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Published: April 25th 2013
Ok so the nullabor, the nice road trip across Australia from west to east along the bottom of the country in 6 days, where shall I begin!?
Firstly we are doing this journey because good old Trev and Paddy are coming out to see us for 3 weeks to travel from Brisbane to Cairns so we plan to be near Brisbane for when they fly in, how nice of us hey, yeah I thought so too! So we are travelling in Tom and Jana's Vauxhall Holden Commodore, she's a beaut and she is also very loaded with all our stuff, the roof rack may aswell be another car on top but no need to worry hey, she'll be right!
We set out on Friday 15th march and headed to Toms aunt and uncles Kim and Jims in Mandurah which is about an hour or so below Perth. We thought it would be nice to see them as we were going to be near and Tom had to pick up a kite bag. It takes about 6 hours from Geraldton to Perth but this wasnt a bad journey and everyone was in good spirits, it went smoothly and we arrived in time for a bit of basketball and beers before dinner.
Now I cannot thank them and the whole family enough for the send off they gave us, the food was amazing as usual (a BBQ if you hadn't guessed!) a few beers and a pool game and then we ended the night with a fright, well an electric shock game which I think it's fair to say Tom didn't enjoy lol, he almost took Connor out when he through his controller down after another shock!
After a good nights sleep it was an early start for our journey to begin, a nice shower and some toad in the hole for breakfast courtesy of Jade. Now I hear you ask, toad in the hole for breakfast!? Me and Tom thought that too but it's actually a piece of toasted bread with a perfect circle cut out of it and an egg cooked in the middle, simple yet genius, it set us up for the day that's for sure! We set out about half 7, 8 after saying our goodbyes but within 20 mins we were back as Tom had left his duvet, pillows and some towels on the line, good old tommo
Jana started the driving and the plan was to take it in turns whenever the driver felt they needed a rest, the first day wasnt too bad and again we were in good spirits and were just counting down the kms. I say it wasn't too bad but a couple hours into the trip Laura looked out the window and informed us she thought one of Toms kite bags had moved a bit on the roof. So we pulled over casually just to check it out and lucky we did as the whole bag was literally hanging just inches of the floor at the back of the car! What would of happened if it had slid any further down who knows but it didn't so no bother hey mate!
Halfway through Jonny took the driving over and the afternoon went fine with no roof rack issues. We decided to pull over about half 5 in a rest area on the side of the road. If we could we would have driven through the night but you are advised strongly not too as this is kangaroo time and from the road kill we had already seen during the day you did not want one of those bouncing in front of the car!
The first night is where the real bush living began, we cooked some noodles on our one hob and I will admit that nature called so off I went to the bush to drop the kids off in the pitch black. Now just as I was finishing the heavens opened so I sprinted back and jumped straight in the tent, this is when Tom came up with the classic line of "that was a shit and run!" Now I know some may be horrified or just frown upon our toilet humour but your minds go a bit mental on a journey like this and I can say many similar jokes or innuendoes were created along the way! Now after ten minutes in my tent I realised that some rain was getting in so I will admit I did have to share Laura's and Jonny's tent, it only happened the once but I cannot go into more detail on whether me and Jonny snuggled or not, that's our business lol.
The next morning it was my turn to drive, it all started well, we showered at the first petrol station we found and had a bit to eat before carrying on our journey. Now it was all going well until we came across an oversize vehicle, these are common along the trip and are basically just a lorry except they are carrying a huge object on it for example a swimming pool or even a house sometimes! Now I overtook the lorry with no problems but only a couple minutes after someone said they heard something flapping on the roof rack so we decided to try and pull over just to check everything was tied down ok. As I started to slow down what I can only describe as a humongous dinosaur like creature ran out into the road, it all happened so quickly and even though it tried to run away from the car I couldn't slow down in time and next thing BANG, straight under the car and passenger wheel, I pull over and look back and the thing isn't moving. I don't quite know how to react, I was laughing but in shock at the same time and so was everyone else, luckily there was no damage to the car and we carried on. The joke of that incident was "I guess it just didnt seemu!" I know, what a classic hey guys, these jokes are copyright though, don't go stealing our material. (They get better aswell!) I managed to carry on and the next part of my drive was to conquer the longest bit of straight road in the world which is 90 miles! Now due to the rain the night before and quite a few puddles on the side or in the middle of the road I didn't actually drive so straight for most of it but that made it more bearable and was another accomplishment for my day (although killing an emu may not be an accomplishment for some people!)
It was then Toms turn to drive and he finished off the afternoon driving with no hiccups. We actually got some great pictures of the great australian bight which is a picturesque view of cliff after cliff hanging over the sea before settling down on the side of the road literally in the desert. Again it was some soup and noodles before settling into our tent, I managed to stay in my own tent aswell so all in all a good end to the day.
