This Saturday morning I’ll be out of bed bright and early to load Vincent up with a few basic travel essentials (toothbrush, soap, warm clothing, light clothing, pillow, doona, towels, sunscreen, insect repellant, poetry, fiction, philosophy, dictionary, journal, guitar, camera, loads of water, tinned fish, muesli bars, and that should about do it) and strike out for the Nullarbor. It’s an exciting prospect. The furthest west I have driven from Sydney was a little north of Adelaide–Port Parham Camping Reserve on the water’s edge of St Vincent Gulf–and that was via the coasts of Victoria and South Australia. Four months I spent on that particular trip back in 2011. This time I have just 3 weeks up my sleeve, so getting to the Nullarbor will require a more direct route. There’s 2000 km to cover just to get to the starting point at Ceduna SA, and another 1200 km across the iconic treeless stretch to the finish line at Norseman WA.
To be honest, I will probably turn back long before I reach Norseman. I like to take my time and explore the towns and back roads as I go; settle down somewhere comfy about 3 or 4 in the arvo and soak up the atmosphere, watch the local wildlife go by, read by the car roof light until I snooze off. I might be better off turning north at Port Augusta for the Flinders Ranges, or south through Port Lincoln and back up through Elliston to Ceduna. That seems more relaxed and sensible at the moment, but we’ll see how it goes.
Thanks to everyone who has read and commented throughout the year, and for all of the wonderful works of your own that I’ve enjoyed so much. Wishing you all a safe, pleasant Christmas, and a productive, inspiring new year. See you there!
Lateral Carpooling thought for time poor long distance road enthusiasts: driver from Perth meets driver from Sydney at Border Village, Nullarbor Plain. Drivers swap cars, return them to owner’s garage.
Some photos from the shaded banks of Quirindi Creek at Wallabadah NSW today, teeming with life of all sorts: a rosella chick was stuck on a mangled branch in the water, its parents in a tree above looking pretty worried and warning it back from the water when it tried to wade free. I don’t know if the catfish circling it would have eaten the poor thing, but they looked big enough to make a meal of it.
Meanwhile a variety of dragonflies whizzed about, occasionally stopping on a sticking out stick to pose for each other and flaunt their stuff. A water bug of some sort spun circles in the shallow muck at the edge. I probably wouldn’t have noticed it had it not been for me watching the toe of my boot to make sure I didn’t slip in while approaching the stranded rosella for the best close-up. I briefly considered wading in to rescue the dear thing myself, but the story goes that if you touch a bird in the wild, even to save its life, the rest of its community will shun it thereafter if not actively injure it. It’s handy I suppose to know these things; it makes it easier to live with not wanting to get my feet wet.
For a small donation of $10 you can camp overnight here, behind the First Fleet Memorial Gardens at Wallabadah, south of Tamworth, beside Quirindi creek. And 2 minutes up the road you can get the best coffee outside of Italy, and the best burgers outside of Belgium. That’s what the sign says. I had a ginger beer and took the next side road away from the highway.
The distance between the puncture in the base of the red take-away coffee cup specified in the attached image–produced by impalement upon the metallic post of the ‘continuous’ fencing*–and the vertical face of the adjacent insulation panel shall not exceed 100mm.
No attachment established between the continuous fencing panel and the insulation panel shall constitute a meaningful connection.
*ESC 510: Boundary Fences; 4.10.1 Insulation Panels – General, p7 of 12. [PDF]
A stunning looker,
too rare to pass up this chance…
nice weather, innit?