on the laptop.  Most enjoyable.


The next day we hammered it for around 500kms on tarmac all the way.  It was...well...boring, but enjoyable as it is the Nullabor!  At some stages we had cruise control on and you could put your feet up on the dash - driver and passenger that is.  This is the straightest stretch of road in Australia and possibly the world at 90 miles (or 146.6kms) so there isnt much to worry about in terms of cornering. 


And Em reckoned if you can't overtake someone here then you are in trouble.  Camp that night was at a top spot way back from the road (we could barely hear the road trains), lots of wood for an roaring fire, and we could hear the sound of the Great Australian Bight crashing in at the beach and dunes 80 metres below us.  Em cracked open a bottle of wine (we've been drinking cask wine, so this was a bit of a treat!) and we drank a bit much.  It was a bit cold overnight and in the morning, but we hung around and made another top fire for a few cups of tea in the morning before starting off again...


The next leg of the journey we decided to head inland a bit away from the coast and I am glad we did as it broke up the boredom of the tarmac; we drove 16kms North and went in search of some caves.  The Nullabor supposedly has the "longest" cave system in the world beneath it and we we intent on finding an entrance to at least one of these caves, which after Em mistakenly spotted some wombat holes, we eventually found.  Pretty impressive they were too, but not being "speliologists" we just took some photos and threw some stones down to listen to how deep they were.  Deep.  We then carried on East along the Old Eyre Highway which is gravel road and a bit of a change from the new highway where we saw one mangy old fox in the morning - we saw two dingoes, a feral rottweiler (short tailed and black) type dog, four camels, a brown snake, numerous lizards, lots of ruin and abandoned buildings/water tanks and a grave!  None of the historic stuff was marked on the map or had plaques to tell you what it was which was a shame as it is National Park, it's just nobody cares about it as everybody is driving on the other road and looking at the sea I guess.  Anyway we made it another 500kms today, after the dirt road, to a camp area called Cohens, which is a bit closer to the road than we'd like, but we have had a top fire and a few beers and are now keeping warm in the tent under the clear outback sky.  I am pretty sure there is a planet visible above the moon tonight, it's reddish/orange and might be Mars, Jupiter or Saturn but I cant be sure!  Also the Milky Way is clearly visible.  I love these outback skies where you can clearly see everything you are supposed to be able to see at night...




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