Monday, 2 May 2011

Across the Nullabor!

20th April
So today we made our way to Port Augusta, we arrived at about 4 and  didn’t leave the camp site, after a quick spag bog for tea we tucked the kids in bed nice and early and got organized for the next day. We aim to get to ceduna tomorrow which is 500 km away so  a long day of driving for the kids. We have learnt to ensure that there is always snacks in the car as we headed off this morning and had left the picnic bag in the camper …. unhappy kids for the next few hours. I must admit that the thought of staying here tonight is not too appealing, we are locked into the caravan park after 9.30pm and it feels a little strange to have 10ft fences around the parameter. The caravan park is basic, lots of dirt and concrete……I ma just waiting for the resort style caravan parks in queensland with beautiful pools and pool boys bringing you drinks, servicing your every need….oops sorry was off in a little dream world…..

Oh the other thing I am impressed by is that so far there has not been one mozzie bite I am sooo happy, I am just waiting for the blood sucking varmins to find the Watson girls whose blood seems so inviting for them.

21st  April
Port Augusta to Ceduna was a great drive. We stopped mid morning at Kimba to see the big galah, mikie most certainly enjoyed ‘frockin’ up for the event. A special mention to Prue for the ‘loan’ of the dress, I thought she would enjoy knowing it was sharing this special journey with us…and who knows what mischief the dress will get up too….or should I say the people in the dress!!!!! We then drove on to Poochera where Mikie decided we didn’t need to stop for petrol and we had the feeling of dread that there was no petrol station at Poochera, luckily the old duck out the front of the pub sent us in the right direction and we didn’t have to look like fools who run of out fuel across the Nullabor!!!!

Ceduna was a nice little town, very pretty. That evening I thought I would get organized and cook up some tea for the next night as we would be having some longer days in the car again. I took the kids over to the camp kitchen so they could run free a little whilst I prepared some meals, The kids were a little ratty, Mikie was off getting the very important beer for the nullabor trip, so I was trying to keep them amused and get tea ready when at the stroke of 5 this amazing thing happened. I was sitting in the camp kitchen and they appeared out of no where THE GREY NOMADS… I had obviously heard of these people, the grey haired oldies who travel the land in search of empty bowls to throw their keys into! Well a swarm of the Grey Nomads in their matching outfits (white or beige ¾ pants and a crisp pressed tshirt for the ladies, and for the gents beige shorts with polo shirt) they all came carrying nibbles, dips, cheeses, crackers, and beer and wine….their nattering soon became a roar of laughter as they descended for happy hour….I am sure that Lola was looking around trying to recognize if any of these oldies were her Oma, Opa or Nanna…but it didn’t matter…within seconds the kids were the centre of attention, Lola  was scooped up by anyone close enough to catch her, Scarlett was amazing people with her hand tricks…constantly saying “watch this…. I can do this….watch my magic fingers!  was hilarious! Oscar was amazed by their fishing stories and I was just happy to get my cooking done with a little peace!

22nd April
Ceduna to Eucla
Today Mike made a very big decision …he has decided to an author….his book you ask a little skeptically????, 101 different ways to wave whilst travelling the Nullarbor, Very specific indeed, but he has definitely nearly got 101 down pat. He has been amusing himself with the different wave techniques we can come up with and love it when we get an enthusiastic wave back…the truckies how ever are not too receptive to the waving game! We also decided to fill up whenever we could so that we didn’t revisit what was nearly yesterday’s misfortune!

Scarlett also learnt the harsh lesson that if she doesn’t listen to mum and do as told then her milky way gets thrown out the window. (aka eaten by mum). Scarlett told me that she would just jump out of the moving car and go and get it so there mum! Shall I remind you all how much I love that child!

Today we saw the amazing cliff drops, they were breathtaking, the colour of  the ocean was nearly turquoise at  the cliff edges, needless to say we held the kids hands very tighly when we were looking at them! They were certainly a highlight of the day.

I enjoyed watching the changing scenery and amazing colours as we drove the nullabor, the landscape changes to quickly and I loved how it went from spectacular bushland to dense scrub. It was really green too, and so many varying shades. We also had lots of showers as we drove, so one minute the sun was shining then the next it was stormy and cloudy, such a changing view!

Oscar’s favourite thing was the big kangaroo at Bordertown village nd the cliff tops, he really wanted to stick his head over….but with a scaredy cat for a mother that was never going to happen!

We are now set up at the Eucla caravan park for the night, it is certainly very full with lots of people travelling across to wa. We met another couple with three kids who are doing the same thing, I think we may end up spending a few nights at the same spots.

Scarlett’s favourite thing was singing, ‘Major Mitchell for nearly 3 hours straight, and let it be known that my daughter’s singing ability is passed down from her mother, that’s right folks, she is truly amazing, the notes that that girl can reach are mind blowing!!!!!

In the morning we went and visited the old telegraph station which was pretty cool, then were back on the road again!

