Week 6: Crossing the Nullarbor

 

A Stowaway

Crossing the Nullarbor, we would keep it very simple and take very little stuff out, so we could get back on the road as quickly as possible in the morning. We only took out the small tent-Stella wants no part of sleeping in the Troopy by herself. Geoff built a nice “bed” platform at Lucky Bay, so I decided to see if its something I can sleep on and not feel like I’m in a coffin. It’s actually quite nice. As soon as it gets dark and quiet…I a hear a rustling noise and a crinkle of a package. Ahhh…we have a stowaway, and I hope it’s not a big one! I’m so tired, I just believe it’s not going to get me and go back to sleep being woken every now and again by rustling and ruffling noises.

We hop back on the road in the morning, and I report my findings to Geoff in hopes he can find it. The next night….I cop the Troopy while Geoff and Stella are in the tent. It all starts again….lights out…very quiet and then the rustling noise starts in the front and moves back towards me. I’m tired again but the noise gets louder so I think I need to try and do something. What?? I’m not certain of….I’m now thinking it’s pretty large as the Troopy is slightly “swaying” as it moves. I now think its a possum or bird and hoping it’s not a wombat. I start making things up in my head….something is going to chew my face off??? I now am really tired and just go back to sleep on and off throughout the night.

I wake up the next morning….feeling like I got hit by a bus from a sleepless night! I report my findings to Geoff…”it’s big Geoff…the Troopy moves when it moves. I’m not sleeping in the Troopy anymore until it’s gone. He chuckles and says, “no way can it be big Robin; it was windy last night, so the Troopy moved with the wind.” I’m slightly at ease with his theory, but I’m not sleeping in the Troopy until it’s gone.

Geoff searches the Troopy to find it’s definitely a mouse as there are dropping. Quite uncertain of where we picked it up? Stewart Little packed all his things thinking he was going to hitch a ride to the East Coast to see relatives or a long lost friend. This stowaway Stewart needs to go, but finding it seems almost impossible. The next grocery store, I advise Geoff to buy 6 mice traps and just set them all out with peanut butter, so we can get it quickly. He laughs…”I think you’re being a little excessive…American.” Suit yourself laid back Aussie…I like the odds better with 6! The next night he sets two traps with peanut butter. Mouse:2 Geoff 0. The mouse had cleverly licked both traps clean of the peanut butter but never set the trap off. Geoff then realises it’s a very small mouse. I have a little fun and ask …ready to switch to 6 traps yet? He laughs…Nope…I’m setting it more sensitive tonight. Second night….Stewart: 2 Geoff 1.
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Goat Tracks ?

Just before heading off the Nullabor, we decide to venture down a camel track to edge of the cliff. We follow the dog fence 10 K’s from the Eyre highway; there’s nothing around you but wide open space as far as the eye can see. We finally get to the bluff’s edge. Wow! It’s a long ways down, but boy the cliffs are gorgeous. Typically during whale season you can see the whales at the bottom of the cliff swimming with their calves, but it is not whale migration season now (June-Oct.) Nonetheless, a great little off the beaten track road and worth the effort.

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Ceduna

It takes us 4 days to cross the Nullabor and the first town is Ceduna. Streaky Bay was still some 40 minutes drive from Ceduna, but we were tired of the hassle and wanted a rest after being on the Nullabor. We ended up staying at Ceduna for 3 nights catching up on all things we’ve neglected for 4 days. Most importantly…a hot shower!

As I’m walking out of the bathhouse…a friendly man, Mick, says “Do you think you can fit anything else in your Troopy.” I laugh and respond……”phft, You should have seen it bbbefore we donated heaps to the salvos.” The Troopy is a great conversation piece. Everyone talks about the Troopy and how it is the go to vehicle to be doing what we are doing. Most always, people follow up with “You can go anywhere in that vehicle and it won’t get you stuck.” After being bogged, she proved to pull herself out and some of the things we’ve pushed her to do… I think she’s got more capability then what we realise. I do still hold my breath when going through 2 feet of water, and we are on our 3rd flat tire as we are doing heaps of 4×4 roads and remote driving. Nonetheless, she’s never let us down, and has pulled us out of some hairy spots. We are suppose to be selling Troopy after our journey, but unless we are desolate, I don’t see that happening as I see a whole new channel of life that just opened up for our boys as well as school holiday trips with Stella.

