The day started with a delay as the hours on the internet for the Visitor Centre at Norseman are incorrect and we were 40 minutes early. Everything here is locked – gates to the park, public toilets, dump point and water tap – so there was nothing to do but chat to the ten or so other travellers who all arrived before time as well. The time on the office wall is correct but as we had stayed here before we did not check this out. Finally sorted we left just before 10am for our destination of Balladonia. There is not much to see on this section of the road although it is quite tree lined opposed to people’s thoughts of it being desert. With only 188km to travel to arrived at Balladonia just before 12pm.
We purchased fuel and found a car park with a little shade to eat our lunch and check out our maps and places to stay as we will continue further, before heading in to the museum section of the roadhouse. The museum is well done for such a small establishment and has a good number of information boards telling the stories of the Aboriginal people of this area and early times. There are displays for the cameleers and the Redex trials of the 1960’s and 1970’s.
But the biggest aspect of the display is the crashing of Skylab in 1979 with debris landing near here. A large piece of the vessel is on display and numerous boards tell the story and copies of newspapers show how people searched for any piece to be famous.
The temperature here is 31 degrees at the end of September so I would hate to be here in summer. We headed out again just after 1pm deciding to drive a further 115km to a overnight rest area. The signs we see here are a little different as we now have to watch out for camels, emus and kangaroos. It would not be fun to hit any one of those at 100km/ph. We also came across another Royal Flying Doctor airstrip on the highway.
Within a short time we reached the beginning of the ’90 mile straight’ from Balladonia to Caiguna which is the longest straight stretch of highway in Australia (146.6km).
Just for fun we asked Sat Nav to find our home address and the lovely lady said “Follow this road until further instructions”. Only 3400km to go.
We drove roughly half of this today and at one stage had to give way to an oversized load 5metres wide. We arrived at the Baxter Rest Area about 3pm to find our spot and be the second van to camp here tonight. By nightfall we have 18 neighbours and another lady joined me to take photos of both the full moon and lovely sunset.