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.

Travels with the Winnie: Day 86

Streaky Bay to Penong

It was cloudy this morning at Streaky Bay, so not as difficult to leave as it might have been. We enjoyed the beautiful amenities one more time, I even did another load of washing in the splendid laundry.

We stopped at Ceduna for lunch, shopping and refuelling the Winnie. Ceduna has a very good Foodland store, which is fortunately open on Sundays. We had our lunch on the foreshore. This is a last opportunity to shop at a big supermarket before the gap until we reach Norseman. We decided to buy ingrediants to do a pressure cooker meal, lots of vegetables and chorizo sausages. It has worked out reasonably well, but I put too much water in and it has turned into a soup rather than stew.

It was around 3.00 before we left Ceduna and we aimed for the caravan park at Penong because we would need electricity and internet – it’s Sunday – time to talk with Matthew.

There were wildflowers on the way. We don’t know the name of the flower in the featured image, but it is very interesting in a closeup (taken with my iPhone).

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you know when you are in SA when you see these cuddly litter bins
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We don’t remember this Windmill Museum just opposite the caravan park
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The caravan park also features a windmill.

This caravan park isn’t fancy looking, but the facilities are very clean and two years ago I was amazed by the new front loading washing machines. They look just the same as the ones at our very upmarket Streaky Bay Islands Caravan Park. Well done Penong Caravan Park for putting effort into good facilities.

As it was low season at the beach in Streaky Bay we only paid $30 a night there. It is $27 a night here at Penong. Apart from being able to cook enough food to last for a few nights and talking to Matt on Facetime, we were glad to be able to use our air conditioner on the fan only setting to bring cool air into the van. Rain is threatening, but not happening, and we found it quite oppressive until after sunset when the temperature has gone down quite a lot.

We hope to have a good night’s sleep and make it to Head of Bight for tomorrow night. We can free camp there, then check on whether the whales are running the next morning. Nullabour Roadhouse is fairly close to Head of Bight and I’ve read on Wikicamps that we can fill our water tank there – we have to pay for the water, but it’s not very expensive.

I was using Geowiki ¬†exclusively for the first weeks of our trip, but I find Wikicamps is much better for giving information on where we can free camp and where we can get water. We don’t mind paying for the water – it’s still inexpensive compared with buying water in supermarkets.

Travels with the Winnie: Day 85

Streaky Bay – a day of sunshine

We woke up to sunshine this morning. I switched off the alarm last night and we slept in until 7.00 a.m. It was clearly the right day to have a rest and enjoy our surroundings. We read our books, went for walks and explored our caravan park, wondering at the attention to detail and, basically, how much it must have cost to set it up. There are no solar panels, unfortunately, though the airconditioning provided in the buildings is evaporative, which would save on electricity and probably works well enough in summer here.

There has been major investment in the water management. They have their own desalination system and waste water recycling for reticulating all the new trees and bushes. In a few years the caravan sites will have some shade and privacy, hopefully without interrupting the views to the ocean.

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As well as the five tanks visible in this photo there are several tanks at ground level, which I think must store the waste water
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we found this flower at the beach
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and these ones on our walk earlier in the day
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the Red Capped Wanderer on a late afternoon walk along the beach
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the bay is very protected from the open sea, with small waves

We had pancakes for breakfast this morning, our usual cheese sandwiches and fruit for lunch, and leftovers for tea with some lovely fresh bread from Ceduna. The Ceduna bakery delivers the bread to the caravan park, whereas the Streaky Bay Bakery doesn’t deliver, so that is why it comes from 100 kms away.

We often use our own bathroom for having washes when we are travelling, but we can’t resist the beautiful facilities here at the park, so have been going out for our showers. The walks to and from are very chilly. Although it was sunny today the overnight temperature was about 6 degrees and I think it got to about 22 degrees during today.

Travels with the Winnie: Day 84

Kimba to Streaky Bay

We arrived at Streaky Bay at about 3.30 p.m. this afternoon. After a bit of time on the foreshore in town we made our way to Streaky Bay Little Islands Caravan Park. We are very impressed. It is well laid out and appears to try to give everyone a view of the ocean. At the moment there are lots of free bays and we chose one away from other vans to maximise our views. All of the facilities are lovely, a beautiful campers kitchen that is like the family room of a house, all of the showers are private ensuite style (shower, toilet, basin) that would look good in any house, and the laundry even has laundry baskets and trolleys. The front loading washing machines are all new.

Of course, we didn’t just come here for the facilities, but to touch base with the ocean again after spending so long inland. We also have fond memories from our trip two years ago when we met up with Eversley. She had gone ahead of us after visiting the Eyre Bird Observatory together and arrived the day before us.

We have only booked for tonight, but may be staying another night as well.

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Where Eversley stayed.
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Foreshore of the town with clouds. The silos are in the background.

The journey here has been through lovely farmland and small towns. A highlight was morning tea at Kyancutta Cafe, where all of the biscuits and cakes were home made. We had our hot drinks and shared a pastie, plus taking some honey crackles with us to have with our lunch.

We had our lunch at the turnoff from the Eyre Highway to Streaky Bay. When we got closer to Streaky Bay we kept expecting to see the ocean over the next rise, and kept getting disappointed until, in the end, it appeared! I had forgotten that Streaky Bay is like other towns in this area with huge grain silos, which dominate everything.

When we arrived here Stephen had a bit of difficulty with connecting to the tap, but it was eventually sorted. During the afternoon clouds had been gathering and there was even some light drizzle. It still seemed threatening to rain when we were in the town, but when we arrived here at CP it turned into a mild and sunny afternoon. Of course this meant the sunset was less scenic because of the lack of clouds.

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sunset at Streaky Bay Little Islands Caravan Park