It is very common to meet people doing the same thing, but most are heading West and we are heading East. Having just come across the Nullarbor, it’s very popular to bring out the maps and share routes, drives, gas prices, free places to stay and great eateries etc. We skipped into town to get some provisions for the evening and Grill with Mick and his wife Miranda to have a very nice meal and chin wag. Miranda went all out with real glasses and a set table with evening lighting. Showers, fresh food, a great meal and excellent company….what more can one ask for after 4 days on the Nullarbor???

To top it off, a great find was an Oyster Barn shack right off the side of the road of Ceduna. If you’re into to Oysters, these were the best I’d ever had! Even Stella tried the grilled and fried oysters but wasn’t game enough for the raw ones. She liked the fried better than the grilled- pretty adventurous tastebuds for an 8 year old!

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Pointe LaBatt and Streaky Bay

Streaky Bay was a a wonderful little spot much better than Ceduna. Very clean and and green. Camping was right on the Bay. Just outside of Streaky Bay was Point LaBatt- The largest Australian Sea Lion breeding grounds. When Geoff went around Australia with his folks, he had a picture hoping to return to the exact same spot some 40+ years later. Now how good would it be if the sea lions were there too and on the same rock!

Unfortunately, 40 years ago in the photo, there appears to be a path to hike down the cliff to get close to the sea lions, but today, one just views from the platform above. The good news is the Sea Lions were there and the rock was definitely there and the tides were just right to snap a photo.

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Gawler National Park

We got wind that it was a must to see the “organ pipes” at Gawler National Park, so we took a day’s detour into the hills to see the ancient organ pipes. It’s a bit of trek back with some rough tracks to get back. Having had 3 flats in 10 days, we’re a little concerned about the topography. We find the trail to the organ pipes and find there are wild goats climbing the rocks parallel and kangaroos hopping around. Interesting enough the kangaroos are a different colour, grey, in South Australia instead of the more Redish in colour. The organ pipes were very peaceful and ancient nestled amongst the walls of the cliffs. My mind wondered to something of the Lord of the rings type scenery or perhaps prehistoric times where giant dinosaurs roamed around these parts of the woods ages ago. The rain was coming and dusk was approaching, so we found ourselves camping at the head of the trailhead. Unfortunately, Geoff had his 4th flat tire to change in the park at night. I’m beginning to think these split rims are not a good call as each tire has been changed except. Each time, it’s the tube and not the tire. Apparently, Rocks creep themselves into the rim and wear a spot in the tube. I’m afraid new tires and rims are on the list when we get to Adelaide. I’m really happy two children are off our “pay roll” as I have a sneaky feeling it’s going to cost a fortune in Adelaide for the Troopy improvements.

{Thank you Mick and Miranda for hosting a wonderful “glamping” dinner and your recommendation of Gawler National Park. We are off to the Koala sanctuary next! ?. Thank you Mark for the “goat tracks” adventure.It was a Gem.}

7 thoughts on “Week 6: Crossing the Nullarbor

  1. Where are the photos ??! I’m certain my brain isn’t able to come up with the beauty that you are viewing! I sure love reading your words and am imagining me and my family following along in our own troopy! Wouldn’t that be marvelous?!?! Miss you! xoxo

    • Hi Hope! Great to see you’re still following! ? Yes, we are behind on photos. We were a bit remote for several days which proved to put me behind on IT. Always check back as I have a few to release today for weeks 5 & 6. I love making the videos too…a picture IS worth a 1000 words and a video makes you feel right there! Miss you!!! Xoxo~r

  2. Hi Robin, Geoff and Stella,

    It’s Mick here I snaked Miranda’s phone and read your magnificent post. Really sorry about the flats you keep having Geoff hope it’s the last of them for awhile. Your adventures are truly sensational and I’m sure they will continue to be so. Can’t wait to see a photo of the updates on the troopie when you get an opportunity to send one. This adventure is something that all 3 of you will treasure for a lifetime and we are so pleased that we could share s small part of it with you lots of love ❤️ M&M. Ps look forward to seeing you in Ocean Shores.

    • Hi Mick. Great to find you here! We are all doing well and so far so good with no more flats. We made it to Adelaide and Troopy did get a facelift. I can’t wwwwait to write and show Troopy now!! She’s stunning and way mmmmore comfortable!! Safe travels to you two as well. Tell Miranda, we still have lavender oil in Troopy and the coil under our seats to protect us from taking in too much IT. =) Hugs and love to both of you! ? ~r

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