Travels with the Winnie: Day 96

Meckering to Home Base

We arrived home at about 1.45 p.m. Safe and sound. The house seems nice, we left it fairly clean and tidy and the dust doesn’t seem to be too bad. We feel a bit disoriented. The Subaru started up first thing and Stephen has taken it for a run. He is now sorting out the mail as our mail redirection doesn’t end until the 29th.

There are lots of things to be done, but arriving home safely feels like a big achievement just at the moment. We are both thinking of other trips we would like to do, some local and the next big one – probably going around the other way – up north and then across to the Northern Territory.

But for now we need to settle in a bit and try to remember that all of the unpacking doesn’t need to be done today!

The featured photo is from the beginning of our trip, but I went across there this morning and bought a flat white to have with breakfast. It was supposed to open at 9.00 a.m., but I didn’t check the time before going and was happily served at 8.30 a.m.

Today is sunny, with a cold wind. We have really enjoyed driving down past Northam and other familiar towns through the jarrah forrest. We stopped at the bakery in Mundaring for soup and coffee and a shared cake. We stocked up on loaves and rolls which have gone straight into the freezer.


Travels with the Winnie: Day 95

North Road Parking Bay to Meckering

We had a good nights sleep and set off at about 9.15 a.m. We stopped briefly to refuel, and then to have morning tea in Kellerberin, and then lunch in Cunderdin. There is parking off the highway near the Pump museum. Stephen spent some time in the museum whilst I had a rest and then a cup of tea at the pub. We have passed this pub a few times now and I’ve taken photos of it, but this was the first time of going inside. The cup of tea was $2.00 and I was able to sit on a sofa near the fire.

Meckering is only 22 kms from Cunderdin so it was worthwhile to spend time in Cunderdin, arriving in Meckering to settle for the night. We have access to flushing toilets, a dump point and water taps. The cafe was still open when we arrived as it closes at 6. p.m., but doesn’t open until 9.00 a.m. in the mornings.

This morning, for the first time on our trip, the diesel heater has had problems. It was going for a while, then the light started flashing. We suspect that the fuel lead is blocked. Something else for our list of things for Ken Peachy to have a look at when it goes in on the 25th September. It has been such a blessing on our trip! We are glad that if it had to fail it has chosen to do so on our last morning before getting home.

We tried again after about 20 minutes and it worked perfectly. An intermittent problem?

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at North Road Parking Bay yesterday morning

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and Meckering yesterday evening

Travels with the Winnie: Day 91

Rest Area just East of Eyre Bird Observatory turnoff to Afghan Rock Camping Area

Today we went through the ’90 mile straight’ – fairly easy driving today, sunny and not too much wind. We were the last to leave our campsite this morning, but still managed reach our desired campsite. Instead of being just off the highway, we are actually on private property, close to a dam and windmill. Thanks to Wikicamps for information on this site. The comments section was very helpful about the condition of the track leading to the dam, including another motorhome owner who said it was OK taken very slowly.

We have our little circle of RVs and even though it has been dark for a couple of hours there are a group still sitting outside around a campfire. If Stephen and I wanted our own campfire we realise that we don’t have matches or any other way of lighting a fire. I am thinking of getting a small metal firepit that we can take around with us. It would mean we could have a very small and contained fire – only in season, of course.

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Our nomad village for the night. You can’t see the dam in this photo as it is smallish and rather low lying.
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Stephen exploring the rock

We had morning tea at Caiguna and lunch at the Baxter Rest Area where we stayed on our way to the East.

We are now 180 kms east of Norseman and finally back in the WA timezone.


Travels with the Winnie: Day 90

Eucla to Roadside Rest Area (just East of the Eyre Bird Observatory turnoff)

This rest area is really named Roadside Rest Area, so what can we do! I did some washing this morning in Eucla, hence all the stuff hanging around.

At Eucla, Stephen rang up and discovered that we could have 20 litres of water for free, using the tap over the trough in the laundry which has potable water. Stephen asked if we could pay for another 20 litres of water. The person gave in and said we could have 40 litres for free. Before we left home I had purchased a suitable funnel and Stephen used our water container to fill the tank. We thought it was down to one third full, but it quickly filled up, only taking about 30 litres. We set off this morning feeling great with a full tank of water and our 2 ten litre containers full as well. We have vowed to use a kettle to boil water for washing up dishes and washing ourselves rather than using the water heater, which seems to use up a great deal more water. Our present water may need to last until Norseman about 2 sleeps away.

A couple of gems from today. Quite often people have their names and or some sort of slogan on their RV which reflects their philosophy. Today’s best one was “Two shades of Grey”.

The other one was over the radio after we had been passed by a largish four wheel drive motorhome. Today was quite windy.

RV driver: “Can you please turn the wind off”

Me: “I can’t reach the switch”

RV driver: “there must be something you can do for me”

I didn’t have a comeback for that one.

Yesterday at Nullabour Roadhouse Stephen was reading a large poster about trucks and caravans sharing the road. A truck driver got into conversation with him and I joined as well. He said it was good to see RVers taking an interest in learning about living with trucks. He is West Australian and lives in Kalamunda. Memorable for having a true bass voice.

