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Blog 139 Mundrabilla to 130kms before Nullarbor

16th February

Mundrabilla was friendly and kindly run by a Scottish girl who was here for a year before passing through. 65kms up the road the staff at the Eucla Roadhouse were imported labour from Chile and Argentina. Situated on the top of Eucla Hill it was several levels of excellence above the roadhouses I had passed since leaving Perth. The ornamental garden (with its small fish), statuettes and flowering plants was tended to by someone from Iquique, the 9th department of Chile south of Arica. The girl at the front desk was from Buenos Aires. Beyond from the small swimming pool a slim slice of sea could be seen cresting beyond by a plateau of cracked limestone. The sea did not looked inviting, just faraway. In the cafe the coffee machine gurgled through its sound levels until pitching strongly above all the other noises until the milk was frothed and the coffee was served. Leaning forward on my arms the strangest thing happened when suddenly l fell fast asleep slipping into my dream world as if it merged perfectly with my reality sitting comfortably on hard chairs. It was as if my inner self had clocked off early, retired from the responsibilities of the day in order to shut down; cognitive services cracking first immediately followed by a total shutdown of all physical senses as if a light has been suited off. It wasn’t an electrical  short more a circuit-breaker clicking on in the way it’s designed to stop a surge inactivity. I lay my head on the table and slept. Minutes later I wake up shaking, my whole body vibrating with tiredness. I collect my battery semi-charged and start again. The wind has got stronger.

It’s cold. I ride all day and now I’m pitched up 40ft from the cliff edge of the southern bight overlooking the Southern Ocean where the whales come to play. Riding off the road I spotted a couple of caravans and when I went past one of them the door opened and a fella introduced himself as Gary and handed me a beer. His wife Sue was cooking and they’d travelled down from Queensland. I went further over the way and pitched in the hard packed sand at the edge of the blue pushes, little lizards coming out to see what I was doing. 

“You want to watch the Taipans," said Gary, "if they get you and you have to move too much you’ll die, but they’re not here, down by the dunes for small birds and their eggs.” It was nice to talk, it takes seconds to discover shared values, equally discriminatory ones but he was calm. “You have white sharks, pointers down there and they’d come for you alright, no one swims out there.” Which is what the surfer dudes said about running this section.

I went back to my tent, lit my stove to boil some water and chop up a potato and an onion as part of my stew. The wind was cooking, nearly keen. A headwind all day until it started to drop just before the sun began to set. The half moon leaned to one side like a deck chair and was bright enough to obscure all but the brightest of stars. 

Potatoes softening nearly cooked, onions are easy. When I eat I am focused on stirring my food in the pan. Nothing else matters except the trailers of trucks in the distance lit from the cab to the back passed me by like spaceships looking to dock somewhere.

Map of the Day

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Worried about you Nick as no word for many days! You sound utterly exhausted. After the hustle and bustle of Asia and your hyper vigilance there, has the quietness and loneliness of the outback lowered your defences? Hope you're ok anyway. Sending you a flat white and a long cold one....and ofcourse cake....☕🥤🍰.....👋

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