Thursday 11th Cocklebiddy to Border Village
Another fabulous day. Since leaving Norseman, the places we are passing through and our overnight stops are all Roadhouses – no towns. They get the mail once a week, have no mobile phone coverage, and Cocklebiddy has internet connection but it has been down for several days and apparently this is common. The meals are good and hearty, and the men have enjoyed the beer at the end of the day. Tonight we have opted to stay in the accommodation at the Border Village Roadhouse, as Barry’s cold is freshening up and the nights are very cold and windy here on the Nullarbor. Early mornings are really beautiful, and usually without the desert wind. Border Village Roadhouse is open 24hours.
We have had some lovely experiences with people today. When we stopped at the Madura Pass Lookout, a fellow came running over, saying he couldn’t believe it when he saw Jowetts in his rear view mirror. Ollie and Barry found an open fire still smoking, and put the billy on straight away - it made a great cup of tea. Barry discovered that this same bloke new a friend of a friend etc. Small world. And when we went down onto the Roe Plains and onto the ruins of the Eucla Telegraph Station, another fellow came up when he saw WAIT pull up and wanted to know if the other two were coming as well, as he had seen us at Fremantle and didn’t have time to take a photo. He was overjoyed when AND and SEE rolled up. The Telegraph Station ruins are almost inundated with the drifting sand, so much so that you can step up onto the top of some of the walls.
Petrol prices have ranged from $1.80 at Mundrabilla Roadhouse, to $2.07 at Caiguna Roadhouse. It doesn’t seem to have deterred the caravaners, as we have been told there have never been so many caravans and these big mobile homes on the Nullarbor.
The Bradfords have been running really well today – Bill says “beautifully” and Barry says “hardly anything fell off”. Except the lock on AND’s driver’s door fell off, the rubbers fell apart on that same door, SEE’s bonnet fell apart along the top hinge, and the speedo cable snapped on WAIT. The tappets had to be readjusted on WAIT. The consensus amongst the blokes is that this is all “hardly anything”. The bonnet had to be tied up with fencing wire – what else?
The Bradfords went well over the dirt roads, and climbed up steep hills in first gear. Using some oil, and today we had to replenish our stocks, and paid $34 for 4L - ! Where is Super Cheap Auto when you need it? The tailwind was stronger today. It is giving us good fuel economy – Barry reckons WAIT’s fuel usage is 33.5 miles to the gallon today. The fuel usage discrepancy between the three Bradfords is now minimal (0.5L). Sorry about the units, but the Bradfords ‘ speedo is in miles and the tank is in gallons, and we fill up in litres, so there is some conversions done at the end of the day, but they haven’t been done yet. More on fuel economy tomorrow. We paid our respects to the Travellers Marker at the top of Eucla Pass – from the Pass we had a great view over the Roe Plains where we had been travelling. Great landscape.
We are all looking forward to tomorrow, with more sightseeing. Oh – and we can’t keep Ollie out of the memorabilia section of the Roadhouses. The merchandise on the back of WAIT is enough to start a warehouse. The great fear we have is that we will be pulled up for hawking without a license.
Until next time
Composed by: Susan, Bill, Barry and Ollie
WAIT AND SEE at the ruins of the Eucla Telegraph Station, which is half buried in the sand dunes behind them.