A Nullarbor dash was planned so we could make Christmas with family in Hobart. After weeks of preparation, new swags and purchase of the Little Blue aluminium Trailer (LBT), we were on our way.
We made an early start and planned to get east of Norseman for the first night. It was a big day of driving (around 1,000km) and we tried to stop as little as possible.
During a quick stop at Norseman and a phone call to the folks, we were advised of the forecast thunderstorms and lightning as a result of the cyclone up north. It was very humid in Norseman, but we thought, “she’ll be ‘right”.
Famous last words.
Using the Camps 5 book we tried to find a camp spot around 100km east of Norseman, off the highway and in a clearing in the bush. The sky was getting darker and darker and we could not find this spot. As a last resort we just chose a clearing in the bush and started to set up. Within seconds the heavens opened. Both swags were out of their bags and mine was unrolled.
One minute later and everything was in two inches of water – soaked! The lightning started and just got closer and closer. This was crazy. We were tired, the storm was angry and we were at risk of being struck by lightning.
After a few minutes sitting in the car watching our gear get drenched and the torrential rain continue, we decided to move to higher ground – somewhere, anywhere…
I stayed in the car while The Driver stripped off (he was drenched anyway) and in nothing other than crocs on his feet and his birthday suit, he hurriedly tried to repack the swags and the trailer. We got the hell out of there.
In the end, we camped on the top of a hill in a roadside rest area. It was one of the worst sleeps of my life in a soggy, cold swag. Our sleeping bags were wet, the mattresses dripping with water and the skin on our toes was wrinkled as if we had spent the night in a swimming pool.
A hot camp shower, quick pack up and on the road to re-think our next stopover. Grey skies all day, but we did make a few stops on the way. A half-hearted attempt to find the Caiguna Blowholes was thwarted by very muddy ground. We decided to stick to the black top.
It rained for the next twelve hours straight and so we drove for twelve hours – all the way to Ceduna. I had previously stayed at the Highway One Motel when travelling for work and I knew that looks were deceiving. The motel had been almost completely refurbished on the inside. We were in luck – the nice guy took pity on us and gave us the disabled room with verandah. We had ample space to hang up our swags, wring out the mattresses, use their laundry to wash and dry all our bedding and have a really good night’s sleep. Phew.
Back on the road again and we headed down to Streak Bay for lunch then across via Port Augusta to Port Pirie.