Now all along the drive I must say we had a great range of music to listen to courtesy of Tom and Jana. We had the Ting Tings, then the Arctic Monkeys, then some australian hip hop and then the Ting Tings to the Arctic Monkeys and yeah that was it actually! Now I am not complaining about listening to Alex Turner for 8 hours non stop but waking up in the middle of the night to Jana screaming "that's not my name" still haunts all of us!
So the next day was when we actually went across the main stretch that is called the nullabor, now like many of the roads in Australia it is not very exciting so our new name for it is the nullasnore! Get it, classic, ok they are getting worse but give us a break please, we weren't getting much sleep you know. Due to a lack of sleep I also accidentally threw one of Tom and Jana's plastic plates out the window! Now Jonny asked me to get rid of the crumbs from his lunch so I just rolled down the window and out it went, the fact we were going at 110km an hour didnt really come into my mind, luckily there were no cars behind us and Tom I think is just about over losing the plate so it's all good!
Obviously we had to get a postcard to mark the occasion of going over the nullabor but no shower, we had to crack on and get some good kms under our belt! We did actually reach our target for the day and ended up pitching up camp in the mountains for the night, oh the joy! Again nature called so off I went behind a big log and created my ow...you get what I mean! But nature didnt appreciate it and we happened to be pitched up in kangarooville and we did wake up the next morning with kangaroo droppings all around our tents, paybacks a bitch hey! You could actually hear the kangaroos around the tent in the middle of the night as they make a sort of grunting noise, this didn't stop Laura getting out to go the toilet though and she was rewarded for her bravery as she saw the Milky Way in the sky, every cloud hey!That was bad, sorry lol.
After another good day of driving we found ourselves in quite a built up little down called Cobar so we decided to set up for the night and get some beers. We had done 3/4 of the journey and knew we would be near brisbane in a day or two with a couple days to spare so we decided to let our hair down. (Big mistake!)The night went well and some good noodles were consumed again accompanied with some nice cold beer, but as always with alcohol a few arguments insued and some apologies were given in the morning but I won't go into any more detail lol. Now we had pretty much packed up and were just doing the last little bits when it was suggested to me that I put some oil in the car. That's no problem, the car man that I am thought no problem but I did want to check with Tom before I did it just to be sure. Save to say the beer affected the both of us that morning and I proceeded to poor oil into the coolant and that stalled our travels immediately! Yes yes we received alot of stick for it and it is still quite fresh so go easy on us, a mechanic was called and we soon realised we may be staying in Cobar a bit longer than planned! Now surely that was the worst of it, nothing else could go wrong, right!? Well we picked the car back up about 1.00pm
so had lost a good morning of driving but tried to not let it phase us, however as we went to merge onto the motorway we soon realised the boot was open and half the contents of the boot fell out just before an oversize vehicle came and run over everything with no care at all! Now as we pulled over we saw that the damage wasnt too bad, a squashed saucepan and some food destroyed but nothing too bad, oh apart from mine and Jonny's rucksacks missing and Toms camera bag! Cue crazyness, did the lorry suck them up and take them half way down the road? Did they fall out near the mechanics? After some frantic searching and nearly giving up Jonny found them in a yard of someone's house near to where we turned out of the mechanics, it appears the boot was open then and the man was trying to get our attention but couldn't so stored our belongings and called the police. After many thankyou's we had our goods back and were on our way and the boot was firmly shut and checked twice!
So we arrived to what would be our last nights sleep before we made it to the caravan site we had booked near Brisbane, it was a nice little area near a truck stop and a service station. I like how you all assume it was nice people, did you not hear me say near a truck stop and service station!? This is not a normal place to be sleeping in a tent! Anyways it had been a tough day and due to driving non stop after leaving the mechanics Tom just made a quick aioli and sweet chilli wrap and off to bed we went, no alcohol was consumed that's for sure and a sound sleep was had by all after the day we had.
The final day and the last few hundred kms left, we decided to take the no toll route but this meant through the mountains so although it was a nice scenic route it took a bit longer than we imagined, but by 3pm
we was at our site and unpacking. Hooray! The journey was finally over, I could have said so much more but some things we will just cherish between the 5 of us, many jokes were made about family, religions, sexuality etc but I shall not divulge into those, we all bonded in a certain way and I'm sure we will sort things out and be on speaking terms again in the near future!
Anyways thanks again for tuning in, I know it was a long blog but it's a part of this trip I will never forget, 5000km in 6 days, I would not choose to do it again but am really glad to say I did it and survived! Sean 1 - Emu 0 Till next time, much love! Xx
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