Day two

Day two began at a leisurely pace with what is probably the shortest journey on our long trek. We set off on the Coolgardie-Esperance Highway on the road for Norseman – the start of the Nullarbor adventure. Got there at 11.30am having set out at 9.30am. Stopped for what should have been a short coffee break but ended up being a two-hour farce. The coffee machine we were given with our new Waeco fridge – which fits nicely in the back of the 4wd I have to say – took too much power – it seems – from the cigarette lighter where it is plugged in. So panicky old me, thinking that we would not be able to charge anything, headed for the local garage. Now I am not saying the blokes in the local auto repair shop were useless – far from it – I could not have laid on my back for 2 hours with flies buzzing around every orifice trying to check fuses. But suffice to say they could not find a problem.

at the garage at Norseman

We decided to head off knowing we would have to fix the problem in Port Augusta when we reach a big town again. No worries, we thought, we would charge everything at camp when we stop tonight. Where that stop was going to be we were unsure at this stage. I foolishly imagined every on the map across the Nullarbor was a small town. How wrong could I be!!! In fact, for those yet to make the trip, let me warn you that places such as Balladonia – where pieces of Skylab fell to Earth in 1979 – Caiguna and Cocklebiddy are just that – places.

the piece of skylab which fell to Earth near Balladonia

No towns just roadhouses. We eventually made it to Cocklebiddy about 6pm. It was a day of great driving as we reached the 90 mile straight road, which is Australia’s longest straight road, earlier than I expected. I had gone down the same road 21 years previously but Joy was about to experience it for the first time. It was as amazing as I remembered it, although this time we did it in daylight and not on the Greyhound bus. A straight road means you can put your foot down and how and we made up for lost time. Cocklebiddy was a strange place and the woman at the roadhouse said we could pitch our tent for $25. How she expected us to hammer spikes in into concrete-like ground I don’t know. Maybe it was a ploy to get us to pay the extra $90 – yes that’s right – to stay in their crummy motel!! However we had a great feed and a good sleep ready for day three.

this sign was outside the roadhouse in Cocklebiddy


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