It was a lovely sunny day, and the wind wasn’t that terrible and did gradually drop as the day wore on. We had lunch at the Madura Hotel as a bit of respite.

We stopped at one campsite, but whilst it was quite lovely, we only spent a little time discussing the fact that we don’t really need the internet to have a perfect campsite, then high tailed it 25 kms down the track to this place, which has quite a good 3g signal. We were the first to arrive, and settled in despite our policy of not camping on our own. As has happened a few times, once we were here, others started to arrive, so that we have ended up with four other RVs, three of which have parked in close proximity. So, we have a little community of 10 Shades of Grey.



Travels with the Winnie: Day 89

Rest Stop 164k Peg, SA to Eucla, WA

We had a fairly unevental day of driving after a peaceful night. It became more and more windy, but was sunny and bright, which helped. The road is very good, which really helps and, of course, in these wide open spaces it is very easy for other vehicles to pass us.

At Border Village we chucked a couple of items, an onion and lemon that I had picked up at Penong. In the laundry at Penong there is usually a pile of vegetables/fruit discarded by travellers who will be going through the quarantine check for SA. The WA quarantine check is at the border. I’d forgotten about honey – and we had to give them a container that was mostly used and a full, unopened one. Rats! I felt a bit like the King, nobody my darling could call me a fussy woman, but I do like a little bit of creamed honey with my toast! It will have to be marmalade instead.

Eucla is beautiful of course and we have camped in a spot overlooking the ocean. Whereas we normally like to be as level as possible we have accepted quite a slope because it means we have an uninterupted view. So, we go up to the bathroom and bed and down to the living area, it can be a bit disorienting.

On the way here we stopped off at one of the photo opportunities to view the cliffs. It was better actually being there. The featured image shows the coastal heathland and pathway to the viewing spot. I tried to get the horizon level, but it really wants to tilt!

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This was the view. A lovely clear day.
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view zoomed in a bit

We are still enjoying meals from our last cookup and will have the last one tonight.


Travels with the Winnie: Day 88

Head of Bight to Rest Stop 164k Peg, SA

After a peaceful night we headed down to the kiosk to buy our tickets to see whales. There were about 10 or so mums and bubs this time, our best whale watching yet. Unfortunately there was a lot of rain and wind, so eventually we were driven back to the warmth of the cafe. The featured image shows the special whale watching in the rain and wind Recovery Kit, hot chocolate and scones with jam and cream. It works wonders!

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mum and bub

We drove to the Nullabour Roadhouse about 14 kms away where we filled up with petrol and water. The water tap has probably always been there, but I found out about it from Wikicamps. It was still raining.

We drove to this Rest Stop which is about 35kms from the roadhouse. After having lunch we had a little rest. It was still raining. Stephen suggested that we move to the next rest area, just to move along a little bit, but I felt that driving through the rain to a RA without any internet at all wasn’t really worth it. We can reach Eucla tomorrow from here and the forecast said the rain would clear.

There was a caravan here when we arrived, but it left. Shortly afterwards a motorhome and caravan came in and parked close to each other to make a windbreak. They have a fire in the middle. Not long after three caravans came in and did a similar thing of parking in a circle. Another caravan drove down the road to find a parking spot out of sight. We are glad to have people near to us and glad that they made that decision, so we can’t be accused of crowding them. We took a walk just before sunset and found the camping area is very large, with lots of roads and campsites, marked by little rings of stones for fireplaces.

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Stephen and Winnie

It became very windy as the skies cleared, but there is now more of a breeze. We look forward to having a peaceful night here.


Travels with the Winnie: Day 87

Penong to Head of Bight

Today has just been a day of travel, arriving here at Head of Bight at about 3.00 p.m. We had a few stops along the way enjoying the green farmland and bush of mallee and smokebush. The Nullabour Roadhouse, just down the road from Head of Bight, likes to paint itself as being very remote, but the bush only stops a few kilometres from here and most people could easily get from Ceduna to here in a day. Anyway, it’s their story.

We have parked here because we want to have another go at visiting the whale watching centre. Stephen rang up this morning and they said they have up to 100 whales in the bay, though they can’t promise us that we will see that many. There is rain forecast tomorrow which could make getting down to the viewing platforms a bit interesting (wet). There was light rain last night at Penong and today has been cloudy with very light rain at times. The temperature is quite mild, however.

We are camped at the place on the road out to the whale watching centre where we camped on our way East. We were the first to arrive, then three other motorhomes came. Later, after this photo was taken, a caravan with a family of two adults and three children arrived. The building in the photo is locked up, there are no facilities here and all vehicles are supposed to be fully self contained. Last time we were here there were people sleeping in a car – perhaps they felt fully self contained!

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Motorhomes at the Head of Bight camping area
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The gate is shut at the moment and doesn’t open until 8.00 a.m.

For tea tonight we enjoyed one of our meals cooked yesterday in the electric pressure cooker, with added mushrooms, bacon and green beans, followed by fresh fruit and chocolate. We are being a bit careful with the water, but I’ve been reading on Wikicamps that we can get access to water ($1.00 for 20 litres) at Nullabour Roadhouse and our plan is to fill up on fuel and water there.

The cloud cover meant that we didn’t get much of a display at sunset.

We have phone/internet access here and have our books to read. We went for a short walk down the road.