The last leg.

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August 23rd 2016
Published: August 23rd 2016
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Gwalia 'ghost town' Gwalia 'ghost town' Gwalia 'ghost town'

Every goldfield has got to have a pub!
As some of you already know, we are home; arriving on Monday 15tharound noon. Yes, it was quite a quick trip Eastward. Once Marg sets her sights on home, wild horses will not stop her. Our stop at Kalgoorlie was at a free camp just outside the town at a place called Lake Douglas. It was a very pretty spot, although due to the threatening weather, we needed a bit of imagination to see it for its best. We did meet a lovely couple from Bundaberg who invited us over for drinkies and a chat around their little raised fire. It was good that the fire was raised as the rain came in, but we were able to pick the fire up and move it to a spot that was not in the rain – Geoff now has a project when we get home! In the morning we went our separate ways, as they wanted to investigate Kalgoorlie, and we were on a mission that even the delights of Norseman could not deter us from.

About 80 kms East of Norsemen we stopped at another free camp and as we were setting up another couple from Qld. (Yeppoon) invited us
Gwalia 'ghost town' Gwalia 'ghost town' Gwalia 'ghost town'

Geoff & Marg's country estate
to share their fire. It was a better evening weatherwise, and this sharing the fire and having a few drinks was catching. Next evening we had the opportunity to be the hosts, although Geoff frightened the daylights out of the other fellow when he delivered the invitation (he was pre-occupied with an electrical issue in his vehicle). We thought that might be the end of it, but by the next night, and having crossed the border into South Australia, who should we pull in next to, but the couple from Yeppoon. You know what came next; its tough, but someone has to do it! It was an interesting night as the Yeppoon couple had discovered a young fellow in a car (wedged into) the bushes nearby. He had a story of the car malfunctioning and him waiting for friends to bring him parts to repair it. He as woefully unprepared for camping in the bush, although he offered us some wood for the fire. The ladies took pity on him, and prepared a hot meal from some of the things they had cooked to avoid them being confiscated at the border. In the morning the Yeppoon couple departed and as
Gwalia open cutGwalia open cutGwalia open cut

Somewhere down there is a hole that leads to more riches.
we were about to do the same, the young fellow came out of the bushes and suggested that he would be happy to relieve us of anything that would not make it across the quarantine line in Ceduna (some hundreds of kilometres to the East. Marg made up a shopping bag full – including several cans of fish which I am sure were not a quarantine item! It also transpired that the wife of the Yeppoon couple had done exactly the same thing earlier!!

Moving on we had to take on fuel at Nundroo, and who should be there taking a lunch break but the couple from Bundaberg whom we had met at Lake Douglas. Not only that, but as we were catching up, the couple from Yeppoon pulled in for fuel. Well, you really can’t keep Queenslanders apart, and it was quickly resolved that as we all shared a common interest in campfires and drinkies, we should find a camp site that could accommodate the 3 vans... A camp was duly found and a spot where could encircle the vans to reduce the wind effect, and before you could say ‘happy hour’ a fire was lit and drinks
Hoover House - Dining room and ante roomHoover House - Dining room and ante roomHoover House - Dining room and ante room

Herbert Hoover ( you know - the American President) built this house. It is now a working guest house.
were served! The two gents from Qld shared a talent for guitar playing and with very little encouragement we were treated to a jam session from them. They were quite good and we were lucky that the forces had bought us all together.

The trip Eastward across the Nullarbor bought another surprise – a tail wind. After nearly 4 months of the trip computer showing 20 – 23 lts/100km our excitement bordered on orgasmic ( although we struggled to remember what that meant) when it dropped to 13.2 lts/100km! Mind you it was somewhat of a hurricane and we were very happy that it was behind us. The wind assist lasted for at least 2 days and then it was on the rear quarter which was nearly as good. On a slightly different subject, we did get a bit lost in South Aust when we were trying to pick the shortest route back to Victoria and home. Unfortunately the roads do not go straight from the top of St. Vincents Gulf to the Western Highway in Vic. and there were some differences (ok, disagreements) of opinion on the best way to navigate to said highway. Geoff is quite certain
Niagara Dam Niagara Dam Niagara Dam

After completion it was never used - can't imagine why...
that we did a few unnecessary circuits of Clare, not to mention discovering many back roads that Geoff is sure that even the locals do not know about, but we did make it in the end. Marg is sure that Geoff was being silly when he said he did not want to go through the Barossa which is why we took to the back roads. However we did find a very picturesque overnight stay in the backblocks of SA which we think has not been used by travellers much at all. Then on to Victoria where we overnighted (got in about lunch time) in a caravan park in Ballarat in order to avoid the Sunday drivers going through town. Marg grew up (senior school years) in Ballarat and we had the opportunity to have a look at some of her old haunts, and discovered that part of her old school is now a university.

Overall it was a good trip although we could have done a lot better with the weather. We were cogniscent that the East coast was getting a pounding with both wind and rain, so we can’t complain too much. Oh, and did I mention the
Jamming guitars on the NullarborJamming guitars on the NullarborJamming guitars on the Nullarbor

The music was really great.
number of cellar doors we drove past...?

We are now looking forward now to a trip next year somewhere near the Flinders Ranges with some newly retired friends.

Cheers until our next adventure.

Additional photos below
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Road train display at MenziesRoad train display at Menzies
Road train display at Menzies

Just count the axles... about 80 mts long and best viewed here than on the road.
Circling the wagons on the NullarborCircling the wagons on the Nullarbor
Circling the wagons on the Nullarbor

You'll note that is the boys doing the work. Its a pity photos can't show the wind.

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