The most exciting part of the 450 km drive today (a daily distance record for us) was to be the 90 mile straight ‘Australia’s Longest Section of Straight Road’ – you can see what our lives have become! We got away early as the temperature climbed towards 40, and massaged Betsy’s speed to ensure the air conditioning wouldn’t cut out again.
At a rest stop along the 90 mile straight, we met a Japanese cyclist who had started in Sydney. We gave him some cold water and chocolate biscuits. However, the seed was set, he reminded me of an idea I had to ride a section of the Nullarbor, but the favour we did for the fuel-less tourists yesterday curtailed that opportunity. So as the temperature peaked at 44 C, I unloaded the pushie, donned a high visibility vest, had a drink, grabbed a bite and hit the road. I took a UHF radio and a water bottle and told Kris to pick me up “when you finish lunch”. Whilst I was only alone for about 40 minutes, and only clocked up about 13 km, the sensation was marvellous and absolutely invigorating. I could smell carrion pretty much the whole way, and tragically, spotted two dead wedge tailed eagles along the road.
It’s apparently a real problem out here, because they’re so large and take so long to take flight, they easily get hit by vehicles, more often than not leaving chicks to die in the nest. The amount of rubbish (mainly beer and pre-mix alcohol bottles) along the road was also disappointing. Some travellers are just grubs. Another advantage with a dead straight road was being able to see the cars, caravans and road trains coming, typically up to 10 km away. Plenty of time to get off the road and onto the wide shoulder before they thundered past.
We arrived at Fraser Range Sheep Station by mid afternoon. We unpacked whilst the boys played in the sandpit, then we all wandered past mobs of kangaroos up to a local lookout to watch the spectacular sunset. An off-hand chat with a rather grumpy old traveling salesman resulted in news that the next weekend was a long one in WA (labor day). This changed our plans, curtailing our second night at Fraser Range, and reducing our stay in Esperance in an effort to get a spot at the very popular Lucky Bay at Cape Le Grand NP before the long weekend traffic. So, with the 4G modem balanced high up in the van sunroof, we booked in at an Esperance caravan park and started to draw up a plan of what needed to be done tomorrow if we wanted to get to Lucky Bay.