Theaussiechallenge Post # 83 West of Caiguna
Day 104 37 days to go. Distance today 108km total 8407km. It’s 7pm Friday 19/10/2012 Rest Area 39km west of Caiguna. The Ninety Mile Straight is so barren but there’s a beauty here that’s unique and captivating. It’s like a wildness, remote and raw and I truly feel in a real wilderness pocket of Australia. This morning we packed up early but then got chatting to the folk at the rest area. Heather and Bob are traveling around Australia with Heather’s 90 year old Mum Daphne, treating her to the treasures of Australia and she’s all smiles and loving the adventure so clearly, they all are. They have traveled many times around Australia and to share the experience with their Mum now is so special for them. Daphne’s collecting wild flowers and pressing them is her book as a keep’s sake. She’s also hot a map out Australia and marking their travels along the way. She was so excited showing me the map and her favorite spots. Gorgeous woman!!!! They’re very endearing folk and it was an awesome way to start the day. We got some pickies with Rube and they donated $20, before waving us off with safe travel wishes into our day.
Despite being sparse and flat the small birdlife was abundant and busy in the low lying shrubbery. The parties of ‘tweet tweets’ were cheeky at their noisy best and kept us amused along the early morning straight kms. There was a strong inland wind from the side that grew through the morning. It was blowing the strongest bushland scents that had an aroma I wanted to bottle. So instead we savored the atmosphere and chipped away at the 90 miles having a lolly and water stop every 10 km road marking. The wind did its huge turnaround at 2.30pm and smacked us like a wall with a south easterly. We put our head down and were aiming for Chiaguna when we came across this rest area at the 108km mark awesome!!!! I’ve been talking to a couple who travel the Nullabor each year and they said the trick is to start early before ‘whatever’ wind picks up mid afternoon. So no more snooze buttons for the next days and we’ll aim to be on the road by 6am eeeeek but worth the effort as the wind is quite wicked. These folk love the Nullabor and were sharing their stories with me all wide eyed and full of ‘wows.’ The stretch over the border which hugs the Bite sounds so amazing for its views of the cliffs and ocean. Apparently the blues are something to be seen in the change of depths off the coast. It’s a nursery ground for the Southern write whale and there are still 3 pods with babies in the shallow waters. The nursery provides a natural shelter for the babies until they get big enough to venture out with the pod into the deeper ocean. It’s later in the season now and in September it’s not unusual to see 30 or more whales in the shallows. Can’t wait to see the spectacle but that’s still a few days away with lots of road to cover to Eucia and Border Town.
We set up camp in the later afternoon and I found a posy behind a bunch of shrubs that’s well protected from the wind. Buddy’s facing the west and I sat for an hour enjoying a cuppa over sunset with the racing streaks of cloud turn pinks and orange over sunset. It was stunning as is the starry night and crescent moon now this evening. I’m loving the Nullabor and totally get why folk travel here for its special flavor. There’s another couple of campers here who I scored some water off this arv and they also treated me to a fresh homemade scone and butter. That’s for desert tonight and sounds pretty yum. On that note it’s time for dinner and early zzzz’s for an earlier start in the morn. Cash donations $2335. Talk soon x
PS Are there any downsides. Of course!!!! My bits at the business end of things are chaffed and raw from the cheapy seat. Thank goodness for butt cream and paw paw ointment. I eat mor flies during the day and bugs at night than I care to think about. The headwind is right up there with going to the dentist and ants get into everything. Then I turn off my head torch and enjoy the rest of my cuppa in the dark of the Nullabor with the wind blowing over the bushes filled with crickets rubbing their sexy legs. The crescent moon is laying on a bed of small cloud under a blanket of stars. Is it worth the discomforts? Hell bloody yes!!! That’s one of the reasons I love posting each night; to remember all the little things big that bundle up to another day of magic. I’m happy.