14 August 2002
We all slept soundly that night and slept in to 8.00 a.m. Susie and I got up first and Susie rekindled the campfire. Clare wanted only bread, but Ruby and Susan had toast and I made a jaffle with an egg inside of it. This looked so good that Roo wanted one too, but it turned out that her eyes were bigger than her tummy and she couldn’t finish it.
It was a beautiful sunny morning, if a bit crisp. We packed up and pulled out and were on the road shortly after 10.00 a.m. We didn’t stop at Balladonia, but ploughed onto the next roadhouse at Kyguna. We ran into a strong headwind so our fuel consumption was up. There wasn’t much petrol by the time we pulled in at the roadhouse. We filled up on fabulously expensive fuel, and bought some ice for the esky. Then we had lunch with crows and noisy mynahs in a rustic picnic area out the front of the roadhouse, after the proprietor told us half a dozen horror stories about people hitting large animals en route across the plain.
We didn’t loiter at the roadhouse, and were soon heading East again. We had covered 230 km in the morning, and needed to make another 260 km before the sun went down. That would put us at Jilla Waterhole, 10 km west of Mundrabilla Roadhouse. We were nervous about travelling at “kangaroo o’clock”, due to the awesome amount of road kill on the highway. Also we crossed a time zone during the day, which meant that we would lose 45 minutes of driving time by the clock.
We made it to Jilla Waterhole just as the shadows were getting long, and set up camp in a lovely spot—a clearing in a thicket of trees located back off the highway from the main rest area. A fireplace with a few rocks around it was already in place, and we had purchased some split firewood in Perth, so we were spared the chore of wood collecting. I knuckled down to making a beef stew in the camp oven over the open fire. It was a hearty meal, and once again we found ourselves eating around the card table next to the gas light by a big open fire underneath the dazzling stars of the Nullarbor Plain. There were several other travellers camped at the same stop, but it was so spread out that we could only just see their lights through the trees at night. It was bliss.
Poor old Susie is suffering from the ’flu. Tomorrow will be our big day out on the Nullarbor Plain. We’ll visit the Head of Bight and Bunda Cliffs.