The highlight of today is reaching the Great Western Woodlands. According to Wikipedia the Great Western Woodlands ‘is the largest and healthiest temperate (Mediterranean climate) woodland remaining on Earth. It covers 16,000,00 hecatares, a region larger in size than England.’ Travelling on Great Eastern Highway we saw some smallish regions of the typical salmon coloured gums, but turning south towards Norseman the trees and shrubs became much more abundant and lush.
I took some video, but also made sure I took lots of photos today. As video takes a while to process I’ll just include the photos for now.
On Great Eastern Highway we noticed that they have added lots and lots of passing lanes, with some having passing lanes on both sides, so that you are actually on a four lane highway for 2 – 3 kms. Of course, when vehicles needed to pass us, it usually wasn’t where there were passing lanes, but the road is straight enough in sections for passing on the other lane to be quite safe.
We had a cold night, I estimate 5 -8 degrees, but forgot to check inside the van before putting the heater on this morning. The good thing was being able to use our winter doona. Either the cold or tiredness meant that I slept through the night, the first time since we started the process of getting Mum into Regis Greenmount. I was in a pattern of waking up at 3.30 a.m. and not getting back to sleep and that becomes difficult to break.
Our plan was to stay at or near Coolgardie tonight, then travel to Norseman tomorrow. But we felt quite energetic, and Coolgardie is not that wonderful – a bit neglected looking – so we had lunch at a roadhouse and continued on our way. We were looking for the perfect rest stop to have some fruit and and a rest, and ended up finding such a spot, not an official rest stop, but off the road and within a very pretty part of the Woodlands.
From there, we felt we could make it to Widgeimooltha by about 4.00 p.m. And, that is where we are staying the night. The reason to stay overnight at Norseman was to do some shopping, washing and fill up with water. But, the roadhouse here at W. has water and it is only about 200 kms to Fraser Range Station from here, so the revised plan is to fill up with water here, do some shopping in Norseman (not a lot since we brought so much food from home), and go on to Fraser Range Station where we could possibly stay two nights and get some washing done. Fraser Range Station was a place we wanted to stay last time, but it didn’t fit our schedule.