Day 114 - 4th August
Streaky Bay to Caiguna
Distance Travelled - 953.6 km
My cunning plan nearly worked last night. Instead of setting up the tent I decided to sleep in my swag and to keep it dry I decided to put it on top of the table under the cover at the campsite. Due to the cold night and the condensation I have been experiencing in the tent at times I decided to leave the top of the swag open and just have the mesh cover closed to keep out any mosquitoes. I knew I would be warm enough with the sleeping bag. During the night I heard the rain come through and pound the shelter but didn't wake properly knowing I was safe under the shelter.
Woke up this morning and discovered that I had fallen victim to either poor workmanship or the result of corrosion thanks to nature. Apparently there are several holes in the roof of the shelter that happened to be directly over where I was laying in the swag. As a result the swag and the top of my sleeping bag were reasonably wet. Luckily none of it had penetrated through so I was still very dry and warm and the sleeping bag at least will dry quickly during the day inside the car spread out over the stuff in the back. The swag will dry out at home in front of the fire if not before.
Got up and packed up quite quickly and had breakfast and was on the move by 8 am. Drove to the turnoff to Ceduna and went just passed it to the ruins of a house I had seen yesterday. Took a few photographs and then continued on to Ceduna. Went to the info centre and posted my blog and then to the oyster shop and collected oysters for people back home. Had to wait a few minutes for the guy at the shop to come back from someplace but it wasn't long. Collected the oysters and was on my way. Drove through to Penong but could not make out the wool shed as open so kept going.
Stopped at Nundroo for a stretch and some lunch and then continued through to Eucla, after waiting 45 minutes to get through the quarantine check at the border and I was only 4 cars back when I got there. By the time I left there was about 8 cars in 2 lanes waiting to get through. They were being extremely thorough today whereas last time I came through they were quite quick and almost blase about it.
Put fuel in at Eucla and decided to make the most of the time change and keep going, reducing driving time tomorrow. Eventually stopped at a campsite about 20 km east of Caiguna. By this time sunset had occurred and the last of the light was available to set up with. Had tea and went for a walk before doing some photography of the stars and then settled in to sort photos and write the blog before going to bed.
It now looks like I will be home tomorrow after another day solid driving - about 750 km to reach Omega Street. It has been a great time away but I am in a few ways quite looking forward to being home for a while.
Last nights sleeping arrangements
Old ruins near the Streaky Bay / Ceduna turnoff
Day 115 - 5th August
Caiguna to Southern Cross
Distance travelled - 755 km
After an amazingly clear night and a chance to do some night photography I went to bed to be woken around 1 am to the sound of rain falling on the tent. It was not overly heavy but enough to know it would be a wet pack away in the morning. Tossed and turned for a while before getting back to sleep sometime after 1.30 am.
Woke at 5.45 am and stayed in bed until 6 am when I got out of the tent and began to pack away. Had everything packed away and breakfast eaten quickly as it looked like more rain was possibly on the way. It was extremely misty and cloudy and quite cold. Left the campsite just before 7 am. Drove the 22 km to Cocklebiddy where I called on for a coffee and a quick check of the tyres before heading on.
Drove through to Balledonia in very overcast and misty conditions. There was one stretch I clocked that was just over 12 km long where visibility was down to less than 100 m with thick mist and low cloud over the road. I struggled to understand why some people coming the other way did not have their lights on.
Eventually got to Balledonia and went for a walk and had a stretch before resuming the drive to Norseman. It was pretty uneventful but the closer I got to Norseman the clearer the sky became and by the time I got there a significant amount of blue sky was showing and sun was streaming through.
Grabbed fuel and lunch at Norseman before continuing on to Coolgardie where I got out and had a quick stretch and then started the last leg to Southern Cross. This section was surprisingly wet and as I entered Southern Cross it was nice to see lots of greenery, apparently the 80 or so mm of rain we have had here recently is starting to work wonders.
Rolled into town and was pleased to get a few waves from people I haven't seen for a few months. Got home and started the horrible job of unpacking before heading off to see a few people and get ready for tea and then fire brigade meeting tonight. Got home form that about 10 am and started to do the blog for today and sort photos only to find there is a problem with the Internet connection here. Will look into that tomorrow.
I will spend a week or so here before heading to Perth to get a few things done and then come home for a while, leaving again towards the end of September to go to Tassie for a month or so. I will resume my blog then.
Low cloud near Caiguna