Day 130 – Nullabor(e) Plain

Today was going to be a day for us to put in some serious driving time, to try and catch up some of the time we lost while the car was being repaired… So, it was only fitting that we slept in and wasted the first hour of usable light! We were going to tackle the Nullabor Plain, or as I like to call it, the Nulla-bore Plain. As I recently learnt, Nullabor is Latin for ‘No Trees’ – I’ll take Lonely Planet’s word for it, my Latin is limited to a few mottos – Sapiens Est Fortis, Camp Hill State High School reprazent! Anyway, back to No Trees. The trees did slowly disappeared as the day went on, replaced by grass and shrubs. We travelled around 650km today, which isn’t that far (I’ve certainly driven further on other occasions), but it was the furthest single day we’ve had so far.

20130920_RCH_254820130920_RCH_2550 20130920_RCH_2552We drove Australia’s Longest Straight Road, all 145.6km of it, and I can assure you that it is 145.6km (or thereabouts, my odometer is ± 5%) of dead straight road. It wasn’t the most boring stretch of road we’ve driving, either. I think that would have to be somewhere on the Stuart Highway between Alice and Katherine. They also have ‘The World’s Longest Golf Course’, with holes stretched the whole way along the plain. In our long day’s drive, we only passed the first nine holes…

20130920_RCH_2572 20130920_RCH_2559We saw a surprising variety of wildlife today – Kangaroos (alive and dead), Emus (alive and dead), Lizards (alive and dead), Eagles (alive and dead) and lots and lots of crows (alive, or eating the dead). These lizards (Shingleback Lizard) were all over the road, and it was a nice challenge to try and avoid squashing them. I eventually stopped to take photos of one, and it was a funny little creature. Every time I got a little too close to it with my camera, he’d (I’m assuming it’s male) open his mouth up wide and hiss at me (it may/may not have made a hissing noise, but I like to imagine it did). I did my best to chase him off the road, but he was fearless, and rather than run away from me and my stomping, he’d just face me and hiss. Whatever, I tried to save your life you damn fool!

20130920_RCH_2575 20130920_RCH_2581 20130920_RCH_2583A long, long time later, we were at Eucla, which is the last town before South Australia. I read about an old telegraph station there that was slowly being buried by the sand dunes. Finding it wasn’t so easy (though, my intuition would have gotten me there quicker than the signs). I found the Lonely Planet description to be quite accurate, it was certainly an old telegraph station that was being slowly overrun by sand. There was something really cool about it though… It felt so much older than it probably was (I saw probably, because there were exactly zero signs, something that made it difficult to see any of the national park…). Apart from a few blocks that have collapsed (and no remnants of any non-stone materials), the building looked in pretty good shape (but, I guess after all the ancient rocks we’ve seen on this trip, it should be old news to me now that stones last a long time).

20130920_RCH_2574 20130920_RCH_2588 20130920_RCH_2589We (I) really wanted to explore the sand dunes in the area, but with zero guidance, it was really just my intuition as to where to go. This time, my intuition wasn’t so great… but, at least we didn’t get lost or stuck.

20130920_RCH_2592 20130920_RCH_2593 20130920_RCH_2599The cliffs that become the Great Australian Bight start a few hundred kilometres from here, and slowly make their way to the ocean. We’d been driving more-or-less parallel to them since we crossed them in Madura. We had to drive back up them at Eucla, which was just in time for a stunning sunset. Finding a place to view it though was a little more challenging…

20130920_RCH_2609 20130920_RCH_2610It was now well and truly twilight and with all the dead kangaroos and emus (and some live ones) that we’d seen today, we decided to stop at the first place that we could find after the South Australia border. Interestingly, there were no border quarantine checks, like there are going in to Western Australia. We stopped for the night at a lookout right on the Bight, but with nothing more than a faint glow in the horizon, there wasn’t much to be seen.

20130920_RCH_2612…until the beautiful full moon popped up out of nowhere. It was such a brilliant colour. It was a hot day, and that remnant heat was causing beautiful distortion of the moon while it was down on the horizon.

130日目  9月20日(日) 走行距離 650km!

今日は、ひたすらドライブの1日でした。

オーストラリアで1番長いひたすら直線、まっすぐな道 145.6km を走り抜けました。 ひたすら先が見える見える、、けど、意外に小さな丘がいくつかあったので、思ったよりひたすらまっすぐ!!ってほどでもなかったかな。

今日は、エミューさんも何匹か道端にいましたよ。あとはツチノコみたいなトカゲ。。かれらひなたぼっこし過ぎで頭がぼーっとしてるのか、なぜか道からよけないので、ぺったんこになってる彼らをかなりたくさん見かけました。
あとこの辺のカンガルーの死体はかなりガタイの大きなものが多いので、衝突したらかなり衝撃が強そうなので、夜の運転は避けたいものです。

その他は、とくべつ美しい景色があるわけでもなく、街もなく、あるのはガソリンスタンド兼道の駅のみ。。。

あ! そうそう、なにもなくなかった! 1つスゴいのがあった!
実は、この千数百キロの道路沿いには、飛び飛びに、18ホールが2つの州にまたがって点在しているゴルフコースがあるのだ!!

隣のホールまでの移動に最長2時間半かかる。そして1ラウンドに1週間かかるらしい、、全長は848マイル(約1365キロ)

広大すぎるだろ!!!

http://karapaia.livedoor.biz/archives/51510998.html

その他には、今日の唯一の見所、西オーストラリア州と、南オーストラリア州の境界の手前にある、古いテレグラム(電報)送受信所の跡地に行ってきました。

ここは、1800年代に建てられたものですが、周囲の砂丘に浸食され建物の半分以上が砂に埋もれていました。  そこまで歴史上は古くないものですが、ローマ時代の建物並みに古いようにみえました。

ここからの夕暮れがとてもパステルできれいでした。 しばらく西オーストラリア州にいた間は、ノーザンテリトリーで毎日みていたような真っ赤な夕日をみていなかったので、淡い紫からオレンジ色にきれいに色づいた夕暮れの空を久々に見れて感動でした。

そしていよいよ、美しいビーチ、クジラ、エイ、カメ、イルカ、アシカなどなど愉快な海の仲間との出会い、憧れのクォッカさんとの出会い、友人との再会とデリちゃんの故障などなどなど、、、様々なドラマと思い出がたくさん詰まった西オーストラリアを後に、南オーストラリア州にやって参りました!!

ここからの州はあまり大きくないけど、これからはどんな出会いがあるかなー。 楽しみです。  ちなみに西オーストラリア州に入った時の様な厳しい検疫はなく、車は止められませんでした。 (たぶん逆は止められるはず)

そして昨日の満月もきれいでしたが、今宵の満月も夕日のようにとても濃いオレンジ色で巨大でかなりパワフルな満月でした!

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