23rd April
Eucla to Caiguna,
Again another great day of driving, I really dreaded the drive across the nullarbor, I thought I would be bored, irritable and stressed, but I am totally loving it, I am very proud of myself for ‘sucking it up’ when our environment isn’t the best,  Caiguna was definitely not the nicest overnight stop we have had, but  it was were our kids got to have easter! Oscar decided it was the bestest easter ever as they found the eggs left by the bunny throughout the camper. At Caiguna we arrived quite early and tried not to leave the camper for most of the day as the stench from the septic tank was horrid, the toilets were average and I knew we were in a classy place when ‘please keep door closed to keep out the flys’ was written on the door, I couldn’t help myself to change it to flies!!! The other thing I noticed was that they said be careful of snakes, particularly in the toilets, but then the tiles on the floor were a snake skin colour!!!
So after a pretty sad stop at Caiguna, we waited for the bunny to arrive (at a very early 5.30 in the morning) and said a hasty good bye! ( the kids did enjoy going to the older couple we met, Bob and Robyn’s and giving them an easter egg and saying happy easter, and I think Robyn enjoyed it too!)
The best thing about Caiguna  the kids all agree it was the CHOCOLATE  and Mikie and I agree it was the sex….ooops sorry STARS….the worst were the FLIES, OMG they were everywhere!!!

24th April
Caiguna to Fraser Ranges
So with the kids in a chocolate induced coma, Mike drove the 90 mile stretch which was a very very straight drive and I entertained him with my witty repertoire of songs…..(he so enjoyed it!)

Today was a relatively short trip to Fraser Ranges, it was truly beautiful there, very out back bush feely! We met up with our new friend the Heath’s, and set up camp next to them, oscar and scarli had an awesome time playing with the boys, josh and dyllan and mike and I enjoyed the company of Kylie and Neil. Poor Lola once again was on the receiving end of being the littlest, as their gorgeous girl Brianna, towered over her. It very much reminded me of the dynamics of  Tilly and Lola..
We had a relaxing afternoon at the station and headed off again in the morning
Mike had a hit of golf with Neil, until the march flies drove them back to camp. At night the grasshoppers decided to pay a visit and we spent the night squatting them away as they jumped all over us.

a very dirty scarli!

25th April
Fraser Ranges to Kalgoorlie,

We excited finished off the last stretch of the nullarbor plain and made our way to Kalgoorlie, we visited the super pit, which was just amazing the size of the trucks and the immense hugeness of the superpit were so amazing to see, I am really glad we made the journey out this way to see it. We pulled up at a caravan park with a pool that made the kids very happy. It is certainly getting warmer as we move further west. (Mike also enjoyed the hookers LOL),

So after a quick trip through the redlight district of kalgoorlie, we were off, we headed back through Norseman to the sound of the wiggles in the back of the car, even Lola is starting to enjoy them, I have really enjoyed watching the kids play together, the older two really love Lola and take such good care off her (most of the time)

Oscar and Scarli are really forming great relationships which I hope will last a lifetime, they create so many magical worlds with oscar’s gogo’s and my favourite thing is listening to them giggle together.I love watching Lola as she mischiviously steal’s ocar’s gogo’s and hides’ them on him, she just waits for him to notice and then in her glee takes him to were they are hidden.

Lola is being such a great girl, she for the most part is excellent in the car, sleeping lots and usually lasts with the distractions we have for her (eg food). She is loving being outside and if you close her in the camper will yell OUT at the door till someone takes her outside.

Oscar is slowly working on making new friends, his favourite spot is the jumping pillow, as many kids will congregate there.
Scarli is being her usual self, mixing with everyone, tonight in the pitch black she has made friends will some girls across the way, she is busily playing hide and seek and chasey, I love watching her run around so free and happy.

 Mike is so relaxed already, he isn’t as tired, or his tired is happy tired, he is so funny in the car with his constant kilometer counting and is great at keeping the kids entertained. I am really enjoying this time with mike and I think we are both trying really hard to not be snitchy over the small stuff

I am feeling so relaxed too, I think I must be slowly unwinding, my mind is turning off and I have stopped checking work emails and facebook all the time. I am truly happy having a yak to anyone who walks past, the kids are a beacon for old people missing their grand kids and they love to come and see them. It’s lovely to hear all the positive comments from people when we say we are travelling with the kids. Just now a real estate guy from mandra came over for a chat and told us about coral bay and a few other stops that are beautiful, it’s great to hear the good and bad places to stop. 

We have reached Esperance, set up camp and had a huge dose of veggies, after nearly a week of nullaboring I am looking forward to staying here for the week and relaxing, we are going to do lots of day trips, visit the beach and relax, our friends the Heaths are here too, so osc and scarli will be ahppy to have friends around.

The best thing about today”
Scarlie and Oscar – the jumping pillow
Lola – OUT
Mikie – having his crazy  morning tea with both kids crammed next to him so that he can’t even eat in peace! (oh and the fact his pies are so hot he can’t even eat them!)
Theresa – knowing we can relaz for the whole week

Just a quick side note, this photo is for Frank I have found where the dunder heads come from…..

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