The cold finally catches us

Monday 2 November

Left Kalgoorlie/Boulder Saturday morning bound for Norseman and then with a “hard a port” the Nullarbor. Vicki hadn’t been feeling the best and halfway to Norseman she experienced very bad pains similar to when she had a kidney stone problem last year. Called into the Norseman hospital, the nurse did a telephone consult with a doctor who advised it was probably a kidney stone and we should not continue but should return to Kalgoorlie or go onto Esperance where better medical facilities existed. We opted to go to Esperance as we hadn’t been there in our travels. Vicki has since been to the Esperance hospital twice, they have been very efficient and she has now recovered.

Esperance boasts that it has the best beaches in Australia. This is a pretty big boast. The beaches are certainly pretty but whilst we have been here it has been blowing about thirty knots so the surf has been wild. We haven’t been tempted to go for a swim, in fact only a couple of people in full wet suits where surfing. It looked very cold.

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Today the temperature here was 8 to 16, it is supposed to get up to 28 later in the week. For the first time in 2 months I have to put on warm clothes including shoes and socks, this is not nice. I may even have to find my beanie!

Luckily the caravan park we are in is sheltered from the wind. However the ore trains pass about 50 metres away and there is a level crossing very close at which the trains blow their whistles. At 3 in the morning it sounds like the train is coming through the camper. They bulk load both ore and wheat at this port.

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There seems to be a large number of churches and church schools of various denominations in this town, I think the town is quiet conservative, certainly it does not have the pub culture of Kalgoorlie.

The big disappointment, for me anyway, is that the alternative route back to the Nullarbor has been closed for several weeks now. It is possible to take a 4WD track from here to Israelite Bay in the Cape Arid national park, a distance of about 200 kilometres. Unfortunately the track that connects a further 200 kilometres to Balladonia in the Eyre H’way is the track that is closed. We therefore have no other option than to retrace our steps to Norseman on the boring bitumen.

We had a clean up in the rear of the vehicle this morning as everything was covered in bull dust. Whilst doing this we found that the water tank had come loose from its mountings so of we went to Bunnings to buy assorted bolts, washers etc and it is now secured again.

So tomorrow morning back to Norseman and then “hard a starboard”. Alternatively Broome is only 2,511 kilometres away! I wonder, should we?

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