We woke at the crack of dawn, actually just before dawn, as that half an hour time difference between Melbourne and Adelaide played tricks on us. Really, half an hour? What is all that about? Either don’t bother or make it an hour! Seriously, I find it hard enough trying to work out time differences around the world what with daylight savings and all, without adding a half hour into the mix!
Anyway, for whatever reason, we ended up on the road at 6:15am again. This time I made sure I had my camera bag beside me. The drive today would go from Adelaide to Ceduna, about 800 kms. Within no time of leaving Adelaide the terrain was very different.
There were wheat fields after more wheat fields, followed by, yes you guessed it, more wheat fields all the way to Port Augusta, where we stopped off for some brekky and a petrol fill up before carrying onward to Ceduna. We also came across our first Road Trains. These trucks can be pulling three and sometimes four carriages (or whatever their proper name is) behind them. Fortunately there were plenty of passing places.
We were still surrounded by wheat fields and we came to the (probably incorrect) conclusion that South Australia is basically a huge grain farm.
Seriously, you drive for hours and see nothing but wheat farms.
As I sat reading the map (there really wasn’t much other entertainment), I noticed a place name that piqued my interest. What was the name? I hear you ask….Iron Knob. Seriously, Iron Knob. Now I realised most of you wont be half as immature as me, but c’mon, cut me some sack, that’s funny.
For a good half hour, I bored Matt with various ways of fitting it into general conversation. Finally we arrived at Iron Knob and, much to my disappointment, it turned out to be a mine. The mine of a knob of iron. Darn those literal names. It could have been so much more amusing.
We also noticed that we could see every ‘town’ marked on the map way in advance as on the horizon you could see enormous grain silos. Look again at the road train photograph above and you will see these huge silos dominating the skyline. Most were owned by the same company, and in an effort to entertain ourselves, we made them the evil corporation who controlled the food supply in Australia. One of the said towns, Kimba, had, wait for it, a ‘BIG THING“. This time I had my camera ready. Given Matt’s ‘No Down Time’ policy, we were not permitted to stop so I had to shoot from the moving vehicle. Kimba’s big thing was…a big galah!
For those of you in the UK, the ‘flaming galah’ isn’t just something Alf Stewart made up for effect on Home & Away. As you can see they are beautiful pink cockatoos. Incidentally Kimba is apparently half way across Australia. Surely this means we must have made a fair amount of progress!
By this time the earth was red, full on Aussie red. How you imagine Australia would look in the desert. Small shrubs around yet still lots and lots of wheat farms.
We ploughed ahead (no pun intended), kids all the while still silent and entertained by their iPads. For us however, conversation was hitting a bit of a drought. Eight hours the day before, 5 hours today; I can talk with the best of them, but really, it had all been said. Matt realised some people would wave at us as they passed and he’d read that this is what you do over the Nullarbor whenever you pass another car. He’d just not expected it yet. So right there, he started The Ministry of Funny Waves. We had in depth discussions about technique and what each wave meant. There was a scale. Raising one finger means, okay I will wave at you, but I don’t really want to. Right through to the full hand wave. This is the person who is quite obviously too eager to please. Ahhh the fun we had discussing waves. After trying out a few options, Matt decided on the raising two fingers from your steering wheel wave. Friendly, but not overly friendly. We are British after all. Can’t be too familiar. Look, don’t judge. If you ever do this drive, you will know you find anything to break the monotony of the road. The long, seemingly endless road.
Finally, after about 8 hours, the road brought us to Ceduna, where we would stay for two nights. We had again managed to only stop the once for food and petrol and again the kids had been little stars.
Two driving days down, three to go…..