More travels

From Coast to Coast

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Two days' journey.Two days' journey.

In the morning, as soon as I wake up, I grab my camera and venture out in hope of some more excellent photos. Perhaps, there's still a few more of those amazing clouds that I witnessed yesterday? And there sure is. A wonderful sunrise greets me as I look for all kinds of compositions here and there, and even some poor animal's skull nearby finds its place in my image collection.

Someone's mortal remains nearby.Someone's mortal remains nearby.

The sunrise is shaping up nicely.The sunrise is shaping up nicely.

Oh yes, it does!Oh yes, it does!

Ready for another show?Ready for another show?

Here it comes!Here it comes!

Beautiful stuff.Beautiful stuff.

Coda.Coda.

I decide to stick around for a little while longer: simply because the place looks great, with all the sea and sun and all; but also because I want to test yet another new bit of my gear, which is a foldable solar panel. I run into trouble right from the start, though: my tester shows voltage from the panels themselves, but nothing in the cord that comes out of them. Hmm. Finally, I realise that this must be the on-board regulator that must have gotten broken on the way (or maybe was defective in the first place), so I get rid of it and quickly rewire the entire thing to bypass the regulator entirely. Good thing that I have all my tools with me this time, if not the soldering iron! After all that, the panel starts to charge up my battery without further ado.

I spend a few hours there, in the beautiful silence of the Nullarbor, broken only by the wind whistling through the saltbush. And by a few distant rolls of thunder. What? Yes, that's right: I see a big rain cloud coming my way, with all the rain and lightnings. I don't feel particularly safe right now, next to a big metal object (my car) in the middle of a giant flat plain; but, thankfully, the cloud slowly passes by, and I don't suffer as much as a single raindrop.

In the afternoon.In the afternoon.

I wasn't able to capture the lightnings, but they're there, all right.I wasn't able to capture the lightnings, but they're there, all right.

Looks impressive, doesn't it?Looks impressive, doesn't it?

Should I become one of them stormchasers, perhaps?Should I become one of them stormchasers, perhaps?

My own little paradise.My own little paradise.

In the afternoon, however, I decide to take off and travel a bit further west. The reason for this is that I contact Alen and Dessy, and it looks like they're heading in the same direction as me, and it would be great to catch up in WA for a New Year's Eve. Which means that I should probably speed myself up a bit and get to see a few places of interest first before I meet them.

My new camping spot is right next to the WA/SA state border, which is the same Nullarbor coastline, only a 100 km or so further west. It's quite pretty, too, but it's also exceptionally windy. Takes me a fair bit of effort to set up the awning and the tent, and some gusts can even rock the whole car just a little. Oh well. It's only for one night, anyway.

Cloudy and windy!Cloudy and windy!

This sunset is not nearly as phenomenal as last night's, but still pretty good.This sunset is not nearly as phenomenal as last night's, but still pretty good.

Nice and subdued.Nice and subdued.

The wind dies down in the morning, thankfully, so I have no trouble whatsoever in packing up and moving out. No trouble on the border quarantine checkpoint, either: I already know the drill, so I'm not carrying any fruits or veggies on board by now. And finally here I am, back in Western Australia! This state is bigger than most European countries, and I'm always eager to go back and explore it some more.

This sunrise is quite lovely, too.This sunrise is quite lovely, too.

Back to the outback, though!Back to the outback, though!

Always liked myself some red dirt and saltbush.Always liked myself some red dirt and saltbush.

Each time of the year, however, presents its own unique Australian challenges; and this time, to my utter surprise, it's the locust. Thousands, or maybe millions, of pesky insects cross the road in the all directions as soon as I pass Caiguna; and by the time I get to Balladonia Roadhouse, my radiator is practically covered with them. A fair of bit of them gets onto the turbo grill, too, and there's more than enough to spare for the windshield. Dear me. Wouldn't think I'd have to battle that, of all things! At least the entire mess is dry enough to be simply wiped and brushed off with my (glove-covered) hand.

I mean, look at this.I mean, look at this.

And this.And this.

Or this.Or this.

Or even this.Or even this.

After the cleanup.After the cleanup.

After Balladonia, however, the road is locust-free, but I'm already beginning to wonder where I should stop for today. Maybe, on the same spot I used two years ago? I find it after a while, and it still looks lovely (even though much hotter and sunnier), but there's no mobile coverage at all, and I think I could use some for today. I'm sure there'll be another place down the road, so I'll just take some more pictures here in the meantime.

A view from the Newmans Rock.A view from the Newmans Rock.

Looks very Western-Australian.Looks very Western-Australian.

So pretty.So pretty.

Eventually, I camp slightly off the rest stop further along the highway: it's warm and quiet here, and it has a decent 3G coverage, too. By then I decide that I've travelled enough to deserve a little drink, and help myself with some homemade Baileys that Kate gave me in Adelaide for Christmas. Thanks, love! It's quite an odd experience, to sit in the awning tent at a trestle table, with my laptop out and full of functional websites, with a cold drink in my hand (thanks, fridge), and a peaceful woodland scenery right outside. I'm certainly as comfortable on the road right now as I've ever been.

Good night, Southern Hemisphere.Good night, Southern Hemisphere.

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