Day 18 – Cocklebiddy to Ceduna
Todays Challenge – To spot the elusive Nullarbor Tree (carried over from Day 17)
Up at 6.00am we have had a good sleep but decide to leave a little later as the sun is right in our eyes. They say never drive the Nullarbor from East to West because of the setting sun but Rod thinks it is much worse from West to East (depends if you are an early riser). We will have to leave one hour later each morning.
We depart at 7.45 and the odometer trip meter ticks over to 7000 km just outside of Madura. We are getting hungry having missed breakfast so we pull into the Mundarabilla Roadhouse and order a bacon and egg roll. It was very tasty and far better than the egg and bacon McMuffins at McDonalds. There is no premium unleaded at this servo so we decide to press on to Eucla to refuel.
Not far from Eucla Rod spots what he thinks is the rare Nullar Tree and stops to photograph it. The tree is sprouting fluffy toy animals of all types. One hundred kilometers further on Rod slams on the brakes, he has spotted another colourful tree, this one is sprouting baseball caps and the odd bra or two. We have passed our challenge. Twenty kilometers further on we spot a tree sprouting undies but keep driving just in case we catch something.
We pull in at Eucla to refuel and Rod notes that this is the cheapest we have purchased on the Nullarbor at $1.95 per litre. We also spot two cop cars and these are the first we have seen on the Nullarbor. Eucla has a police station so that probably explains it.
Just on from Eucla is Border Town and we lose another 1 hour as we are now on South Australian time. As we pass the checkpoint Deb breaks out two Crownies and we cheer to crossing the border.
Pretty soon we are hugging the coast and the scenery is breathtaking. We pull into the Nullarbor Roadhouse to buy some lunch but for some reason the staff do not want to serve us, we also notice that they refuse to switch their fuel bowser on unless you leave your license with them. We both decide they seem to have an attitude problem here, so we press on. If anybody is thinking of stopping at this Roadhouse when crossing the Nullarbor, we recommend you don’t.
Not far from here is the Head of Bight Marine Park and we decide to deviate 12km to see if we can spot a whale or two. It is out of season but one has to visit the Head of Bight if your this close. We pay our $5.00 entry fee and see some impressive scenery but no whales.
We jump back in the car and head to Ceduna. Today is the biggest drive we have done but the Foreshore Hotel and the Ceduna oysters are luring us on. Ceduna claims to be home of the Smoky Bay oyster (served at Sydney’s Wokpool), so we use this as an incentive to keep driving. We roll into Ceduna at 5.00pm . We are stopped at the quarantine check point for fruit and vegetables then head to the Oyster Shack across the road to buy those long awaited oysters at $11.00 per dozen. We book into our accommodation and head straight to the bar to wash down the dust. It is nice to be back into civilization.
Back in our room the three SH’s never felt so good… Shower, Shave and Shut-eye. ;-). Rod is to tired to update the Blog so we both hit the sack exhausted after our longest drive so far.