Tags: business


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.

West to East. Day 1

Today I drove here. I knew I was heading for the Bush when I hit the Roe Highway, and the GPS said "Next Turn: 537km" Other drivers waved to me once I hit the serious Bush past Northem. I thought it odd, but after a stretch of driving without seeing another vehicle for 60 minutes, I started waving. I was releaved that I wasn't stuck in a "The Quiet Earth" moment and was the last human alive.

I had an "Oh Bugger" moment when I realised I'd passed through Meckering without stopping to look at the Earthquake monument.

Meckering Fault, 1968


FM radio failed not far from Perth but I could listen to ABC AM Talk Radio. It was good up to 10am, then they switched to All Sports All Day, and this is Western Austraia so all the sport was all AFL. Hooray for ASUS! The cheap USB speakers I bought from Harvey Norman were loud enough, and Zenbook gave me 5 hours of mp3 goodness.

I diverted a little to Kalgoorlie to look at the Superpit: a a gold mine hole in the ground 1300m long x 1000m wide x 500m deep. It's huge, which really does not convey the hugeness of the hole. I paused to dial up Google Maps to find the Superpit lookout, and discovered one advantage of having the country's largest gold mine next door: 4G signal, 5 bars. Google Maps satelite image loaded in less than 1/2 a second.

And so to Norseman. The motel is nice and tidy, but the room looks like the concrete walls were poured into moulds on the ground then stood in place so a room could be built in the gap between walls. At least I get a queen-sized bed.

Early night. Early start tomorrow.


And so here I am in Sydney, Terminal 3, Gate 13, with an hour to kill.

I am doing this easily with a nice hot cup of tea that hasn't been brewed at 17,000 feet, and is therefore properly hot.

My new Asus Zenbook is rather nice. It weighs slightly more than a fondleslab, but has a proper screen and keyboard. It's a lot easier to lug around that the old compaq laptop.

The airport has a 4G connection so my dongle is super fast. I can't wait for the new system to make it out to where it is actually needed - ie everywhere outside a capital city. When I lost my 3G dongle in Perth on the last trip, Telstra replaced it free of charge because I have my landline and mobile with them. The 4g dongle has a better plan than the old 3G dongle, which is nice.

So. Flight from Dubbo.

Smooth, uneventful. Just the way I like it. We landed from the south which meant flying over Botany Bay. "Lunch" was an undientified baked product in cellophane that turned out to be a cube of quiche with a little too much crust. I washed it down with a moderately warm cup of tea, and finished off with a packet of dried fruits - banana chips, raisins, dried lemon cubes and... DRIED APRICOTS! YUM! Curse you, Qantas! You have discovered my kryponite and hid it in a packet of tasty dried fruit.

"Exuse me sir, you seem to be eating the whole packet of fruit at once. And the packet."


Road Trip!

So here I am in Dubbo Airport, about to start the fist leg of a trip to Perth that will look a lot like this

I wish I could say it's a holiday, but it's not; it's a busiess trip and I have very limited time. Even so, I hve my camera to photograph the MAMBA. Apparently the Nullabor Plain is very green at the moment.

I'm a bit bummed I have such limited time, because everything between Perth and Port Augusta will be new territory for me. Plus, I'll be in a works ute, not my Lexus, so it won't be as comfy as I would like.

Bugger. QF2043 is delayed. Not to worry, I had a 3 hour wait in Sydney. Now it's a 2 hour wait.