Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Nullarbor.

You know what?

I really enjoyed driving the Nullarbor.

Beforehand I was a bit nervous about the endless 1,204 kilmometers of road, the crazy winds, the enormous air sucking road trains,  the middle of nowhere and the chance of more mechanical problems with Frankie Blue.

But I really enjoyed it.

It felt big. Like a mile stone. Like a caravaner's rite of passage.
I liked the wide open spaces, the enormous skies and the roads that seemed to go on forever. No distractions, no driving decisions, just 90km on cruise control and driiiiiiiiiiive.

We were pretty lucky and had the most perfect driving conditions. Overcast, grey skies, no wind and 21 degrees days.
I liked that we were all alone. Us five. A team. 

I liked that everyone seemed so happy. (Except for one massive four year old tantrum that you might have heard from where ever you are.)

I liked setting up camp behind road houses, eating simple meals and watching movies Bren had brought to surprise us.
I love listening to pod casts in the car and we listened to heaps. We also listened to Paul Kelly's A-Z all the way through.

And we talked. And when the girls were watching movies we talked without interruptions. Long conversations about where we've been and where we're going.
I liked the details on the way. The birds, the different landscapes, the trucks carrying helicopters and caravans and cars and the shoe tree.

I liked eating masses of fruit and veg before we got to the South Australian border.
I liked that I had time to think. To follow thoughts all the way through without interruptions.

I liked that sometimes we all had to jump rope 50 times before we got back into the car and sometimes we had to run around Frankie five times.
 I liked playing in the old telegraph station in Eucla that has been slowly eaten up by the sand dunes.
 I liked how great it felt to be out of the car when we had a break.
And I loved The Great Australian Bight. Watching the waves crash against the cliffs and knowing exactly where we were on the map.
And I liked that when we did have a caravan tyre issue, a cracked rim, it was in a roadhouse in Penong so we didn't have to stop on the side of the road.
It really felt like a family adventure.

We came off the Nullarbor and spent a night in Ceduna. Our first in South Australia on South Australian time. We ate at the pub and cheersed to a successful crossing.

Now we are in Streaky Bay, a few beaches down. We have a caravan site right on the beach. We'll spend the day here tomorrow and then head home.

We have one full week left on the road.

Happy travels my friends.

38 comments:

  1. My dear departed Grandpa George was born and raised in Streaky Bay!

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  2. Oh wow.
    I love a big straight road. Something about all that space just clears your head.
    Only one week left!

    I hope we can do something similar with our kids one day.
    Enjoy every second. :)

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  3. My folks camped on the beach at Streaky Bay too! They did their trip the opposite way around so it was one of their first stops. The pictures they have are gorgeous. I am so looking forward to doing it myself one day. It sounds like you've had a great time - thank you for sharing so much along the way!

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  4. Just one week left. Gosh. What a lifetime of memories you guys have made. May your last week be the best of all x

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  5. Such a flat, strange landscape with spots of amazing beauty. I think I want to go one day. Sometimes the lack of distractions can be a good thing for the family. Can't believe the time has flown by and you are heading home! xo

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  6. Hi Kate! I'm glad I found your blog following someone's link :-) Great to see beautiful Australian places, happy faces of your family and your crochet, of course :-) Happy traveling for the next week!

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  7. so inspiring as always. you truly express what it means to be a family with all of your adventures and family time. so much beauty to treasure. take care on that last leg and hooray for the home stretch! xx

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  8. Oh wow! You'll probably be going through peterbourgh just a town north of me! But sadly tomorrow I'll be heading south not north. Enjoy your return trip home. Beautiful day here today so I'm guessing it's nice in streaky too. Enjoy the beach

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  9. My top 3 experiences travelling Australia;

    Seeing a thunderstorm break over the Bungle Bungles

    Seeing the dolphins at Monkey Mia - I decided when I was 11 that one day I was going to travel Australia and see the dolphins at Monkey Mia. I loved that day, it was like 11 year old me said thanks to 24 year old me and vice versa.

    Travelling the Nullarbor. We took a week and it was incredible. I loved it. It was beautiful. It was the bit I was dreading most and I think it was the part I loved best. We listened to Paul Kelly driving the Nullarbor too. And ate stupid amounts of potatoes and tomatoes before we crossed the boarder!

    Thanks for sharing your experience!

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  10. Just out of interest did you see any cyclists? Looks like bike riding heaven. xx

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  11. I enjoyed the Nullabor too...twicebut we got winds both ways.Glad Frnakie blue made the rite of passage.

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  12. Sometimes I forget how bloody big this country is.

    This is on our family "to do" list too. When I can be sure that the kids are old enough that we w ont be wanting to kill each other before we get to the other side.

    Gorgeous post as usual.

