Friday, June 21, 2013

The Nullarbor Plain WA - SA

We made it across the Nullarbor Plain! After we left Norseman we continued through the largest area of hardwood woodlands in the world and finally came to the longest stretch of straight road in Australia - 145.6 Kms - and it really did go on and on - quite monotonous and one had to be careful not to get hypnotised by it, but it sure was a good lesson in perspective as that road went right on to the horizon until it became a point instead of two lines - just liked we learned in technical drawing at school.
Beginning of Nullarbor - West side
Good Perspective of Nullarbor Road to Horizon
The signs along the way warned of kangaroos, camels and emus on the road but we only saw a few (live) kangaroos, but we saw heaps of wedge tail eagles - feasting on the road kill - they stuff themselves so full that they have a hard time lifting off the ground when a vehicle comes along and we did see several that had become road kill themselves. Towards the end of the Nullarbor (in South Australia) we also saw a few dingoes.
Whoops - Ruth beamed up again on the Nullarbor.
Found her! at a Nullarbor Blow Hole
Explanation of Blowhole
The highlight of the crossing was also in the South Australia when we came close to the coast and got to see the rugged, cliffs of the Great Australian Bight - there were four places along the way where you could drive almost right up to the cliff edge. At the first stop I saw a whale breaching and then Ruth saw it when it breached again - we waited and waited but it didn't breach again. Then at the last place called "Head of Bight", a bay where the Southern Right Whales come every year to calve last year's conception and then conceive for next year we saw quite a few of them up close and personal as the mother whales turned over on their backs to show their white bellies in frustration to keep their calves from feeding too much.
Rugged Southern Coastal Cliffs
More Rugged Coast - it was cold too!
Southern Right Whale at Head of Bight
Whale blowing - - bottom left
It was very hard to get a good photo because of the digital camera's knack of taking the photo just after you've pressed the button - that was frustrating for us - and they wouldn't oblige by staying up for long. We saw a few more breaches here, but too far off for our camera and it happens in the blink of an eye - you would have to have your camera pointing at that spot just at the right moment. This area is a national park and a fee is charged ($12 for seniors) so as you can use their boardwalk that takes you up to the edge of the bay where you can see them - everywhere else is fenced off. The Southern Rights come to this spot from May to Oct each year and they don't feed at all, just live off of their own blubber - and the females also have to feed their calves from this accumulation of fat that they stock up during the other months of the year down in the Antarctic waters. This is one good reason to come here in Winter, but it is very cold and the wind coming off of the water is bitter. 

So we are now in South Australia and heading for Adelaide (the city of churches) via the Eyre Peninsula - before we get to Ceduna we have to make sure we have eaten all of our fresh fruit and vegetables and we had to get rid of some seed pods of the Boab trees that we had collected - not allowed into the state. We are at Nundroo Roadhouse with no internet reception, so I'll probably send it tomorrow when we stop for the night.