On the road by 8.20am (well it is going to take a while to get the process down), and we headed towards Norseman, passing the massive Lake Cowan, devoid of water, an expanse of red clay. Norseman was pretty awesome. Both Charlie and Toby’s bikes needed very minor repairs (ie I probably could have done it myself given half an hour of frustration on my part) and we pulled into the mechanics. Young guy there does the job in five minutes and when I ask if he wants any cash for it, looks at me in disgust as if I had asked him to run down the street of Norseman wearing his undies on his head. Love the country ;) Thank you mechanically repairer people of Norseman!
Fueling up, we hit the road, destination: Cocklebiddy. This turned out to be a very achievable goal, with 2 hours to Balladonia and a further 2 to CB. Balladonia Roadhouse is fantastic, with a cute kids playground and the Skylab museum to boot. Definitely worth a quick visit. Lunch was served, man we are having banquets for lunch. Meat and salad sandwiches, salmon, hommus and veges, fruit, crackers and cheese, you name it. It is truly a break and I rest for nearly an hour while Charlie finds a family with four kids and plays on the playground with them all. Such a relief, and it would end up being the last kids we see for a while. The museum was also pretty cool considering it was a free walk-in at the servo. I learnt stuff. Charlie liked comparing the difference in animal scats, thank god all sealed up in petri dishes. Ever the scientist he is.
We were keen to get back on the road - so far no whinging at all about ‘are we there yet?’ although the car is the only time I allow them to be on their tablets, so that explains a lot. We pulled over for the obligatory clichéd photo of the '90 mile straight' towards Caiguna.
The environment became more and more sparse and we were wondering how Cocklebiddy would spring from the nothingness, as beautiful and relaxing as the nothingness was. Sure enough, an oasis in the desert, the gorgeous Cocklebiddy Roadhouse welcomed us with friendly arms, and lovely grassed tent sites. Made such a change from Coolgardie’s gravel! Again the kids were off on the bikes, they are proving to be rather essential!
As much as I hated seeing the Wedgies in a cage, however big, the kids loved seeing them up close. I kept telling myself they were just they for rehabilitation purposes, which could be true. I should have asked - something to find out on the way back I suppose. The Eyre Bird Observatory was only 50km away and Toby, ever the keen birder, was on constant lookout. We did see a few wild eagles, and more and more over the next few days. The road out to the Observatory was quite dodge and would have taken a long drive so we had decided against it, but I’m sure Toby will go one day.
It felt like luxury here and I sat in the restaurant and managed to finish some work emails. Mental note not to buy meals on the Nullarbor (yes I was lazy and gave in to temptation). Cost a small fortune. Should have had soup. Smack. Smack. Smack. Lesson learned…I hope.