Grey Gypsies of Australia
Western Australia - 2010
The Home Run The next morning we were off early, collecting petrol at Norseman for our push back across the Nullabor as we intended to reach Eucla by nightfall - around 750 kms. It was constant driving with short stops and changes of driver. The trip was made more enjoyable by the dozens of flocks of wild budgies we saw along the way. They had migrated to the grasslands to feast on the seeds of the grasses and shrubs we has seen so green on the way over. That night the Eucla motel on the border was a welcome sight when we drove in around 7pm. Another long day of driving followed - around 600km. Eucla to Laura, through Port Augusta & Horrocks Pass was our target. We like Laura, especially for the Café de Laura and the pleasant caravan park where we hoped to get a cabin. On the way our lunch stop was first rate. The Garry Owen café in Wuddina offered us great coffee and fresh food prepared by the local chef, all cooked on the premises. Highly recommended. Regrettably the Laura CP had no cabins left but phoned Gladstone further on and booked us one of theirs. It is also highly recommended: a new cabin fully equipped and very nicely furnished with all mod cons for only $75 night! This area too deserves a longer time spent exploring the many small towns around about. Another early start that we hoped would take us to Ouyen in Victoria for our last night on the road before home. Things were going a bit too well on the way home as we were to find out later that night. But the day started well. We drove through Jamestown, Burra, Loxton to Pinnaroo and then along the Mallee Highway to Ouyen- around 500km. Did we book ahead? No. Despite it being a Thursday night all motels in Ouyen were full and the Ouyen caravan park is a place that the Council should redevelop and renovate as soon as possible. It's not a good advert for the town. What to do? It was 6pm and we were tired. Our trusty GPS told us the next nearest accommodation was at Patchewollock, a very small town near the entrance to Wyperfeld NP. Otherwise we could take the Murray Valley highway and try Swan Hill. We opted for Patchewallock as the road down was so pretty and we could get a direct line of travel from there back to Benalla the next day. In retrospect this was not a good choice. The local hotel is less than "one star" (there should be negative stars). No airconditioning, no insect screens on the rooms, nothing appears to have been done to it since it was built in the 1920s. It had recently acquired new owners who were to arrive shortly to sort things out. We stayed but by 1.30am neither of us could sleep. I retreated to the car to turn on the air conditioning and listen to the radio. Terry found me there half an hour later. What to do? Let's throw our luggage in the car and start for home. By 2am we were on the road and had an uneventful trip back to Benalla arriving in our driveway at 8am. What a trip. Like all good trips even the low points make great dining out stories later on! And the highlights? Well we will definitely be going back to so many of the spots we loved but would like to spend more time at. Western Australia does so much to make travel round it so enjoyable for tourists, travelers and grey gypsies like ourselves. And South Australia too has its great and hidden spots. It seems to us that Victoria - our home state - has dropped the ball by comparison. Happy travelling to you all
Norseman to Home
What’s Next? 2011 is the Canning in our trusty Oztent
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Copyright Grey Gypsies Australia 2009
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