Day 19 – Caiguna to Fraser Range

Time is relative. The phrase that has been used on many occasions over the last 19 days. “When will we get there” Ava would ask. My reply, “Two hours”. Ava: “That’s a long time”. My response, “Time is relative” – conversation over 🙂 The funny thing is that Ava and Audrey are now applying the concept of time being ‘relative’ in retaliation to things that Caroline and I are saying…

After a very early night, we all work early. The girls and I at 4am, however I kept my eyes closed in an attempt to keep them in bed. “Can we get up now” Audrey asked. A mop of hair covering her face. “No, too early” I replied. The girls remained in their beds till 5.30am. Time for everyone to get up.

Another short day today, Caiguna to Fraser Range starting off within 200m of Caiguna the straightest road in Australia – 146.6km (didn’t seem that long as it was flat, the ones that look long are the ones which are straight but undulating) then with a few stops on the way. First stop was a few kms outside the caravan park, the Caiguna Blowhole. According to the information board, the Nullarbor is FULL of blowholes – and are renown for breathing more vigorously than any other caves in Australia, with some clocked at 72km/hr. The reason for the breathing is due to changes in air pressure. The caves/holes breathe out when air pressure falls, and breathe in when air pressure rises. Pretty cool huh!

Back into the car for our next stop, Balladonia, approximately 200kms west of Caiguna. We kept the girls entertained over the two and a bit hours by going through all the songs from Frozen (as chosen by Audrey). Quite an apt song choice when driving through a barren landscape that only receives 250mm/year! Despite this, all four members sang along to our favourite songs. I may have to record video footage next time!! To aid in passing the time, we provided another bounty for the illustrious camel. We kept on seeing signs for these buggers, but they seem to be pretty good at hiding! Don’t play a game of hide and seek with a camel, cause you will never find them! The promise was an ice cream at Balladonia if you saw a camel, $1 for a kangaroo or an emu – a safe bet as we haven’t seen any animals over the last three days! The promise of an ice cream meant that Ava was constantly looking outside for camels – unfortunately after three days of signs alerting us of the presence of camels, we still haven’t seen one.

Arriving at Balladonia around morning tea time, I decided the girls had been so well behaved that I felt they deserved ice creams after having had a play on the playground. We munched away in the roadside diner, had a play in the playground and looked at the museum where it featured “SkyLab”, a satellite that crashed at Balladonia in 1979. Interestingly the President at the time, Jimmy Carter, called the Balladonia Roadhouse the following day to apologise for any inconvenience, while NASA posted a $10,000 reward for the first piece of Skylab to be returned to the USA. As you can imagine, this caused a bit of a ruckus in little old Balladonia!

Continuing west to Fraser Range, another 100kms up the road. Caroline completed the drive down the straightest road in Australia while I sat co-pilot, both of us hungry to see camels. During the time we saw a few “Olaf snowmen made from stones and little toys set along the side of the road as hitchhikers. I think we may need to do something similar on our return crossing of the Nullarbor!

We arrived at Fraser Range Station around lunch time, a beautiful farm homestead approximately 2kms off the beaten track. Upon arrival, an odd sensation came across Caroline and I. The place felt like home – the first time in over two weeks. Residing in a valley, the property is probably best summarised by the word quirky. Old rusty farm cars adorn the beaten path into the property. A beautiful array of flowers, providing bursts of purple, orange and red, with small garden paths leading to bench seats, providing shade from the heat of the day. After a few moments of being here, we decided to stay another night!

After setting up camp and having lunch, we explored the site. A great camp kitchen (an old farm homestead country kitchen) and a dining room, an undercover barbecue area and clean bathrooms. What a treat! The property also has a few friendly goats, sheep, chickens and cows. Audrey was very brave, wanting to immediately pat the cows when we saw them (she does seem to have a fascination for cows!), while Ava remained intrigued but distanced herself from the livestock. We felt extremely comfortable with the girls exploring the area (within eyesight of course Nanna) whom roamed between the small playground and making concoctions from flowers (which they named ‘sun rays’) in their drinking cups to mend our injuries.

A neighbouring couple decided to join us for a chat about places to stop and experiences on the road. A lovely couple from Western Australia that have sold all the worldly possessions to experience life on the road during their retirement. We shared stories, exchanged thoughts on where to stay (they are heading east along the route we have been and have a good understanding of WA) and just enjoyed some adult conversation. The funny thing about travelling (possibly compared to my thoughts on talking to strangers in Sydney) is that everyone is up for a conversation. It doesn’t matter what the conversation is about, people are happy to have a chat and welcome the chance to tell you a tale or two! Such a nice experience.

This evening we decided to have a meal cooked by the homestead. A little more expensive than eating in, but a great opportunity for the girls to have a home cooked meal and for Caroline and I to have a meal prepared by someone else and not worry about cleaning up! Walking to dinner we came across about 10 kangaroos just wondering around the campsite, we have also seen Emu’s strolling around today too.

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The girls have fallen asleep like clockwork, adjusting perfectly to the change in timezones (fingers crossed the morning time clock has adjusted too). As a parent it is lovely to regularly receive comments from complete strangers about how well-mannered our girls are, how well they play together and how lovely they are.

Typing this blog with a glass of wine in hand, we are looking forward to a lovely day of feeding the horse and cows in the morning and relaxing on the farm. Looking forward to what adventures unfold tomorrow.

One response to “Day 19 – Caiguna to Fraser Range

  1. Sounds a lovely idea to spend another night where you are. Maybe a camel or three will stride in to join the cows etc. I remember being told that Australia has more camels than any other country in the world. We were in Uluru at the time and didn’t see any there either. Here are a couple so you know what to look for 🐪🐫
    Lachie _ do hope the leg is improving, but do not do too much too soon.
    If the homestead dinner was good maybe you should take advantage tomorrow evening as well, on the other hand the BBQ sounds good too.
    Hope the girls sleep until 7am – 💤wishful thinking.

    Like

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