The road connecting Adelaide and Perth is long, straight and monotonous. We were joining it at Norseman some 1986km west of Adelaide. The aim was to get as many kilometres under our belt as we could on day one and, with the destination that night likely to be a roadside camp, we didn’t want to arrive too early.
We were on the road by 8am, after stopping for a very average coffee. However, our first stint wasn’t to be very long. 65kms north of Esperance we were waved down, someone else was in need of the Lindsay recovery service. Without our trusty side kick Ginie we were one man down but reckoned we were up to the job. A small Mitsubishi camper had spluttered to a stop at the roadside. Unable to get a mobile signal they were stuck. We tried a jump start but no luck, checking my phone again there was the flicker of a signal, too weak for a phone call, until you stood on top of our trailer.
Road recovery was called, hands were shaken and we were on our way again. Not as exciting as our last rescue but in a day that was to be 765kms long with nothing to see but scrubby bush and the occasional bird it was the highlight.
As we approached the WA/SA border I got to thinking about the size of the state we were about to leave. Our WA journey started on the 23rd of September some 3000kms north as the crow flies. The weather, landscape, agriculture, population densities and accessibility was so different from the north to the south that you wonder how a state of this size and these contrasts can be governed as one.
Then we crossed into the, previously unknown to us, central western time zone, 45mins different from the rest of WA.
A little research later we discovered that this is an unofficial time zone adhered to by a small area of far east WA and one roadhouse in South Australia, encompassing a total population of 200 not including the 50 odd campers at the Medina Bluff roadside camp for the night.
Photo Source: Wikipedia Nullarbor entry
Day two of our Nullarbor drive and the landscape started to live up to its name. Nullarbor is Latin for treeless and all around us there was nothing but low lying scrub for miles. Below ground the plain is far more interesting. It is the largest single piece of limestone in the world at around 200000 sq kms with a net work of underground caves. Cave divers venture 90 metres below ground to explore the cavernous passages of crystal clear water.
No we didn’t try out diving. Photo Source: Australian Geographic
Driving across you would never know the caves existed. Apart from a quick stop to take in the sea view where the road comes close to the bight we just kept on driving. 650kms later (1415km in total over two days) buildings, cars and people became more frequent sights. It felt like we were completing a marathon and I half expected there to be a red ribbon finish line and cheering crowds. Instead there was a guy in high vis vest who wanted to check our fridge for fruit and veg.