I left Eucla at about midday and was soon at border village. There it was, the end of Western Australia! I admit I felt proud at what I had so far achieved as I crossed the line; I’ve run across a State and now another time zone. Only 2/3 of the trip to go…
Although the shoulder disappeared once I entered South Australia, this was more than compensated by the view, as now I could at times see the shining blue line of the Southern Ocean away to my right. It filled me full of optimism and a sense of happiness; perhaps it was the variation in the scenery but I think it was more that feeling we get looking at the edge of the world and the infinite beyond. I was fortunate then to accidentally pull up to camp at the first of three lookouts, a spot perched right atop the cliffs. With my food cooked and everything set up I watch the spectacular sunset and then the Milky Way as I listened to the waves crash on the cliffs below. A sublime treat after so many days of endless desert.
The next few days were a repeat of this; running and endlessly pulling into the gravel to avoid road trains, but with a sublime ending. At the last lookout point, perhaps the most spectacular I was fortunate enough to meet some wonderful people – they even brought me beer as chocolate. Watching the sunset with beer in hand; does it get much better!
The night was less fun. I was woken several times by a fluttering sound and slight feeling on my sleeping bag and once in my hair. I looked up and saw a big moth was in my tent. ‘No big deal’ I thought and tried to fall asleep again. It was only when I woke up with my alarm and sat up in bed did I see the mouse run out of my food bag. And then another! It turns out I had 3 or 4 of them trapped inside with me after they had chewed a hole in my tent to get in. Urgh. The moth I had seen was a mouse clinging to the tent above my head. I generally don’t mind mice, but being trapped in a tent with them just isn’t fun (to make matters worse, one stowed away and is now in my room, keeping me awake)!
The last day was a toughy; by choosing to sleep in that gorgeous spot I had left myself a big big day; 76km / 46 miles to the roadhouse. I had promised I wouldn’t do that to myself again, but clearly I didn’t learn my lesson. I started in the mists just after dawn and the day was long. For the last 20km though the REAL nullarbor appeared, a land of barren nothing. Arresting but it also meant I could see the roadhouse from 15km away, a demoralizing last stretch. But make it I did!
And now for a day off – it is apparently hammering with rain not only here by for 400km / 250 miles in both directions. Better to be lucky than good!