We’re sleeping in Eucla tonight. Our last night in Western Australia. We’re just a stones throw from the South Australian border. We’re well and truly off the grid. No internet connection for us non-telstra folk. (So no idea when this post will actually become ‘live’) It’s been refreshing, perhaps even liberating, not to be so connected with the greater world. Our motel tonight feels like the set from Mad Men, 1970s gold.
Last night we stayed in Cocklebiddy. It’s a roadhouse, not a town. The last town we drove through was Norseman. We didn’t get there until around midday on Sunday so there wasn’t much action about. Dave did manage to get Random Breath Tested heading into town which made for some excitement. The police were using very old testing kits – breathe into the straw sort not the highly computerised ones we are used to in Perth.
From Norseman to Cocklebiddy I drove the 90mile straight – not a single deviation in the road. Nothing. Half way along we left the Buddha from our Perth gardens sitting under a tree. Golden light broke through the clouds and everything just felt like it was going to be ok. The closer we get to the border the greater my doubts about leaving. I love this part of the world with all my heart and soul. I’m not sure I want to leave.
Reaching Cocklebiddy it was clear how far east we travelled as the sun set in the early afternoon. We are now in the unofficial time zone of Central West Australian time. I had expected to not see any trees on this journey. My imagination had led me to think of sandy deserts and emptiness. It’s not. There are many trees. The landscape is constantly changing. I’m in love with it.
Today we’ve had many wonderful adventures. That is once we finally got the car packed. Can’t tell you how much I am over packing! So painful in so many ways. Anyway – lets not dwell on what is become the daily morning ritual of packing and tantrums. Once we’re on the road all turns good again. We didn’t travel many kilometres today. Just 300 odd.
For morning tea we headed to the Eyre Bird Observatory. Not that we saw many birds… we are travelling with four very noisy children after all. We did see kangaroos though. From the our vantage point I enjoyed a cuppa tea with an anzac biscuit Megan had made for our journey. Pure bliss. There on the horizon was the coast. The desire to save for a 4WD is growing greater every day.
We stopped at Mundrabilla road house for lunch. By far my favourite roadhouse on this trip so far. Lovely dovely salad sandwich, complete with paper doily. Loads and loads of toys and colouring for children to play with. A wall of newspaper cuttings detailing various extra-terrestrial encounters. Super friendly service too. And the icing on the cake the lettering on the doors that felt like it was straight out of Happy Days.
We reached Eucla in time for afternoon tea. Rather than checking into the motel we headed straight to the beach. I’d bought a bottle of bubbles in Norseman so Dave and I sat on the beach and made a good-bye toast to our life in the West. My eyes welled up. A huge lump forms in my throat as I think about leaving Western Australia tomorrow. This state has been very very good to me – it has gifted me four gorgeous children. So many happy memories.
Geez we had a great time playing on the beach. Did some pretty spectacular beach art too.
Walking back to the car we spent the final moments of the afternoon playing in the ruins of old Eucla. It was much fun jumping from the walls into the sand, reading the old graffiti and generally just have a great time.
Dinner tonight at the Eucla Motor Hotel Restaurant was pretty good too. At Cocklebiddy we ate two-minute noodles out of mugs sitting on the floor. This was our first time out at a restaurant on this road trip, and whilst the vegetarian pasta was nothing like the description on the menu it tasted real good.
So there you have it. Our last full day in Western Australia was a brilliant one. Thank you WA – I’m going to miss you. *tears streaming down my face as I type*