Wednesday 17th – Tumby Bay to Wilmington

Another wonderful day driving through this gorgeous country of ours. WAIT AND SEE went from rich farming land in the south of the Eyre Peninsula to the semi arid country of the north-east. When we stopped in Cowell, about half way from Port Lincoln to Port Augusta, Bill got talking to the fellow who runs the Jade Factory, and you guessed it, found himself – and some of us - inside the factory on an impromptu tour. Cowell is the world capital for Jade and it is exported to China for processing into all things jade.

As we travelled along we could see the southern end of the Flinders Ranges long before we reached Port Augusta, and we were looking forward to crossing them in the Bradfords. But first we made a detour into the Port Augusta Bus Terminal to pick up Howard Norfolk. Howard stepped in at the last minute to drive the leg from Port Augusta to Sydney, and today flew to Adelaide and caught a bus to Port Augusta. After driving 3,635km from Perth, the three Bradfords drove up to the Bus Terminal as Howard’s bus pulled into the Depot (stranger than fiction I know, but true) which is not bad, considering the broken axle episode of two days back.

As we neared Port Augusta, the Flinders Ranges really came into view, rising out of the plains. They were a fabulous sight, and the setting sun showed all the detail. The highlight for the Bradfords today was driving up through Horrocks Pass, over the Flinders Ranges in second gear. What a great drive for three Bradfords in a row. (we videoed the entire run up the Pass with a commentary, as it was particularly spectacular in the late afternoon sun).

As I write this, we have been 17 days on the road straight, with only one rest day at Kalgoorlie and apart from servicing the vehicles, we have had plenty of time to investigate what is just over the next hill. Today for instance, we travelled 350km at an average speed of 56km/h with about a third of the time into a 10 knot head wind. For a Bradford, a head wind is the same as going up hill. We still had time to visit the Tumby Bay Bakery, the Jade factory and about 45 minutes in the Bus Depot sorting out a problem with the hire car that Ollie had booked from Sydney, as he is determined to go the whole way with us even though Howard is now the official WAIT co-driver.

Bill and Susan.

Today in Whyalla, WAIT AND SEE discovered where they were born.

AND driving up to the Southern Flinders Ranges and Horrocks Pass

Little does she know what is ahead of her.