March 25th, 2012


West to East Day 2:Norseman to Eucla

Today's Drive

Such a long drive. Not boring!

Left Norseman at about 6.30am. The day was cloudy and mild, driving wass good. I found the ABC and listened to "Macka In The Morning" aka Australia All Over. Excellent listening for a long drive through the Bush. At 10am Macka finished and Grandsand "All Sport All Day (ie All AFL" started. Zenbook to the rescue. Let's listen to every single Beatles song ever.

And so I cruised at 100kph. Filled the ute at Belladonia ($2.27 per litre) and hit the 90 Mile Straight - the longest straight road in the country. I duct-taped the Ixus to th dash board and took a 1f/2s@100kph time lapse.

Along the straight the clouds cleared and the day grew hot. I kept up my hydration, and by Caiguna I was just bursting with hydration. Emergency stop.

The country is amazingly flat, until Madura. The road drops suddenly down a steep escarpment which it follows until climbing again to the top at Eucla.

The view from my room is a patch of scrubby bush, then the escarpment, then the Great Australian Bight. It is pretty bloody good.

Norseman and Eucla

Norseman is one of those sad country towns fading into history. There used to be gold but when that ran out, so did the people. Most of the shops are shuttered and closed, the cinema is a roofless shell, as is the take-away. The only place doing any business was the pub. Houses are separated by vacant blocks, some of which still have the rubble from the old house piled in the middle.

Eucla is a roadhouse, which means it's not a town as such. It is a service station/motel/tavern/caravan park complex. It looks like it was built in the early 80s. Everything is pale pinks, slate greys and wood paneling. It has a well-maintained, slightly shabby look to it.

Dinner last night was an over-sweetened pork-and-rice take-away, eaten in the motel room and washed down by diet coke.

Dinner tonight was crumbed Camembert starter, followed by pink snapper on a bed of mashed potatoes with green salad. Washed down by a bottle of icy cold Coopers Pale Ale. It was a welcome (but expensive) change from road-house food I've been eating for 2 days - even counting the surprise chilli sausage roll* at Belladonia.

If you are ever traveling through this area, seriously seriously seriously stop here.

Petrol is cheap, too. Only $1.80/litre.

*I bought a sausage roll, and didn't know it was a chilli sausage roll until after I stuffed the first mouthful in.