Today’s hop was also relatively short – just 377 km. Still, time enough to regale the family with tales of my 1979 crossing (1000 km a day in an un-air conditioned Ford Falcon wagon, with a canvas water bag our only cool water don’t-cha-know), and also my great-grandfather, who crossed in 1932 in an Austin 7 (citation required here dad…). The pleasant surprise for the entire crossing was a steady tail wind – completely contrary to all advice from naysayers and Big Lappers alike ‘Oh, you have to travel anti-clockwise because of the trade winds – the extra fuel consumption will kill you’. I’m guessing it was the anti-cyclonic high in response to the low pressure cyclone battering Yepoon. Leviathan gears meshing in the clouds to blow us along. Anyhoo, we had great weather and a wonderful run across the rest of the Nullarbor (which Kris though was a bit of an anti-climax – K: only because I didn’t find it all that arduous – it’s pretty interesting actually, hardly any traffic and lots of vegetation changes).
We stopped at all the view points to soak in the incredible majesty of the Bunda Cliffs, otherwise known as The great Australian Bight – I can now stop dreaming of the boys falling off the edge!
At the last dramatic view-point, we were gazing at the awesome spectacle of the cliffs and watching a large pod of dolphins heard a school of fish far below when a German girl with a bongo camper van approached and timidly asked “I see you have a fuel can on your roof, can we buy some petrol? Our fuel light is on”, “Sorry love, it’s diesel”. Anyway, we did the right thing and got them to slip-stream close behind us at 80 kph into the next fuel stop at Border Village. They must have been running on vapours. When they were filling up, I asked “I wonder how much your tank will hold?”, Unbelievably she said “Oh no, fuel is too expensive here, we’re only putting in enough to get to the next fuel station”. I guess there’s no helping some people.
We picked up our ‘crossing the Nullarbor’ certificates for the boys, breezed through the WA Quarantine Station without drama and continued 13kms west to Eucla. The main attraction being the old sandstone telegraph station, abandoned in the early 1900’s and gradually being swallowed by the sand dunes.
We then headed to our next free-camp, a shaded but dusty spot called Moodini Bluff, 553 km east of Norseman.