    Travel safe. I know that you must be balancing a sadness at nearing the end of your travels with a happiness at arriving home to start putting all those plans into place and to sleep on your own beds.

    xx

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  13. I have heard mixed things about crossing the Nullabor but it's definitely a trip I would love to do one day.
    You are heading home already? Where had the time gone?
    x

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  14. I dont know what it is but all your travelling post keep making me so emotional!!
    Mxo

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  15. hi fabulous quintet, your description of the crossing, reminded me of the five i made, all on dirt, especially the two in my old volksie towing a trailer.(in the sixties) with those roadtrains really scary. and potholes the size of semi trailer tyres. i recall a noise in my engine and pulled into a service station where i found a mechanic, who was hanging into an open bonnet inspecting an engine, so i spoke to his bum. when he grunted yeah, and i told him about my noise in my engine, he asked me if i had a wireless (yes it was that time)i said yes i have, he told me to turn the fucken thing up and continued on his job. i never saw his face, just his bum....... true story

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  16. Wow, the Great Australian Bight is beautiful. We've taken a skipping rope along on a long (well, long to us) road trip as a way to get some exercise when we stop for a rest. Such a good idea. I can't believe your journey is almost over. The memories, I am sure, will last you a lifetime.

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  17. I liked that you liked it so much. As a kid, I remember doing geography lessons and writing the Great Australian Bight at the bottom and thinking one day I will get there and see. To date I haven't. One day.

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  18. oh my gosh , you must be SO excited to be getting close to home...do you feel like you want to run run run ? I think i would..will miss your blog posts Kate..and the photos of your beautiful family,,i wish you and yours all a wonderful beautiful Christmas at home...

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  19. WooHoo! It's totally addictive - and the only way to realise just how HUGE this land is.

    It's totally doable - I drove my daughters across & back in 2wks 2yrs ago, in our little station wagon & our only hassle was trying to get out of Adelaide (twilight zonish!).

    Everyone should do it at least once!

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  20. It looks apsolutely wonderful Kate.
    Thanks for blogging about your trip, it's been so lovely hearing about your adventures, including all of the ups and downs.

    What amazing memories you will all have forever.

    Take care on the rest of the trip and enjoy that wonderful feeling you get when you return home after so long away!! There is no place like it!

    cheers,
    Catherine

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  21. WOW! I've yet to do the Nullarbor ... but now I'm looking forward to it, thanx to your great pix! FAAAAABULOUS!

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  22. How beautiful! cliffs, the sea ... almost like we have in Crimea

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  23. AS a kid we did the Nullabour trip many times mum even drove it in an old combi with 2 girls and our precious things in the late 70s when the road was still rough as guts and corrugated.Then as an addult I did the trip again with hubby kids and my sister where we ran out of fuel and hubby did a desert pee lol.We stopped at a beach at ceduna wondering why no one was there then got attacked by swarms of flies and realised the reason for the emptiness.
    You are all going to have the best memories.xx

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  24. It's so lovely when we love and enjoy the things we have been dreading. The lovely surprise of life.
    I think I would have liked it too xo

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  25. What a sweet comment from Jess, and how true! I really liked this post, it summed up everything that is wonderful about travelling this beautiful country of ours. Great shots, thoughts and moments. Cheers! x

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  26. proper travellers now. you did it! well done Foxy 5. xx

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  27. I loved this post...
    i have a millon thoughts swimming about it....
    but I have to say before i forget....Paul Kelly's A-Z ...one of my most favourite recordings of ALL TIME! the raw open honesty of it. truly a gift. and to listen to it on the quiet of the Nullarbor just seems so unbelievably perfect.
    but especially.....especially the song (which I am DYING for someone to put on youtube so I can put it on my blog) is......
    BEAUTIFUL PROMISE.
    Guy plays it on the guitar & harmonica and it makes me cry. every. single. time.
    it is the perfect song of a REAL marriage.
    "it takes rain to make a rainbow......it takes the sun dying to turn the world gold"
    Thankyou so much for sharing your very own A-Z Kate.
    xx

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  28. aahh, the Nullarbor, loved every mile of it and can't wait to do it again.....
    enjoy your last week on the road..
    Lizzie
    xxx

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  29. we did the nullabor in 2003 as well and it was fantastic, my father in law and mother in law live in streaky !!! and we have stayed at same cvpark. Pop out and see the seals while you are there. Happy travels

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  30. I love reading your blog and looking at your incrediable and beautiful pictures. I live in New York USA can you please explain the nullarbor? What is it and how long does it take to drive thru?

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  31. i just knew that the nullarbor would be an adventure in itself. great post kate. your stories take me from the breakfast table in the burbs back onto the road and into the van. thank you for that

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